Facebook has now announced that starting in January the algorithm which determines post rankings will be changing to reduce promotional post exposure through the social media network. Posts that promote products or services will see a great reduction in organic post reach when the new ranking system is integrated. For promotional posts to be found in newsfeeds, marketers will now have to run Facebook Ads behind the post otherwise, the post will only be seen if someone visits your Facebook page. This new effort from Facebook is focusing on providing the user with the content and information they want versus promotional pitches by companies, especially in the mobile experience.
This is major news for social media marketing. Over the last few years, Facebook Ads have become a part of many company social media strategies and a part of their PPC campaigns. Facebook Ads have been a very effective tool for driving interested parties to your website through content, often generating more leads for businesses. Although it has become a popular tool, many social media campaigns still relied on Facebooks ever dwindling organic reach to promote products and services.
Now that we know that this change is coming, what should marketers and companies glean from this information?
- If it is promotional and you want it seen on Facebook, you have to run Facebook Ads behind it. As of January, your organic reach for promotional posts will virtually disappear. For these to be shown in feeds, you will have to implement a Facebook Ad strategy to effectively gain post exposure. For example, if you are a REALTOR® or Property Manager and are trying to promote a specific home’s reduced price or specials, you will need to run a Facebook Ad with this post for it to be seen in news feeds. No matter what the promotion, it will see a reduced post reach.
- Your company will be able to track success by using advanced Facebook Insights and Ad reporting. Marketers who use Facebook Ads know that Ad reporting provides you with a more detailed look at how users are interacting and engaging through your social media. The combination of Facebook Insights and Facebook Ads will allow you to target your social media campaigns even further so you can specifically reach your buyer person or target audience. This will leads to more qualified web traffic and leads for your company which makes the lead nurturing process easier and more successful.
- Content marketing is important now more than ever. If you were not creating content and posting in social media before, you will need to implement a strong content marketing strategy now. Facebook will continue to show content that is helpful and relevant to the user. Content marketing focuses on providing your potential customer with the information they need to alleviate pain points and/or solidify their desire to purchase. If you are providing this information you will be seen as an authority in your industry and stay top of mind with the consumer. Additionally, if you want to be seen on Facebook organically, you must begin to create or share this type of information.
When 2015 arrives, we will see the full effects of the latest announcement from Facebook and its algorithm. Until then, marketers must prepare for the upcoming changes and effectively implement a strategy that will set your company up for success in 2015 using social media as an internet marketing tool.