• What Facebook’s Changes to Promotional Posts Means For Your Practice

    Facebook ChangesThe world of social media will be changing drastically for businesses effective in January 2015. In order for your business to continue taking advantage of the benefits of social media, you need to be aware of how these changes came to be, how they will affect your marketing plans, and what will be changing in the future of your promotional posts on social media.

    What Will Change?

    In the past, promotional posts were given fewer restrictions on how often posts could appear within a News Feed; Facebook even warned businesses about buying page likes to increase visibility in the News Feeds of other potential followers. However, many businesses continued on using the power of the “like” to provide a huge presence and visibility on social media without fear of repercussions from Facebook administrators. In January, followers will continue to see promotional content in News Feeds, but the posts will be closely monitored for relevance and adherence to the pre-existing rules and regulations for using unpaid likes and unique content.

    What Are Promotional Posts and What Will Appear in Facebook Feeds?

    Promotional posts are posts which lack any unique bearing from other content for a specific business. They all appear the same and provide little newsworthy or unique information to potential followers. Promotional posts seek to obtain new customers or repeat visits to a business page. Promotional posting takes up space within News Feeds, and users want to gain something valuable from this information instead of the previous recurring information. The number of ads in News Feeds will remain the same, so followers will still see your paid promotional posts.

    The Reasoning Behind the Changes

    Facebook surveyed its users for feedback regarding the appearance of promotional content in News Feeds, and they found that Facebook users had several concerns over how posts were becoming too promotional. Followers want fewer posts encouraging people to buy a specific product, install a certain app, or enter a contest. Furthermore, users want fewer posts with identical content from other advertisements, which is a similar fashion in the way that Google penalizes content rankings for repetitive content.

    How Will These Changes Affect Business Marketing?

    Marketers fear these changes will result in fewer visits to business pages and declines in new customer acquisition. However, the key to continuing to utilize the vast number of followers visiting business pages, which was reported at nearly 1 billion visits in October alone, lies in the creation of fresh, relevant content for News Feeds. Marketers will need to purchase advertising spaces through Facebook’s programmatic advertising platform in order to continue reaching more consumers. In addition, marketers will no longer have the ability to purchase likes for a page to influence appearance within News Feeds. As a result, marketers will need to develop new advertisements and promotional content to deliver information not copied in other areas of their respective business page.

    The days of utilizing massive, spam marketing campaigns to drive consumers to your business page are drawing to a close. Since the basic principles behind social media rest with the wants and needs of the users, Facebook must adapt its policies to meet the user demands, or Facebook may face a future seen in its predecessor social media platforms. Ultimately, the changes implemented by Facebook will make users happier with promotional content appearing in News Feeds, which translates into more viable leads for new consumer acquisition or repeat purchases from existing consumers.

    While businesses, who have been utilizing spam-like marketing campaigns and purchasing user likes, will experience a decline in appearance in News Feeds, other businesses will reap the rewards of creating new, fresh content for News Feeds. Recall the information about the number of visits to business pages in October. Of those visits, more than 75% were through mobile devices, and you know how annoying it is to see endless, repetitive promotional posts on your handheld device. Consider how your clients will feel when Facebook implements these changes in January. If you still have concerns over this change, please contact my office today, and I will help you navigate through these new waters; or you can keep the conversation going and leave your comments below.

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