We kinda knew it was coming, right? Starting in 2015, Facebook says, hey businesses, if you want to reach your fans with any sort of promotional content, you’re gonna have to pay for it. Yep, promotional posts are going to see significantly decreased organic reach.
If you think about it, this isn’t a huge surprise. Facebook says its first priority is its personal users – without them, there’s no data to mine… and then no data to pass on to advertisers. And what do personal users come to Facebook for? To socialize with their friends. But with so many companies fighting to be seen, the average user’s news feed has become littered with promotional content.
In their recent announcement, Facebook says people want to see more stories in their news feed and less promotional content. If you’d like people to see your promotional content, you’ll need to pay to advertise.
If you’ve been following the 80/20 rule for content (where 80% of your content is useful social content and 20% is promotional), your strategy isn’t going to change dramatically in 2015.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to adjust to this new rule:
1.) Don’t forget the fun! Not every post should be all about your business offerings. Make people laugh. Inspire them. Teach them something. Then write it in a way that makes them feel like you’re talking to them, not at them.
I try to run my posts through the “friend” test. Ask yourself is this something I might say to a friend? Is this a story I might share with someone I know?
We’re likely to tell our friends that we celebrated Karen’s 5th anniversary at work today with a goofy cake. So share the picture of the goofy cake and tell your fans something about Karen.
Social media is a place for conversation, and many companies lose sight of that. So think about the fun stories within your organization, and share those with your fans.
2.) Frame promotional content as a story. Facebook says pages will see declining reach on posts that push people to enter promotions or sweepstakes with no real context. The “with no real context” part is a little vague. But it does get back to the idea that people don’t want to be promoted to… they want to feel like they’re interacting with a human and not an advertiser.
So instead of saying something like this:
We’re giving away our email marketing course for free! Just click here to enter our contest.
Try this instead:
How long does it take you to write your email newsletter? It used to take me hours, and then I was completely embarrassed to send it. I made one small adjustment that made all the difference. I really want to share it with you… and I thought it would be fun to give it away for free. Just click here to win!
It’s all about giving framing your content as a story that people would be interested in reading.
3.) Focus on providing value to your audience. People love to consume information, especially if it puts them “in the know.” If you continue to post great content that improves the lives of your followers or even gives them insider information to keep them ahead of the curve, it’s likely that content will reach more people in the news feed.
With so much content to create, it’s important to remember that not every post is going to be a winning post… especially if you’re posting two or three times a day. If you really need your audience to see something, your best option is to pay to promote it.
Nina Radetich is a longtime journalist and founder of Nina Radetich New Media Strategies, a social media consulting agency in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nina helps businesses build their social strategies and connect with customers through creative social media campaigns. You can find Nina at www.ninaradetich.com or by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared on Nina’s blog.