Goodbye Promotional Posts – Preparing for Facebook’s News Feed Update
Facebook recently announced that they plan on making significant changes to their News Feed that could have a big impact on the number of users exposed to a company’s post. Based on the feedback received by users, Facebook has concluded that they will now limit the organic reach of posts they deem too promotional.
Instead, Facebook will focus on giving its users more content that they care about. This means having the News Feed populated with less organic promotional posts from companies, and more posts, likes, and shares from friends. Ultimately, this is a win for Facebook users, although it poses a challenge for companies to come up with unique ways to reach out to their users.
What Are Promotional Posts?
The first question a company should ask is “What exactly defines a promotional post?” According to Facebook, promoted posts are:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
Beyond that, Facebook also offers an example of a promotional post that will have poor reach:
When it comes to what constitutes a good post, however, Facebook is a little vague on its definition. That being said, there are strategies that every company should apply in order to improve the odds of being on the News Feed. The tactic is to focus on creating posts with:
- High quality video
- Engaging, eye catching photos
- Interesting stories/links relating to the company
The overall goal with an organic Facebook post is to be entertaining and engaging, but also to connect with a company’s brand image. This is, in fact, key to keeping posts on the News Feed.
Looking Towards Facebook Ads
For companies that rely on organic promotional Facebook posts when reaching out to their fans, the question they need to ask is: “Where do I go from here?” The answer would be to look towards Facebook Advertising.
Before jumping into to Facebook Advertising, however, it is important to understand what goals can be achieved with Facebook ads. These goals can include:
- Increasing post engagement
- Increasing website traffic
- Getting new fans
- Getting mobile application downloads
- Getting sales/leads
In order to achieve these goals, Facebook offers a variety of ads. Below are a few types of ads offered, along with a brief description of each:
- Boost Posts – These ads allow for a company to increase the reach of their organic posts. Companies have the option to target anyone they want, including fans and friends of fans.
- Fan Acquisition – These ads are designed to get new fans to “Like” a company’s Facebook page. They offer a variety of targeting options along with a prominent “Like” button.
- Website Click – If a company needs traffic to their website, these are the ads to use. They not only offer a large image link, but include additional text that can go inside the linked area.
- Mobile Application Downloads – Mobile App Ads are exclusive to companies that have a mobile app to offer. With these ads, users on their mobile devices can instantly download an application on their phone.
With all these ads, companies are able to recreate what they will no longer be able to get on Facebook organically: promotional visibility. What needs to be established is how much these goals mean to a company and if Facebook is the place to achieve them. Companies need to look at past organic Facebook results in order to determine what ads to run.
For example, a company can ask:
“Do certain posts result in sales or increased engagement?”
If so, then those types of posts are worth becoming “Boost Posts.” Another question would be:
“Do we see a good amount of mobile application downloads come through Facebook?”
If the answer is yes, “Mobile App Ads” are the way to go.
Making sure a company knows its goals and audience on Facebook is key before launching any Facebook Ad campaign.
Once the New Year rolls around, promoting products on Facebook organically is going to become a thing of the past. Ultimately, it’s up to the company to decide whether or not it makes sense to use Facebook Ads in order to promote their products. Understanding a company’s Facebook audience and looking at past results will shed some light on that answer.
Whether the strategy is to reach users through highly engaging organic posts or through strategic paid ads, companies should not turn away from Facebook’s audience of more than a billion users because of this new change. Like any change in social media, it’s all about adapting.