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A Social Media Policy Change for Small Businesses: Facebook will change the way you promote in 2015

Facebook has changed policies for the 2015 year and it’s going to adjust how your business promotes, advertises, and produces content for your page. On my own business pages, I’ve noticed that my engagement has really taken a turn downwards from recently having some of my heaviest engagement, via efficient organic strategies, in a long while. And it’s not because my strategies have been failing, but that Facebook is allowing way, way less promotional posts to reach consumer users. Here is what Facebook had to say:

 “As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

This isn’t trying to hurt businesses, nor is it a scheme to play on your wallet by Facebook. All it is: they want users to have a News Feed filled with things they want: friends, stories, pictures, and advertisements that have more to do with the user’s life. Though what you will see is a definite fall in engagement, more effectiveness, of organic (unpaid for) campaigns and content distribution. To get that lost engagement back will take little money spent into Facebook ads. Yes, potentially, depending on how effective you really want your budget to be, you will have to start paying for your promotion if you want the full benefit of the 1.3 billion monthly users.

Facebook has seen a lot of policy changes in the last year. Recently, they have required full, real names to be used at all times for profiles.

Facebook has seen a lot of policy changes in the last year. Recently, they have required full, real names to be used at all times for profiles, which caused a large uproar among the LGBTQ community. Facebook is used to having policy changes cause frustrations among their users.

The organic content being denied more and more into News Feeds follows along with these:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

So what does this all even mean for your business, I mean, this is supposed to mess with your branding, right?

“Pages still matter — a lot. They offer a free, easy-to-maintain online presence for people to discover and learn about a business. They work across desktop, mobile and tablets without requiring any extra configuration, and contain complete information about a business. They also offer tools to create videos, photos and events that bring a business’ story to life.”

So, yes, of course your page is still effective in keeping a presence online, but we want a presence that helps generate us money, too. Helps generate a solid ROI on not just budgets, but time in. For businesses that don’t have budgets, it can impact you in a few different ways…mostly positive. Sure, you could say that this is crockery and that a small business with an even smaller budget for marketing is done for, no doubt. But I really beg to differ and here are some ways to think about it:

Business with zero marketing budget (organic):

Begin to craft content more creatively and think about ways to tell your story, promote your product, and engage users like you never have before. Start watching and learning how your users are engaging. Are they engaging with pictures? Are they engaging with long-form stories and article-like posts? Do they like answering questions? From there, start a strategy that is molded around the things your users and followers like to interact with. (Base to start: If you were on Facebook and scrolling through your News Feed, what do you like to click and what do you not click?)

Business with a small budget:

Thankfully, Facebook ads are very reasonable and can fit any kind of budget. They can range from $5 a day, to the thousands. The key is putting a little money into Facebook and the system they have set up for your advertisement and promotion. Take a look at your budget and start small, if it works well then put a bit more money into it. If it fails, take a look at why it failed. Was it mis-targeting your audience? Did you boost your posts? Did you create an effective ad that connects with your users, again, watch and learn what gets clicks, and what doesn’t.

Facebook is just putting more value, promising better engagement, and ensuring (sort of) that the content you paid for will make it to user’s feeds. In a way, think about it like your helping them, help you. The beginning will be a tough adjustment for some, but in the end it will be much more beneficial for your business’ success. Facebook ads are in and with that, so is the potential for a new kind of creative content to emerge.

Tweet this author: @GavinBGriffin

Email: GavinBGriffin@Gmail.com

Gavin B. Griffin is a Digital Content Creator and Social Media Strategist, also our Business Columnist Director and graduating from the University of Colorado in December. Feel free to connect with him on some of the platforms he is on: Twitter, Instagram @Bramstedder, & Linkedin

Gavin B. Griffin Director of Business Bloggers
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