Anger_CoverI have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, not only personally, but also professionally when I have to use it for our clients. My personal Facebook feed is just a flood of engagement announcements, and wedding and pregnancy announcements, so I don’t care if I miss a status update.

But businesses use the social media network as a tool to communicate and engage with their fans and customers. So what happens when your content isn’t seen? Customers miss out on the news, specials, product information, promotions, looks behind the scenes, clever graphics and contests your business is sharing. That’s not good news. Even worse, the low organic reach your company Facebook page is getting is about to get even lower. At this point you’re probably wondering how that is even possible, but keep reading.

According to a blog post Facebook published, “overly promotional” posts on brand pages will have significantly less visibility on the site starting in January of 2015. So expect your organic reach to drop even more than it already has. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you need to know why no one will be viewing, sharing or liking your posts. Facebook described “overly promotional” posts as the following:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context

3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

This came directly from the company’s blog post. Below is the example Facebook uses to describe overly promotional posts. Sure, the content is a little spam-y (I wouldn’t have included the bit about the DVDs), but it looks similar to what your business might post to promote a product or service to your customers.

Overly Promotional Post on Facebook

Here’s a direct quote from Facebook’s blog post for why they are lowering organic reach for overly promotional posts. “What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts.”

I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. The whole point of having a company Facebook page is to use it to market your business, products and services to potential customers, fans and friends. Also, why would someone “like” a Facebook page if they didn’t want to see the brand’s posts? Are you lost, because I am and this is my area of expertise. So what’s the solution? Coincidentally, Facebook did not give us a “good example” of a post for a company Facebook page. Instead they offered the alternative no one wants to participate in. Pay-to-play. Want your content to get seen? Pony up some cash for Facebook ads and you’re golden! Brands are Facebook’s largest source of income, so the more Facebook can force businesses to spend money advertising on the site, the more money goes into their pockets. Great for them, not so great for the rest of us.

Here’s my advice. Since Facebook is pretty much destroying any chance for organic reach, don’t focus your efforts on Facebook. It’s that simple! Put your marketing efforts into other outlets. Spend more time beefing up your blog. Use your blog to drive traffic directly to your website instead of Facebook. Show Facebook who is really in control and delete your Facebook page! Ok, that might have been a little drastic, but Copyblogger took that approach and it seems to be working for them (learn more about that here). The point is, Facebook isn’t the end-all be-all of social media marketing. At this point, it’s just a matter of keeping your page updated in case anyone new stumbles upon it. If anyone has any successful tips or tricks for sharing content on Facebook that actually gets more than 100 views please comment below!

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