Facebook Policy Changes – What It Means For Your Business Page

Facebook Policy Changes – What It Means For Your Business Page

If you have a Facebook Business Page, you may have noticed that your posts aren’t getting as much attention lately. You’re not alone.

Business 2 Community, a popular online business website and blog that looks at the current business landscape and trends, found that traditionally, the standard organic reach for a post was about 16 to 20 percent of your followers. That has since dropped to about four to six percent.

This coincides with some recent changes to the Facebook policies and algorithms. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to give up on Facebook altogether.

On November 14, 2014, Facebook published a blog post entitled “An Update to News Feed: What it Means for Businesses.” In this post, they detail the reason for the changes they’ve since implemented. (You can read the full blog post here.)

After extensive user surveys, they found that people wanted to see less promotional content in their News Feeds. You can establish News Feed controls for the number of ads you see in your News Feed, as well as for the quality of those ads, but those same controls are not available for promotional Page posts. The bottom line: Facebook said that users were feeling that posts from Business Pages were too promotional.

Specifically, they indicated three consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:

  1. Posts that solely push for the purchase of a product or to install an app
  2. Posts that push for sweepstakes or contest entries with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the same content as their ads

Now you may be thinking, “But I haven’t done any of these things! Why should I be penalized after working hard to build my Facebook following?”

Facebook Pages will still play an important role as part of your company’s overall social media marketing strategy. It’s still a great way for your customers and prospects to learn more about your company and its culture. It can even be used as a customer service channel.

So, how can you continue to reach your customers and prospects in light of these policy changes?

  1. Start off by visiting Facebook’s Page posting tips and best practices. There they talk about things like posting consistently, targeting your posts, and using images. You can also review the performance of your posts to see which ones are the most popular, when people looked at them, and more. You can find this under the Insights feature. You can then use that information to determine the best time and frequency to post.
  2. Post more often and with fresh content. Older posts will tend to get lost, so make sure you’re updating your Page frequently with relevant, timely content. Also post at different times of the day. Don’t be afraid to use this opportunity to share information about your company’s culture, volunteerism, and more. It’s a great way for people to get a more personal view of your company.
  3. If you’re looking to use Facebook for a particular promotion or contest, or just want to reach a more specific audience, consider using Facebook Ads. You can target specific audiences, geographic areas, and more. You can also set limits for the amount you would like to spend, which can be as little as $1. 
  4. Use this as an opportunity to encourage people to sign up for your email list. Simply let your Facebook followers know about the changes and that they may no longer see the valuable content you’re posting in their News Feed. Include a link to sign up for email updates and build your own house list. Just make sure you’re following up on your promise of supplying timely, relevant content through your email efforts.
  5. Host more content on your website or blog. There aren’t any limits on what you can post or who will see it when it’s on your own site.
  6. Become more active on other social media sites such as LinkedIn. Facebook isn’t the only social media platform out there. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to post updates and images, and you can invite customers and prospects to follow your company page there as well.

Facebook will continue to play an important role in any comprehensive social media strategy. Understanding how the Facebook algorithms work can help ensure your efforts aren’t wasted. Ultimately, your customers and prospects will still have access to another window into your company, so it never hurts to take full advantage of the opportunity.