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12 Dec

Promotional Posts Face Penalty From Facebook

When it comes to business pages, Facebook has always had a tight fist over the operations. This time too, Facebook may crack down on business pages that use the ‘Click-bait’ approach for their organic posts. Yes, this means posts that may contain words like “Download NOW!”, “Buy it now!”, and similar content that come across as spam marketing will be in the line of fire from Facebook.

HOW DID THIS COME UP?
Well, according to TechCrunch, a study of over thousands of users was found to disapprove of promotional content in the organic posts from the Pages they had liked. This is when Facebook decided to revise the rules for posts containing such annoying marketing tactics.

HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU?
To put it plainly and simply, your organic posts will fare well if they do not contain any promotional terms or aggressive marketing jargon. Simple, general, and posts that personally connect to your fans will be safe. In light of this, your organic traffic may drop a few notches as your post may not have the reach that paid posts have.

HOW TO COUNTER IT?
This move by Facebook means that you may have to change your strategies and come up with more innovative ways to engage with your audience. The fall in organic reach is bound to drop but you can sustain it through non-paid posts that keep your audience loyal and interested in the page. Content that drives word-of-mouth or increases referrals to the page will be the key way to hook your audience and to keep the momentum going inspite of the drawback.

Content that has reasonable context and a relatable message to the audience is the way to go now. Your organic post and ads will oviously have different communication terms to your audience.

WHAT DOES FACEBOOK SAY?
Facebook seems to have done a volte-face with this new rule. Few years back, Facebook started sponsored ads that would increase your reach to people interested in the particular business/page field. However, this brought about competition for those who were unable to post ads. This further lead to these pages using promotional tactics to attract the audience’s attention.

Facebook has defined ‘promotional posts’ as:

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

Now, since the audience is irritated with such posts, Facebook has decided to reduce such posts from the audienc’s timeline. Businesses have been directed to refer to Facebook’s Page publishing tips and best practices to appropriately utilize the functions.

There is no clear communication as of yet from Facebook as to ‘how’ or ‘what’ the penalty to brands using promotional content in their non-paid ads are. For now, one can venture a guess that the brands posts will just be shunted out of the audience’s newsfeed.

HOW IS THIS GOOD?
For one, Facebook has always seen that its users get maximum value. Through this measure, Facebook is actually helping brands/business to bond with their audience in a more human way rather than a profit-sale-based method. Marketing is more than simply ‘selling’ isn’t it? That’s what Facebook is driving at and in a way it does make sense.

The downside? Organic reach may plummet. On the brighter side, brands get to create meaningful content and build deeper bonds with their audience and increase their ‘Likes’ for Pages through real engagement.

WHEN WILL IT BE APPLIED?
This new development is said to begin from January, 2015 onward.

THE WAY AHEAD
This update has comet to the forefront now as many brands have either misunderstood or are flouting the point on ‘promoting’ posts by Facebook. Facebook in its Page publishing tips and best practices has clearly mentioned in one of its points that you can Publicize exclusive discounts and promotions with ads. Those who are smart enough to read between the lines will see that Facebook meant that promotional content is to be reserved for ‘ads’ only and not organic posts that reflect on the audience’s newsfeed.

Facebook, infact, still has business Pages at heart that prompted them to state in their update:
“Given the substantial traffic to Pages, we are exploring ways to build more features into Pages. A lot of this is in response to how we’re seeing people interact with business Pages. Some of these interactions include messaging to communicate with a business directly or browsing video and photo content. We’re also exploring ways to better customize Pages based on the industry a business is in…”

So, we at Digital Republik advise you to not lose heart over this news. Navigate Facebook’s rules adroitly to grow and maintain your audience base with valuable messages.

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