Facebook announced this November that users will see less number of overly promotional posts in their News Feeds from January 2015. As part of an ongoing survey, it was found that people wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they cared about rather than promotional content. Though the decision to reduce overly promotional posts will clean up the News Feed, it may leave Facebook marketers in a dilemma as they can no longer create as many ads in a similar fashion and overtly promotional content.
As per the official blog post, Facebook users consider the following types of posts as too promotional.
- Posts that solely persuade people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that persuade people to enter promotions and sweepstakes without real context
- Posts that reuse exactly same content from ads
If the News Feed update released in August targeted on crushing click-baiting headlines and clean up News Feed, the new endeavor is expected to reduce the organic distribution of this type of posts over time. As per Facebook, the new change will not increase the number of ads that show up on users’ feeds. The intention is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories including Page posts in users’ News feeds. The popular social network also anticipates that while Pages that post a lot of overly promotional posts will see a significant reduction in distribution, the majority of Pages will not be affected by this change.
Overall, it is time for Facebook marketers to think beyond promotional content and focus on more effective content marketing. According to Brian Boland, who leads the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook, organic content has value on Facebook and Pages that provide great content that teaches users something, entertains them, make them think or simply adds value to their lives can reach people in News Feed. Thus, effective content marketing relies on creating and distributing content that is very useful for users such as explaining a procedure, FAQs and so on.
Boland adds that when businesses use paid media to achieve their goals, Facebook can help them reach broader audiences more predictably than organic content, just like any other marketing platform. Thus, Facebook marketers can also choose the advertising options available with Facebook and optimize them to their needs with the help of experts to avoid significant fall in their ad distribution.