Facebook Marketing Landscape Changing; Focus On Promotional Content
No more promotional content on Facebook? What? This could never be true, right? Well, a few weeks ago Facebook came out with it all. Here’s what Facebook had to say about their promotional content;
“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”
Many of you may know that any given user on any given day can see as much as 1,500 of these post. Facebook filters this down to a few hundred promotional post that they feel you might find interest in. And of course, you find this in your Facebook news feed.
Facebook’s promotional content has been trending for a few weeks and we all have our opinions. I follow a lot of experts in my field, I respect them all. I learn from them. Many of them are calling this the “End of Facebook.” Well, not exactly. I feel that Facebook executives have always did a great job dealing with change, I don’t think this move would be any different.
What Does Limited Promotional Post On Facebook Mean For You?
Here’s the kicker, this ONLY applies to organic content. Ahh, Facebook would never end their paid promotional content or limit it. Do you know how much money Facebook makes with promotional marketing? It’s a lot, Facebook will never do that. The changes are all about Facebook’s organic content, more less those of us that are posting content for free.
So, what does Facebook consider being promotional? Here’s what Facebook says about content that is promotional.
- 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
On November 14th, Facebook gave us some examples of promotional content. Here’s what Facebook shared with us;
Take a moment to look at the Tiger post. In my opinion, the first paragraph was fine. If they had kept the content there, it would have likely been published without any complications. It’s the second paragraph where the promotional content comes in I believe. This is promotional content, the post urges you to buy.
In the second Facebook example, you get an overly promotional post. Straight out of the gate, you’re asked to get their app. These are to great examples because you can clearly see which part of the content is promotional.
On January 1st of 2015, Facebook will show far less promotional content in your news feed. Those of you that asked for it, you’re going to get it. Those of you relying on organic traffic, you will see a fall in traffic, likely engagement and all the other Facebook metrics. If your main source of traffic and revenue on Facebook is organic, you better start planning now. Feel free to contact us to learn how we can help. You don’t have much time and I feel there’s still a lot of people that don’t know this.
Facebook Marketing In 2015
Facebook marketing is certainly changing in 2015, but it’s still unclear what impacts this will have for the large percentage of businesses that rely on organic traffic. All of us are trying to make something happen on Facebook, selling a product or offering a service. So I imagine that this is going to hit a large percentage of people. This is the type of change that can hurt your business without question, so it should be a concern. You need to start working on an alternative and new Facebook marketing strategies.
You do have an alternative, paid Facebook advertising. What else are you going to do? I know companies that have put millions of dollars into their Facebook advertising campaigns, including building the page to what it’s today. That’s too big of a loss to take, you have to rely on paid advertising. We all have budgets. Some companies don’t have the marketing budget to continuously pay for Facebook advertising. We’re less then 3 weeks away, start your planning now.
Facebook has clearly stated what will happen to brands that continue to publish promotional content.
“All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
Facebook also took the time to discuss the importance of your business page. Here’s what they said.
“What many businesses may not realize is that Pages are an important destination for their current and potential customers. In October, for instance, nearly a billion people visited Facebook Pages. Of those visits, more than 750 million happened on mobile devices. Many businesses also use Pages as a customer service channel. Businesses should think about their Page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service. The businesses that are doing this well understand the discovery and communication that happens when people come to their Page.”
For those of you that continue to promote promotional content, you should expect your organic traffic to fall. Even so, this is tough to cost. Why? Because Facebook business pages promote promotional content. A high percentage of them do. Does this mean that your brand and Facebook will have a hit and miss relationship? Perhaps. Facebook did state that “most pages will see no impact.” REALLY?
Facebook Marketers Will Be Challenged
We’ve already saw changes with Facebook’s new feed. And due to these new changes coming in January, Facebook marketers will be challenged. How are you going to create the same success without being overly promotional? I’m sure the strategy tanks are full by now as this news is a month old today. But it still changes Facebook marketing forever.
We hear the phrase “human approach” in marketing a lot, probably none more then Facebook marketing. With your Facebook business post in the middle of post from friends and family, you have to get the human element in your content. People have to be able to relate to your post, now more then ever.
Think About Your User
And here’s where many Facebook marketers fail, where businesses fail. Your customer is the most important element in any type of marketing, not just Facebook. Every piece of content that you publish should have the user in mind. You have to connect with the user to be successful, to have successful marketing campaigns. It has to have a human approach, I can’t stress it enough.
I believe a lot of companies and small business don’t consider the full potential that Facebook can offer their business. They believe they can throw something up and it will work as they imagined. This is not the case. There’s so many elements that play into Facebook marketing and it’s all about the return of investment.
They may not have the budget or expertise to know what type of audience is flowing into their landing pages, how long these users are staying on their website or how many people entering the website from Facebook are leaving in under 10 seconds. Likely the very reason most fail on Facebook. All of these factors are important and if you’re not tracking them, how could you ever advertise on Facebook effectively.
Facebook Is Still The Leading Social Giant
Facebook has over 1 billion users and is still growing at good rates. It still has HUGE potential for your business. At this current time, there’s no other market platform that compares. Although we’re seeing all these changes in the Facebook news feed, there’s still the same opportunity. Facebook marketers will have to change their strategy but not all of them. Some brands have been taking the human approach for years and killing Facebook. You have to adapt to these changes.
If you’re struggling as a business on Facebook, rethink your approach. Think about the user, it has always been about the users. Some people tend to forget about that, it happens. You still can drive organic traffic to your website. If you need help with your social media marketing, give us a call and get a free consult. We’re always here for you.
Facebook will begin rolling out this change in January. For more resources on Pages, Insights and Ads, visit Facebook.com/business for call center support or talk to your Facebook account representative.