On the 14th November Facebook released news that they were changing the algorithm to show less promotional posts in the newsfeed.
News Feed FYI: Reducing Overly Promotional Page Posts in News Feed
As a page owner or admin, you would have noticed that your reach has declined over the past year quite dramatically anyway and now this is set to be the case again if you don’t start to change your strategy. Here are the changes and how they will affect you. I have also listed some strategies to help you keep in front of your customers.
One of the main reasons people come to Facebook is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. That’s why we often look to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve. 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.
We dug further into the data to better understand this feedback. What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.
According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too 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
What this means for you:
Basically people are getting fed up of seeing promotional and pushy content, competitions and other sales stuff on their timelines, they would like to see more from their friends and and interesting helpful information from pages that make them smile, entertains them or helps them with their life or business.
It’s very tempting to keep posting your products and links back to your website in hope that someone will see it and click through to buy, it’s also very easy! It’s also very tempting to run like and share competitions to get more people to like your page. – the fact is that with like and share competitions you are getting a lot of wastage, I call them prize chasers! These people only enter to win prizes and have no intention of then going on to buy your product. The fact is that it’s so easy just to set up a new facebook profile and share competitions all day! and this is just what people do. Hence you’ll get more likes to your page but likes are simply a vanity measure if they are not potential customers. Wouldn’t you rather have 100 engaged and possible customers than 10,000 people who have no interest in your business or intent to buy your products?
It’s time now to think of your community and put them at the forefront of your campaigns, keep them happy and entertained and the rest will follow.
So what can you do to stay in peoples timelines?
Keep promotional and community content separate. Don’t post promotional content to your facebook page anymore leave this content for advertisements.
- Create a content calendar or a story board, think up really good content related to your audience that is not ‘salesy’ or promotional
- Make a storyboard and treat your organic posts differently from promotions. This is not an advertising page, you may not get the reach of years gone by but you will get participation, you’ll build credibility and you will eventually become the go to person for when people want to buy your products or services. Building a great content strategy has never been more important.
- Post facebook fan specific content! Try not to just copy the same content from social network to social network, different networks usually draw a different audience.
- Try to collect data from your facebook community. Ask them to join your mail list (promotional). But do this through an advert. Create an advertisement in facebook for as little as £3 tell your audience they will receive exclusive information and special deals only for people on the list. This way you can deliver content to your real fans via email marketing and they’ll have more chance of seeing your new products because they have asked to be on your list (you can set up a free mailchimp account – this is so easy to use!).
- Set aside a budget for your promotional activity, if you are a very small business with no budget, it may be worth putting a small amount of money aside to test the water and see if you get the sales from advertising and if the click though price still makes you a profit. If you can’t and it’s really not working for you consider putting more time into other social networks or marketing activities.
- Try new things, don’t look to competitors to see what they are doing, try and think of ideas outside of the box that may interest your audience (or not – you don’t know until you try!)
- Don’t be tempted to run like and share competitions anymore, simply use an app to run your competition such as Antavo and then share your competition throughout other social media channels,
- Facebook groups are a great place to network and reach out to a very targeted audience. – No group for your interests? – Create one and don’t post promotions until you have a good community and level of trust built up with your customers.
- REMEMBER – Don’t like bait! Like baiting is when you post 2 pictures for example and ask people to like if they like it or comment if they don’t – there are also various other example of this but it;s basically asking for irrelevant likes!
Here are some examples of promotional posts (taken from the facebook news post)
What else is facebook saying?
Fewer Promotional Page Posts
Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds.As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.
This change will not increase the number of ads people see in their News Feeds. The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories – including Page posts – people see in their News Feeds. This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us.
While Pages that post a lot of the content we mention above will see a significant decrease in distribution, the majority of Pages will not be impacted by this change. For further guidance, we recommend that Pages refer to our Facebook for Business post here.
What this means for you?
Basically this is kicking off in January, and if you don’t change your strategy to reflect these changes you’ll be wasting a ton of time and you’ll get literally no reach at all! – Follow my steps above and try to diversify a bit with the social networks and strategies you use.
Post creative and non promotional stories to your facebook page
Reach out to new targeted audiences using facebook ads
Join groups and start building relationships, people are more likely to buy from people they know and trust
Do make it a priority to get people on your own marketing list
Try creating video content and posting directly to your page (perhaps a vlog or a How to post.)
Run competitions on your facebook page
Promote products/ services or special offers (unless in an ad)
Think about it! Social Media is called social media! Be social Not promotional! Save the promo for ads.
Use the boost post button and just show to page fans and friends, use the ads manager to create targeted advertisements.
What do you think? Will this affect your business? and if so how? – What changes will you make before January. Today is a good time to start!
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