More Facebook Business Page Changes Mean Even Less Organic Reach. Is It Still Worth It?

In the middle of last year, Facebook officially confirmed what many marketers were concerned about: Business Pages would now have less organic reach in the News Feeds of their fans. This made many brands and businesses unhappy.

And now, less than 6 months later, they’ve done it again.

Dear Facebook - WTH?

So, is it even still worth it to stick around Facebook? If no one is seeing your posts, then what’s the point, right?

To answer that, let’s examine what’s actually happening here and some potential solutions.

What Facebook Says

According to this Facebook update, they are classifying these types of Page posts as “too promotional” for organic display:

  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

While this loosely defines what types of posts to avoid if you want it to reach your fans organically, it still leaves several questions.

For instance, how does Facebook differentiate a post that is pushing people to buy versus a post that is linking off to some other type of content? Is it certain keywords (eg. “buy”, “install”, etc.), or is it the simple fact that there is a link in the post? Or something else entirely?

Also, what does “with no real context” mean in regards to promotions and sweepstakes?

Without clear answers to these questions, it may be difficult to adapt your Page’s posting strategy to accommodate these new rules.

Let’s take a look at a few more key points from this update:

“What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads.

Somehow, Facebook has determined that people prefer to see paid advertisements in their News Feed rather than posts from Pages they’ve “liked”. And, while there’s debate among marketers on the veracity of that statement, what it means is that Facebook will be giving even more preference to paid posts and less to unpaid posts.

Here’s another:

“Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

There is it in black and white: Your business Page’s posts are going to be pretty much invisible to your fans. By that statement alone, it is unclear whether the organic reach of just the “promotional” content will fall, or the organic reach of the entire Page if it posts “promotional” content.

And last but not least:

“For targeting specific audiences with predictable reach, Facebook advertising offers ways to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or app downloads.”

So, put more plainly, you have to pay to play. At least when it comes to appearing in your fans’ News Feed.

Now, What To Do About It

While this may all seem a bit frustrating, there’s still hope for marketing your business on Facebook! Don’t throw in the towel just yet.

In the big picture, Facebook ads are still far cheaper than other types of digital advertising (like Google, for instance), and have a great return on investment if you target your audience properly.

In addition, there are a few other tricks to try for making sure your brand stays visible to your fans.

Let’s take a look at these potential solutions:

1. Encourage Your Fans To Use Interest Lists

This first “trick” comes from Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, who successfully encourages her followers to use Interest Lists.

Interest Lists are a little known feature available to every Facebook user that allows them to customize their News Feed exactly how they want it. Essentially, people can hand-pick which friends and Pages they want to see more of, and place them in a special list which they can view anytime.

Mari wrote a great article that guides users on how to implement lists and more recently sounded off about it in the comments section of the Facebook update mentioned above.

Mari Smith Facebook Interest Lists

The Challenge: You’ll need a strategy for communicating this concept to your fans and convincing them to use Facebook in this way every time. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll need to give people a compelling reason to add your Page to one of their lists.

The Benefit: Interest Lists can be viewed on mobile as well, and if widely adopted among your fan base, could be a great way to remain highly visible to your fans.

2. Encourage Your Fans To Get Notifications From Your Page

This is another little-known and little-used feature that Facebook offers it’s users, but one that can be a potential boon for Facebook Page owners.

After a fan “likes” your Page, they can hover over the “Liked” button and choose to “Get Notifications” from your Page. If they do this, every time you post to your Page, they will get a notification.

But how do you get people to do this when most people don’t even know it’s an option? LKR Social Media uses a clever method on their Facebook Page, encouraging fans to “Get Notifications” right from their Facebook Cover.

LKR Facebook Get Notifications

The Challenge: You will need to be extremely careful not to post too often, or too promotional, since fans will get updates every time you post. Finding this balance may be tricky, as you don’t want to overwhelm them with posts and scare them away.

The Benefit: If you can find the magic posting schedule and strategy to make your fans happy, this can be a great way for your Page to stay highly visible.

3. Use Promotions In Combination With Facebook Ads

Yes, you should also consider paid Facebook ads! As mentioned above, Facebook ads are actually quite cheap when compared to most other types of advertising and you can laser target your audience.

We know that one of the top reasons people follow brands on Facebook is to receive promotions and special offers. This is great news for Business Page marketers!

sweepstakes app

Try running a sweepstakes, giveaway or other promotion and using a Facebook ad to target your ideal audience. Not only will you reach more of your fans, but you’ll also reach a whole slew of new potential leads, fans and customers through Facebook’s ad targeting options.

The Challenge: Figuring out how to create effective social promotions. Amazly makes this part easy.

The Benefit: Reaching your target audience with just the type of content they liked you for in the first place.

As Facebook continues to grow, it will continue to change.

It’s easy to get frustrated with the changes, but finding solutions that work for your business is worth the effort. While others may complain and do nothing, you’ll adapt to the changes and rock your Facebook Page instead!

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