In 2015, Facebook is changing. Again. This time the change affects business posts in the News Feed directly. According to Facebook, posts that are too salesy will be visible far less often.
The Changes To Facebook
On the way out are:
● Posts that push sales of a product or app
● Posts that push contests without any context
● Posts that replicate Facebook ad content
The timing for these changes is January 2015.
Why is Facebook changing?
There are a lot of reasons Facebook is making it harder for brands to show up organically. One of the biggest is the amount of competition in the space. Imagine how thick a daily magazine would be if the entire world could publish in it and every advertiser could advertise in it.
The way consumers are using Facebook is changing, but the key is they’re still using it. When consumers hear of a new brand, they may check the website, but they’re also very likely to check out the Facebook page, the Instagram feed, Twitter, Pinterest. How many fans does this brand have? Social media has become an instant credibility check.
What’s Next for Facebook and Brands?
This is the time you need Facebook and social media more than ever. To be specific, your brand needs Facebook and social media strategy more than ever. Let me explain.
There are two main aspects of social strategy that are must-haves for every brand: content strategy and customer service strategy.
Your brand needs a story that goes beyond the tangible benefits of the product or service – that’s the content strategy. There’s a conversation happening related to your brand on social media, whether you’re active or not. The best brands are fully engaged in that conversation and help shape it. That’s customer service strategy. These strategies have been around since the advent of social media, and they’re as true today as ever.
This demonstrates the importance for a strategic plan for your Facebook strategy. Gone are the days when you can push sales all day long. Brands need to focus on their content. What story does your brand want to tell? Does your brand need to post every day? Facebook says it well in the article that brands “should think about their page as a cornerstone of their online identity.”
Once your brand passes the credibility test, your job as a social media marketer converts to customer service agent – with the ultimate goal of converting that customer from fan to brand advocate. No brand is perfect. Customers will always complain. What separates the great brands from everyone else is how they respond to complaints, comments and questions. It comes down to having a structure in place and a team who knows how to implement it.
The Other Platforms
Certainly Facebook garners the most social media attention from brands, but the key to having a genuine story online is employing all of the appropriate social networks effectively. Does it make sense to put your B2B software brand on Instagram? Maybe not, but all of the platforms need to be strategically evaluated for each brand.
So we’re fairly certain the Facebook changes in 2015 do not mark the end of social media for brands. Quite the opposite. It just helps us emphasize this question a bit more to clients and prospects: Which combination of platforms and content will help you tell your brand’s story most authentically? We’d love to help you find out.
What should your brand do to prepare for these changes? Check out Part Two with five ways to improve your social media based on the latest Facebook changes.