Small business owners, do you have your Facebook marketing down to a science? Do you routinely post promotional content that generates significant visibility—and website referral traffic? If so, then that’s something to be proud of, but also something to safeguard and protect. And doing so might become a bit harder in 2015: Facebook has announced some significant changes to its algorithms, and—to be completely blunt—they’re probably going to cause your organic reach to plummet.
About The Change
If you want to read Facebook’s full explanation of the algorithmic change, you can check out the full announcement here. The gist of it is this, though: Business pages will see their organic reach take a sharp decline, in particular for posts that are deemed “overly promotional.” In other words, if your posts are pushy and salesy, or if they come across more like ads than actual creative and engaging posts, then beware: They’re not going to appear in nearly as many newsfeeds, and thus they won’t have nearly the same kind of effect.
This may seem like fairly bleak news for business owners, but understand where Facebook is coming from. This move is said to be the direct result of user feedback, and it makes sense that users would want to see fewer ads and fewer brazenly promotional posts in their newsfeeds. Facebook, by turn, is trying to provide the best product possible—and unfortunately, small business owners are the ones who will pay the price for it.
Two Ways To Ensure Engagement
If you’re worried about your Facebook reach being limited, take heart: There are a couple of ways around this problem.
The first, of course, is to throw Facebook a bone. The algorithmic changes in question apply only to organic reach, not to paid promotion. If you’ve got a promotional post and you really want it to be seen, you can just pony up and throw some money behind it, and rest assured that it will be seen in newsfeeds.
The other approach is a bit subtler, but also more sustainable: Start doing some true content marketing. Give the promotional posts a rest and get creative, offering your users some content that’s simply helpful, entertaining, and value-adding. If Facebook doesn’t see the content as overly promotional, you won’t be penalized.
Ultimately, of course, you’re going to need to implement both strategies in tandem.