Beginning January 2015, Facebook recently announced that they would begin analyzing your promotional posts to decide whether or not they fit new standards and contain enough quality content to be dispersed to your fans. While you may feel that Facebook’s continually limiting nature is going to do a number on your business, their intent behind this newest change is still honorable from a user perspective. What they want to accomplish is ensuring that Facebook stays a community that encourages engaging interactions and builds genuine relationships. But before you start stressing out, we are going to review what kind of posts will be a big NO-NO and tell you the simple changes you can make so that this new standard affects you and your business as little as possible.
The three types of posts to AVOID:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that drive people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the same content from ads
The People Have Spoken, and They Don’t Want To Click Here Buy Now.
Facebook asked users what they could do to improve the Facebook experience, and members responded that they wanted to see more of what they cared about. Now, whether that is breaking news, funny photos, motivational quotes, or otherwise, we can assure you that “promotional posts” were not at the top of these lists. Therefore, Facebook wants to limit the number of posts that merely aim to push products in obvious ways. Now, when we use the term “blatant ways,” we are inferring that you can still offer your products, but there are just different ways you need to go about it. For example, posts that go something like this, “Check out and make sure to purchase our hot new product” or “Click here and buy for only three easy payments of 19.95” would fall under the “too promotional” category and would not be published to your fans. Instead, a revision of these types of posts that would be acceptable would contain quality content (like a personal experience or possibly a background story) that offers insight into what your product provides and lets the reader decide whether or not they want to purchase it.
No More Contests? Not Exactly.
We believe that Facebook is just referring to the many posts we sometimes see of others promoting random contests and sweepstakes that have nothing to do with their website or company (or much of anything for that matter). So, if you provide plenty of context for your company’s promotion or sweepstakes (not just the rules and regulations) and lend more credibility to it by hosting it on your website or blog so that it doesn’t look like spam, then you shouldn’t have an issue getting a good competition going! Moreover, if you are putting out original content on Facebook regularly that is sending your followers back to your website, blog, or mailing list, you could just put the promotions for the sweepstakes on those actual sections and avoid Facebook’s regulations altogether (but we suggest that no matter your choice, you avoid the “sell no matter what” mentality).
Don’t Recycle Your Content
If you are already purchasing Facebook ads to get your promotional content out there, refrain from copying and pasting the same ad content into a regular post. You don’t need to overkill your readers with the same “buy this” content. While Facebook allowed you to do it on your ads because you paid to be able to do it, they won’t be allowing you to take advantage of that by also pasting it into a free post. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that a company is not down with letting you get “2 for the price of 1” unless otherwise specified.
The Bottom Line
Post reach for Facebook business pages have been on the decline for quite some time now, and you don’t want to waste your time by creating “too promotional” posts that will never be seen by your fans anyway. Likewise, the more you post things that your fans don’t want to see, the more Facebook will optimize their experience by not having them view other posts from your page that they may have wanted to see. So, the only way to increase your post reach is to make sure that you are only putting out the quality content that your fans want to see. That is, the more you post things that people want to see, the more Facebook will start throwing those posts into your follower’s newsfeed mix and VOILA you get your time to shine. Just remember to share things like stories, quotes, and personal experiences with your fans, and in the end, they will be more likely to come to you for the products or services they need.
Do you think that Facebook is going too far with more regulations, or do you agree with their business decision?