I hope the New Year has been great for you so far, but for Facebook Business Pages, it might’ve been a big hit in the face. Just in case you weren’t aware, Facebook announced back in November 2014, that it would make some changes that will affect Business Pages starting January 2015.
“Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. When people see content that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to be engaged with their News Feed, including stories from businesses.”
In simpler terms, people don’t want to see promotional posts in their News Feed. How engaging can someone be when all they see from a Facebook page is; “50% off here..$20 off your order of $100 or more..BOGO!”
They changed their algorithm so that Facebook will significantly decrease organic reach for any content that is deemed as promotional in any way. Therefore, if it looks like an ad, smells like an ad, reads like an ad, you’ll have to pay to ensure that users see it starting in January 2015.
They specifically cited three factors:
- “Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app”
- “Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context”.
- “Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”
What does this mean for marketers/businesses?
No more free advertising on Facebook. Just like traditional advertising, you have to pull out those wallets and pay up. Facebook is forcing marketers who often use the network as a means of promoting their contests, new products and events, to spend money on ads, if they want these messages to be seen (even by their existing followers).
What to do now?
1. Relax. You’re not the only one affected. If anything, this change will improve your social media marketing skills.
2. Slash the overly promotional posts. The rule I typically use is to make 80% of the content NOT about your brand but of high interest to your fans and 20% related to your products.
3. Humanize your Facebook Page. I can’t stand it when a Facebook Page has the voice of a robot. It’s 2015! People know that there is a human behind that computer screen so sound like a human. People are coming to your page to interact with you, a person, and a brand.
4. Be Relevant. If you want to increase your organic reach, you must increase your engagement rates. To do so you must talk about what matters to you, your brand and your community. Pay attention to online and offline trends.
5. You NEED a budget. If your strategy in 2015 is to increase brand/product awareness on Facebook then you better have incorporated a budget or else, sorry to be harsh, it will fail. Facebook ads/boosted posts are not an option anymore, especially since this change and especially to amplify your promotional messages – they are a requirement. The 20% of my ‘promotional’ content doesn’t get published unless I have a budget to go with it. Or else there was absolutely no point to post it in the first place.
6. Optimize. In your post, include a link, a photo, no more than 140 characters (just like Twitter, get to the point), ask questions to engage with your audience and continue to do so after you’ve posted. Take a look at the info-graphic. It’s the anatomy of the perfect Facebook Post.
The entire social-sphere changes on a daily basis, just like Facebook does. It doesn’t get any easier, it just becomes more complex and requires you to be more authentic as a brand. The most important take-home message is to make sure your goal is to successfully engage with your audience, to increase the reach of your posts. I wish you and your business/brand the best of luck in 2015!
Please share your thoughts as I’d love to hear them and learn new things about what you’re doing to increase reach and engagement on your Facebook Page. Here are other articles I felt were super useful:Still Confused About Facebook Changes Effective Jan 2015? Here’s the Scoop Times Are A Changin’: The Facebook Algorithm in 2015 Facebook algorithm changes: What they mean for brands
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