The New Facebook Rules for Businesses: Pay, or Vanish?

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The New Facebook Rules for Businesses: Pay, or Vanish?

Recently, Facebook announced that in January 2015 they will be making some major updates to the News Feed that can seriously hinder the reach of many businesses on the number one social network.

Will the new Facebook rules affect your business?

If your organization is posting unpaid promotional status updates to Facebook, the answer is yes. According to a recent post in The Wall Street Journal, “As of mid-January, the social network will intensify its efforts to filter out unpaid promotional material in user News Feeds that business have posted as status updates.” Moving forward, any type of promotional posts on Facebook will need to be through paid advertisements and promoted posts.

A promotional status can be anything from “Don’t forget to catch a new episode tonight at 8PM” to “50% off all items from now until midnight,” or any other type of post endorsing your organization and its products or services. From now on, if you want to use promotional posts to reach your audience, you will have to pay for it.

While these new rules will more than likely affect a large number of organizations, these changes could have a monumental impact for small businesses with a tight budget that depend on Facebook promotion for sales and audience interaction. To help clear up some of the confusion, Brian Boland, a Facebook Vice President, explained the reasoning behind the controversial decision:

“Facebook surveyed several hundred thousand users, who complained that they were seeing too many useless promotional posts in their News Feeds. While some were paid ads, about two-thirds were posts from brand pages, so Facebook decided to downgrade their chances of showing up in the News Feed.”

To sum up the decision making process, Boland stated, “We’re responding to what people want to see. An ad maker doesn’t want to serve content to people who don’t want to see those posts.”

In addition, Boland explained how paid advertising allows businesses to better track results as opposed to simple page posts. Organizations can look at the results and see if their money is being well spent and if they’re getting the reach they’ve paid for. From there, businesses can see if Facebook advertising is worth the cost and time. “If we are not growing your business, stop spending money with us.”

How will the new Facebook rules affect your business? If you need any help in the transition, or if you have any questions regarding the upcoming changes, please reach out to me directly at JohnF@GrowSocially.com.

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