Working with the New Rules for Facebook Business Pages

When you’re a small business owner, your marketing budget is small – if it even exists. And if you’re like most of us, a Facebook business page is a big part of your marketing plan.

And we don’t blame you – for years, you’ve been able to promote yourself, your business, and your products or services for free (or nearly free).

But on New Year’s Day, things began to change. Have you noticed?

Beginning Jan. 1, unpaid promotional posts lost weight in Facebook’s algorithm that determines what posts show up in users’ news feeds. What is considered a promotional post? Check out these two examples provided by Facebook:

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How did this change come about? Facebook asked its users. In a survey of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users, people told the social media giant they want to see posts from their friends and pages that they care about in the newsfeeds. What they don’t want to see are posts that are just trying to sell them something, like:

  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

As a Facebook user, we’re sure you get the sentiments of those surveyed by Facebook. Who doesn’t want their news feed to be filled only with the people and businesses we care about?

But as a business owner, it’s understandable if you find these changes discouraging. What should you do?

Well, dropping Facebook isn’t the answer. We strongly recommend against dropping Facebook from your marketing plan. It is still a viable marketing tool for your small business! What you need to do is change what and how you post. Check out these tips from Post Planner:

Listen to your fans and customers: What do they want from your page? Why did they like you in the first place? Ask users want kind of content they’d like to see, and test different types of posts to see what people respond to.

Mix up your posts: Share a mix of content types, what Post Planner calls the “3 Ps”:

  • Get Personal
  • Have a Purpose
  • Promote

This new update makes posting a variety of content event more important. Users don’t just want to be sold to; they want value and information from your page as well.

Be your brand: Post content your followers can use. Don’t always ask them to buy, buy, buy. How do they use your product? How is life better with it? Show it in action and explain the benefits of your products and services.

Buy Facebook ads: Facebook ad campaigns can cost as little as $5. Give it a shot – it’s worth paying for a little extra reach every once in a while. Post Planner calls Facebook a serious marketing platform, and we agree. The users are there, and sometimes you have to pay for reach. Experiment with different types of ads to see what works.

Use other sources: Don’t just limit your Facebook page to content on Facebook! Use your business page to send users to your other marketing channels, like your blog, email newsetter, or other social media. Don’t throw all your eggs in Facebook’s marketing basket. You should have several ways to get your message out to your customers.

And one more tip from us: Be consistent! Once you’ve gotten traction with a couple of posts to your Facebook page, keep posting! Build on past successes with new ones to see your reach increase.

Do you have social media questions? Contact us today!

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