I’m sure you’ve heard that the doomsday clock is counting down for Facebook business organic posts or so people are saying!
Many of the marketers who are shouting this message (there’s no factual data from Facebook stating this) also blame Facebook and accuse them of forcing businesses to pay.
What was Actually Said
Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg) said they are looking to increase engagement between family and friends, because people have become passive rather than active users, creating a non-optimum user experience.
It’s not yet clear what Facebook will do, but their focus will be on generating more engagement or conversations between friends and family and the expected sufferer is organic reach of business pages.
Why are Facebook making this change?
Well, to understand the update, you must first understand people and how things work in the real world.
Imagine, sitting in your favourite restaurant having a meal, when every 10 minutes someone from another table comes over, interrupts and start trying to sell you their latest products or services.
Chances are you won’t go back.
It’s no different online. People won’t use Facebook if all they see are posts from businesses trying to sell them.
Facebook personal User is King
Without the Facebook free user, there would be no Facebook! And if there are no people there’s no advertising stream to fund Facebook.
Therefore, maintaining the activity of the free user is the number one priority. It may not feel ideal as a business, but the fact is those that make the effort to understand what Facebook needs will be rewarded and those that don’t will just pay more for their ads, have them shown to less people and eventually have accounts closed for violating the rules.
Google Walks the Same Path
Google has been going through the same process for years, with it Panda and Penguin style updates. It has now forced businesses into providing quality ads, to the degree that now where Google ads are shown they now gain more of the clicks than the organic listings.
Google and Facebook Both know –
No Free Users = No Business
It’s a very simple equation and should be remembered, when using these platforms, because the more you help them the more they’ll help you.
Using Facebook From Now
Although nobody truly knows how the changes are going to affect businesses, it’s clear that content that engages your audience, not just with the company but with one another, will see more reach.
If what you are doing is generating results, your first step is to change nothing. Closely monitor your stats and look for changes in reach and overall results and if you start seeing changes evaluate what’s ‘actually’ happening – is it Facebook or is it something you’re doing.
Would my content be considered click bait?
Click bait is used more than it should be, and causes upset with users. Click bait is essentially manipulating the user by promising one thing but giving something else once they click. For instance, show a funny picture and when someone clicks through expecting more funny pictures they are being sold tickets to an event.
Would my content be considered engagement bait?
This type of content is used to try and trick Facebook’s algorithm into thinking that you are creating good quality content. Facebook are looking to demote content like this.
This would include things such as comment baiting – “comment ‘yes’ if you like rock as much as we do” or vote baiting – “vote for your favourite . . . “ or share baiting – “share with 10 friends for a chance to win . . .”
Running contests and sweepstakes will not be affected so long as you follow the Facebook rules. Also these will not be affected according to the Facebook newsroom –
“Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.”
My Content is Self-Promotional Only
Facebook by its very nature is social, so only using self-promoting content, may not prove to be the best for engagement. Your stats will tell you, so if you don’t already do so, allocate time to monitor and review your Facebook Insights data.
Does my content seem unnatural?
What I mean is, when you read your content, does it sound like a real human has wrote it?
Consider this, even if you want to sell something to someone would you use the opening line, “Hello, I have this great offer would you like to buy one?” That’s unnatural in terms of a conversation, whereas something like.
Are you ready to enjoy a summer barbeque in your garden? Here are 3 ways to ensure your foods properly cooked when using the barbeque. Show 3 images with the ‘how to’ elements included and have a clickable button for more info (take to a blog) or a but now (and take to the purchase page).
This is more conversational. Ultimately, if you’re not already doing so you need to monitor the relevance score of any ad you produce.
If you create useful, entertaining and educational content which already works, I doubt you’ll see any change as this is the type of content Facebook wants, although it does ideally need to engage the audience.
Facebook Ad Relevance Score
This should be your guiding light over anything anyone says. One style doesn’t fit all and you have to get to know your audience. We’ve run an ad style and content that’s worked like a dream with one audience to another and had it fail miserably.
Facebook isn’t Punishing Businesses
Hopefully you can see what’s happening and how Facebook has no choice but to make these changes. The challenge we face as businesses is how to create a more engaging experience for the user, that results in a happy user, happy Facebook and happy business, with more sales.
Also remember Facebook isn’t the only channel, so make sure your target audience aren’t on other channels you can access.