As of January, Facebook began to alter algorithms to enhance user experience via posts that are displayed on an individual’s news feed. This change is set to dramatically affect the way that businesses can conduct successful marketing campaigns on the site. Facebook will now heavily restrict posts that recycle previously used ad content, posts which push for viewers to buy a product or install an app, and content that pressures people to enter contests without any sort of context or frame of reference.
The mammoth social media platform has decided to implement this change in lieu of a recent user poll. Facebook was quoted on the matter as stating, “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.”
Basically, if the content a business is posting is promotional, expect organic distribution to fall drastically.
In order to assist small business owners in redefining marketing strategies for Facebook, here are the best practices for remaining on follower’s timelines.
Follow Facebook’s Advice
Facebook is constantly improving upon existing algorithms, much like Google’s are updated periodically. For one to truly reap the benefits of this powerful marketing mecca, it is best to just play by the rules, otherwise, you won’t reach the folks you aim to communicate with.
Many valuable pieces of information and insights can be harvested from the Facebook for Businesses Page posting Tips and Best Practices reference page. Some of the things discussed here that will help a business preserve organic reach are:
- Post Frequently: Consistency is key. Don’t shy away from posting regularly. In fact, posting quality content (that is not promotional) on a steady basis will help ensure that your audience is seeing your posts. A great idea, which Facebook recommends, is to develop and adhere to a content calendar.
- Utilize Fresh Text and Images: It should be widely known at this point that images are critical for content posting. It simply won’t be seen without an eye-catching image or video. It is also important to remain timely with posts. Post content around large holidays or events, but still keep the material focused toward the target audience. Remember, if it’s all about you, few will see it. Make it relevant to the masses and your organic reach will grow.
- Target Posts Accordingly: A myriad of targeting options is available on Facebook. Businesses can target audiences based on age, gender, location, and so on to reach the appropriate demographic for content. Simply go to “Settings” and click on “Post Targeting and Privacy”.
All of these key tips are easy to do and free to implement. By following the groundwork that Facebook has already laid out, your business is one step closer to social media prosperity.
Embrace Ads for Promotional Efforts
While the alterations to Facebook’s algorithms will defiantly impact the reach of promotional content, Facebook ads will continue to be an appropriate channel for this. In the Facebook survey, many users are not bothered by promotional advertising. It only seems to become a nuisance for people once those posts begin to congest news feeds.
In Facebook’s third quarter of 2014, a flooring $2.96 billion in advertising revenue was acquired. The fact is that this avenue of advertising is marvelous as Facebook has the ability to present custom adverts to custom audiences, which could prove to be a huge score since only interested demographics will see the ad. Additionally, Facebook ads stand a higher chance of generating conversions than promotional posts do.
Facebook is More Than Social Media
Facebook is without a doubt a powerful and prominent source for developing awareness around a brand. The platform, however, should be utilized for much more than just spreading the word about a business.
As promotional efforts in content begin to die down for this social arena, businesses should shift Facebook pages to be a customer service tool. Many well-known businesses, including Zappos.com, have already adopted this strategy. This will help to establish more of a connection with customers in a space that most already feel comfortable in, and possibly prefer. In fact, one recent Accent Marketing report shows that one third of the 1,000 consumers surveyed have used Facebook as a customer service portal.
Looking at Facebook as more than a place to promote and publish materials will allow businesses to generate an increased level of engagement, trust, and brand awareness in consumers.
The plain facts are that social media is evolving, and fast. Soon enough promotional content might completely be a thing of the past. Consumers will be able to shop and make purchases on the platform, and most all businesses will provide customer support through Facebook and social destinations like it.
These platforms are capable of so much more and are no longer merely tools for socializing and lead generation. Forget the promotional content and look to the future. Invest time in adjusting your social campaigning efforts to fit in with Facebook’s new changes to ensure your social media presence remains relevant and visible.
How have you best used Facebook to increase the productivity of your small business?