On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Facebook announced a change to how they will handle Business Page posts in the feed. Their statement read like a ‘Dear John’ letter trying to let an estranged lover down gently. Reading between the lines, though, I predict they are letting us know the natural (organic) reach of posts originating from all Business Pages will soon be zero, nadda, and zip.
This obviously changes how we will use Facebook to promote your business.
Many marketers are (once again) throwing up their hands and crying foul. That’s our immediate and very human reaction. However, when you stop and think about why Facebook is doing this, you begin to see they are desperate to find way to unclutter the feed (the place where you look to see what your friends are up to), and they are returning to their roots: using Facebook to create and maintain personal connections.
With that in mind, here are six guiding principles I'm now sharing with all my clients who use Facebook Business Pages to help promote their business.
1. Edu-tainment: Make sure your posts that are either educational or entertaining. If your posts are promotionally heavy-handed, they won’t return any engagement. That’s always been a rule, but now it’s more relevant than ever.
2. Pay-to-play: Facebook has categorically stated if you want to play, you have to pay. That means if you want your posts to reach eyeballs, you will need to boost them by paying to have them show up. Currently, you can gauge the best posts to boost by looking at the natural reach first, but since there will soon no longer be any natural reach, your best bet, if you have the budget, is to boost all of them for a few dollars each. If that’s too expensive, choose your top ten to boost.
3. Stop using your Business Page: If you are a professional — a realtor or a financial planner, for instance — and you don’t want to pay any advertising to boost your posts, that means you need to depend on the organic reach of your posts. You might want to consider using your personal Facebook Profile rather than your Business Page. There are two caveats: if you plan to do any advertising with Facebook, you will require a Business Page; and, don’t use your Profile to post anything overtly promotional because your Profile can be deactivated or converted into a Business Page without any warning from Facebook.
4. Should you shut down your Business Page entirely? You might be thinking, If I’m not going to be active with my Business Page, shouldn’t I just shut it down? The answer is, “Well, maybe.” Here’s one good reason you shouldn’t. When someone is thinking about doing business with you, they will often seek out information by Googling you. It doesn’t hurt to have a Business Page set up with links to your website and other contact information. Even though your posts will not be broadcast, meaning, they won’t show up in people’s feeds, it isn’t a bad idea to occasionally post evergreen content (content that is not time specific). We don’t yet know how Facebook’s changes will affect where your Page shows up in a Google search, but it’s safe to say your Page will show up for some time.
5. Advertising: Facebook remains one of the best platforms to create targeted advertising campaigns at a low cost, and to test what works best before scaling up your advertising spend. This needs to be included in your marketing budget.
6. Ask your customers to subscribe to the ‘See First’ option: If you know your clients are interested in seeing the content you’re posting on your Business Page and you don’t want them to miss it, Facebook offers a guaranteed way for them to receive your posts in their feed first thing every morning. It is simple thing to set up requiring only two clicks. Ask them to go to your Business Page, then click on ‘Following’, then click on ‘See First’ in the menu. A check mark should appear beside ‘See First’. Here's an example:
I’m putting on a series of workshops in Victoria starting February 3rd. CLICK HERE for more details, or give me a call at 250-516-6287 for more tips & tricks or help with your Business Page.