Facebook closed out 2014 with two big changes for pages. The first change is designed to improve user experience by eliminating posts considered “too promotional” by users. The second change will allow businesses to highlight their top business objective front and center on their Facebook page. Here’s our breakdown of how these changes will affect you and your social media strategy.
Big Change #1
First, in November Facebook announced the end of “promotional posts” from pages showing up in your fans’ news feeds.
Since Facebook introduced “pages” in 2010, the achievable organic exposure has consistently dwindled from 16% of brand followers in 2012, down to 6% in early 2014. However this latest change may be the biggest yet.
Facebook is eliminating organic exposure of all promotional-toned posts. According to Facebook, there are three specific post types that will disappear from all users’ timelines:
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.
Moving forward, Facebook will only allow these types of posts to appear in timelines if they are “boosted” or paid for. The days of free Facebook advertising are now behind us, which will likely be a common trend with all social media outlets as with anticipated internet content increasing 500% during the next 5 years
Facebook, however, is not entirely putting an end to posts of “pages” showing up in news feeds. Posts that see engagement (comments, shares and likes) from their initial audience will have a greater chance of showing up in feeds, as will “boosted” posts that receive initial organic engagement.
Big Change #2
In mid-December Facebook announced that “Pages” admins will soon have the ability to add a Call-to-Action (CTA) button at the top of their page, next to the “Like” button. This valuable tool will allow you to highlight your top business objective in a prime location at the top of your page.
Your Facebook page is now able to incorporate one of 7 CTA buttons which will be able to link to external sites to help you achieve your business objectives.
The available CTA buttons:
• Book Now
• Contact Us
• Use App
• Play Game
• Shop Now
• Sign Up
• Watch Video
Many companies and brands have invested a lot of time and resources into building a following on Facebook and now question . . . is our Facebook equity worthless?
The answer is clearly no; Facebook still allows businesses to maintain an online presence in a venue many potential customers visit daily. Facebook can still be used to engage customers and communicate individually, as well as be a place to use your brand voice.
These changes will mean that businesses will need to be more strategic with their social media presence, clearly defining goals and desired outcomes in order to be successful.