special-promotionIf you have a Facebook business page and use it to post information about offers and promotions, then this affects you.

From January 2015 Facebook will be implementing a filtering system to reduce the visibility of your organic promotional posts, with the aim of making news feeds a more engaging place for Facebook users. Here’s what they’ve said:

“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.”

The Facebook News Feed is already a competitive place (read our previous blog post here), with the average Facebook business page post only reaching around 10-15% of users who like your page. This update from Facebook is going to make that already small percentage even less – perhaps as far as reducing page reach to practically zero.

It’s important though to understand exactly what Facebook mean by a promotional post. Facebook specify this content as being:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

We don’t know for sure how Facebook are going to police all this, or how they’ll know if a post is promotional or not, but we’d guess that it’ll be a combination of scanning posts for specific words and also reports from live users, perhaps via a link titled ‘this post is too promotional’ or similar. We’ll wait and see and report back when we know.

What to do about it

If posting promotional content on Facebook is an important part of your marketing strategy (and you’re sure it works!) then you’re going to have to go down the ‘paid ads’ route and splash out some cash. However, we’ve always encouraged our customers to back off on the blatant promotional posts and attempt to be interesting, entertaining and educational instead. Engagement is the key here, and if you’re already applying these principles to your posts then there’s really nothing to worry about. You’re already doing exactly what Facebook want you to do.

Stop focussing on selling on Facebook

The whole reason that Facebook is changing it’s algorithm is because too many companies are doing just this. Concentrate on producing content that provides real value to your audience, that gets shared, liked and commented on, and you’ll find that your Facebook marketing will become much more successful.

You can read the Facebook article about penalising promotional posts here.