In January, there will be massive changes in the way Facebook displays business page posts in users’ News Feeds. Content that is considered promotional – such as posts that display merchandise, talk about sales events, or encourage a purchase – will be squelched. Facebook has said that pages that post promotional content can expect to have their organic reach diminish significantly over time.
Is this the end of Facebook as a viable marketing vehicle for the small business owner?
Not necessarily – but if you’re going to thrive in this new, overtly-promotional-content-free Facebook environment, there’s some serious work ahead of you.
Consider your current content mix on Facebook. As a percentage, what amount of your messaging can be defined as promotional? This is the amount of content you’re going to have to replace with something else. Think through what kind of posts you can create that will be of interest to your audience, capturing their attention without doing any selling. Facebook has shared their thoughts on how things should work in this post. You’ll note that they’ve emphasized that promotional content needs to appear via advertisements, so now is the time to consider a larger Facebook ad budget.
It’s important to start thinking through what your Facebook content mix is now, because once that January deadline hits, Facebook’s punitive actions toward pages that post promotional content begins. Identifying what topics and types of content are likely to appeal to your customers, creating or collecting this content, and integrating it into your existing overall marketing plans will take some time. Plan on taking more pictures, creating more original copy, and devoting more time to maintaining your Facebook presence than you currently do, at least until you become acclimated to the new routine.
It’s not particularly fortunate for the small business owner that Facebook decided to announce this change during what is, for many of us, the busiest time of the year. If you’re not sure what your new Facebook content strategy needs to be, or how non-promotional copy will ever convert into sales, give us a call. We’re here to help you make it happen.