By Patti Rowlson
The classical Greek philosopher Socrates had a great quote about change: “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Now that we’re all inspired and open to the idea of letting go of the past and focusing energies on today and the future, let’s talk about Facebook marketing in 2015 because it’s about to change again.
If a business mainly posts promotional info like “Stop in today to buy our pink widget” or “All pink widgets are on sale today” or “Look at this photo of our pink widget,” they need to change the type of content being shared or invest in paid advertising on Facebook. If this important change is not made, Facebook is going to start hiding those posts from timelines.
Here is an important statement directly from Facebook about how they are soon planning to handle all those promotional posts small businesses have been sending out:
“Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.
This change will not increase the number of ads people see in their News Feeds. The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories – including page posts – people see in their News Feeds. This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us.
While pages that post a lot of the content we mention above will see a significant decrease in distribution, the majority of pages will not be impacted by this change.”
Companies across the nation are still reeling from the way Facebook marketing has evolved in the past year. Some have adjusted to the idea that Facebook is no longer free – they’ve embraced promoted posts and learned how to create paid ads so they can continue effectively tapping into the network of page followers they have built.
Others have been stuck reminiscing about the way Facebook used to be. They continue trying to make it work like it used to – posting the same type of content, seeing fewer results, but not changing anything. As stated in the quote above, it’s important to let go of the old and build on the new.
Companies that want to continue using Facebook as a marketing tool in the future should budget for Facebook ads as a monthly marketing expense. They should educate themselves on Facebook’s current rules for promoting products and services or they should seek help from a social media pro.
As Facebook advertising becomes more monetized there is more at stake now than in the past. In most cases the days of having a relative, friend or intern manage a business Facebook page are gone unless those people have access to specific information and ample time for on-going continuing education.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled, “New Facebook Rules Will Sting Entrepreneurs,” highlighting businesses that use Facebook as their main marketing tool and how they are making their strategies more effective. I highly encourage small business owners and marketers to check it out.
Patti Rowlson is a marketing consultant and social media manager at PR Consulting, Inc. She helps Whatcom County small businesses identify, implement and consistently maintain marketing-related programs. Learn more about small-business marketing by connecting with PR Consulting on social media sites or by visiting www.pattirowlson.com.