Game Changer: New Facebook Rules Coming January 1st
- Posted on: Dec 9 2014
Controls Are A-Changin’…
Promoting your business in any industry today relies heavily on social media, namely Facebook. Your customers use their News Feeds as a means to connect with friends, as well as businesses that they follow, via posts, photos, and events. In an effort to best cater to user needs, Facebook will decrease the visibility of all posts from Pages that too frequently push promotional material starting this January.
Imagine that customers viewing your Facebook Page posts are TV viewers and your promotional posts are commercials. If your TV station (or Page) shows too many commercials (or promo posts), your viewers are going to change the channel (or leave your Page). Not only does posting more promotions drive customers away from your Page, Facebook will stop allowing your posts to appear in News Feeds altogether.
Through ongoing user surveys including hundreds of thousands of respondents, Facebook found that users see too many promotional posts in their News Feeds in addition to promotional ads. Currently, Facebook limits the number of ads that users view but does not take into account ad-type material in regular posts. This will all change within the next month! Now is the time to start reducing the number of promotional posts that your business distributes and find alternate methods to engage your followers.
What is a Promotional Post?
To give your business an idea of what a promotional post may entail, here is the list of traits that survey respondents specifically identified (as published by Facebook):
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or service, or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
An example of an actual promotional post may be helpful for you to get a better picture as well:
Until Facebook publishes more information on what is considered to be too many promotional posts, our best advice would be to carefully limit the amount of posts with seasonal specials, product sale information, and event invitations.
ABC’s of Non-Promotional Posts
Our Advice Media Social Media team does not want you to be discouraged! There are a variety of ways to compose engaging posts without including a promotion. Here are just a few examples:
- Articles – Link to articles pertaining to industry-related news. Customers want to know that your practice is up-to-date on the latest trends.
- Behind-the-Scenes – Share a photo showing what’s happening at your practice (i.e. staff birthday parties, holiday decorating, team candids, etc.). Social media users tend to love these types of posts!
- Creative – Post a graphic with advice or a joke regarding your medical field. A clever cartoon can go a long way to foster a positive impression of your practice.
Keep in mind that avoiding promotional posts does not necessarily mean that fewer customers will call or visit your practice. The goal should be to maintain a positive relationship with social media users, and less promotional material is what they are currently asking for. Let’s do our best to respond swiftly to customer needs. Happy posting!