It’s no surprise that along with rapid advances in technology and apps, social media giant Facebook (who also owns Instagram) is making big changes too. These changes directly affect how you use social media to promote your business.

There are around 1.28 billion daily active users on Facebook (source: Facebook 31/3/17). That’s a lot of people to keep happy every day. It’s also huge potential for any-sized business around the world and while many businesses pay Facebook on monthly basis to boost posts in order to maximize reach, create targeted advertisements and sell products or services directly, many of us simply rely on Facebook to get our messages out there.

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These changes affect how your messages reach your target market, if they reach anyone at all, so it’s vital that you take note and read on. The changes, some that have already been made, are a direct result of Facebook polling its users to see what we want, how we want it and what we definitely don’t want to see.

Here’s what these changes mean for your business:

 

  1. Overly promotional posts are now a BIG No No…

We’ve all done it, at some point: “Click Like and Share this post if you want to win a brand new…” You may have seen a massive drop in these kind of posts recently? That’s because Facebook has decided enough is enough. It’s users don’t like it. Your post reach and your future post reaches will be hugely reduced if you keep up these overly promotional tricks.

That’s not the only type of post that Facebook is clamping down on either. Calls to action are also a bad now i.e. asking people to do other things: “Call us today,” “Comment below if you want…” etc. Our list of attempts to entice our potential customers goes on. Well, no more. If you regularly post call’s to action such as this, you’ll gradually see your posts reaches reduce to zero. That means no one, among the 1.28 billion people around the world, will read anything from you. That’s a pretty massive thing to miss out on!

Overly promotional posts relate to Instagram too – as Facebook owns Instagram, you can assume that all changes are being rolled out across the board.

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2. Links to your website and other sites…

While it looks good when Facebook pulls up and image from your website or blog with a short excerpt, saving you doing too much post writing, Facebook has started down-grading any posts that divert away from the platform itself. It makes sense really, why would Facebook want it’s users being taken away to another website when they’re happily totting up some massive active user scores?

The best way to provide a relevant link to your website i.e. if you’re talking about a new blog post that you’ve written or your latest portfolio images is to directly upload (without copying the wording from your website) any images onto your Facebook page as a secondary portfolio. It’ll make sure that customers can see your work quickly and without the inconvenience of opening up another tab or being diverted unexpectedly. The same applies to content on other websites such as YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.

TOP TIP: If you want to provide a link, add it to your comments as Facebook won’t downgrade your post.

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3. Relevance scores

If you’ve heard of the term, it’s something that Facebook has focused on for a while but only recently has become more strict with. Basically, your posts on your business page are far more likely to see higher reach values if you post topics that are organic, relevant to your target audience and provide useful, non-sales information.

For example, if you sell pet products, a clever way to use your Facebook page would be to take photos of a ‘happy customer’ i.e. a puppy with a new harness. Images or video content directly uploaded to Facebook are really good for audience reach and especially ones that customers can empathise or relate to. For this example, your potential customers may think, “aww, that’s so cute. My little puppy would look amazing in one of those.” There you have it. A sale. However, had you written, “new puppy harness for £9.99,” with a link to the product on your own website, the effect would’ve been less dramatic and your post would’ve been downgraded, despite it being relevant. Anything completely irrelevant, despite good intentions, will reach virtually no-one.

 

There you have it. Three ways to avoid catastrophe with your Facebook business page. There are also changes that have affected the Facebook advertising rules but we can’t sit here writing all day. There’s work to be done! If you’d like more information or want to speak to us about social media for your business, GET IN TOUCH.

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