Facebook has announced that they are “reducing overly promotional page posts in news feed.” Are we to look at this as finishing blow to those still squeezing out free promotion via their Facebook Pages, or is this an opportunity for advertisers to gain more valuable real estate in users’ news feeds?
Here’s an example of a promotional page post from Facebook:
The answer is unclear
The stated purpose of this update (taking place in January) is to give users what they’re asking for and declutter their news feeds. This means page posts deemed promotional will have their organic reach axed. With fewer promotional posts appearing organically, paid posts will have more promotional real estate.
Here’s the issue
Facebook’s advertising platform is built upon targeting, and one of the most valuable opportunity advertisers have is sharing their offer with the audiences that others have cultivated. Without the opportunity for pages to promote organically to their fans, the value of a fan base on Facebook is further diminished. Fortunately smaller pages can’t be targeted by third party advertisers, but grow your fan base large enough and you’re rewarded by losing proprietorship over that audience.
What to do
This is going to frustrate a lot of people whose businesses rely on their Facebook Pages. They’re either going to need to explore other options or learn how to effectively use Facebook Advertising.
At the very least that means paying to promote to their own audiences and setting up Facebook Conversion Pixels to track the results. Once you enter a pay-to-play situation, not only is it simple to track your ROI– it’s foolish not to. They only way you can adequately determine if it’s worth it to stay with Facebook is to know if it’s profitable.
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