Here we go again! Facebook has announced another change to News Feed aimed at reducing the amount of overly promotional content.
Specifically, posts with this type of content:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product 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
At this point I’ve pretty much given up on Facebook organic for most types of posts and accepted the fact that we’ll have to pay for much of that content. Don’t build your house on rented land. The free ride is over. Blah, blah, blah.
The thing that really raised an eyebrow is the third type of post they mentioned, “Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.”
As marketers, we like being able to test ideas before releasing them out in the wild. Here’s how that can work with Facebook today, prior to this upcoming change:
- Write a new blog article that you want to promote
- Create variations of dark posts as ads to test things like headlines and graphics
- Take the winning ad and post it organically
Smart, right? You know which version of your post will get better engagement because you tested it with ads first. When the Facebook News Feed updates launch in January, you may have to kiss this method goodbye.
Here’s the thing, Facebook wasn’t specific. It said “exact same content“. Does that mean it knows if I recreate the ad character for character rather than clicking publish in Power Editor? How much variation will they allow? Can we add a space or change punctuation? Will they see that as trying to beat the system and penalize us even more? We’ll find out in January.
In the mean time, here are examples from Facebook of the type of posts that you’ll definitely have to pay for:
My guess is that Facebook understands that this is going to fire up page owners. I found variations of this article on three of their owned news sources. The version on Facebook for Business spends half of the article explaining why Facebook Pages are still important and about the investments they are making to improve them. In other words, “we know that we just stepped on your toes … AGAIN … but please stay!”
Without users, Facebook is nothing. It’s in their best interest to keep the users happy so they stick around, even if it means continuing to reduce reach for brands. As long as Facebook keeps its users, brands will be there.
Now it’s your turn — Will these updates change the way you run your Facebook Page? Leave me a comment below.