You may have heard a rumor that Facebook is planning on dropping all non-promoted content from users' news feeds. Worried about how this will affect your business page? Don't panic just yet.
Facebook is, first and foremost, a business. They aren't necessarily trying to squeeze every last dime out of businesses, although the side effect of changes their users are asking for do benefit them financially.
Facebook users have been asking to see more friends and family posts and less public page content for a long time, Facebook's response is to cater to them in order to avoid an overall loss of user-ship. In response, they've added a second news feed to the platform, allowing users to switch between friends and family (AND paid adverts) and public pages. The beta version has been released for testing in six countries including Sri Lanka, Slovakia and Serbia. The test results in just a couple days are already showing bad news for public pages with most reporting a 60-80% reduction in engagement.
This is not a new problem for business owners. Social media is the present and future of effective marketing, and has long been accessible for small business owners as an affordable marketing option. Unfortunately, Facebook has made several damaging changes over the last couple of years, most notably the changes that went into affect in spring of 2017, drastically reducing organic reach from public pages.
So what's a business owner to do? Particularly, small business owners? It's going to be tough, and may require a closer look at your business' marketing budget and strategy. As of yet, Facebook hasn't hinted at increasing ad costs-Yet. And they didn't after the changes last spring. Which means it's still a relatively affordable marketing option, especially compared to traditional print and radio marketing.
The real trick for already time-strapped businesses, will be developing effective ads and campaigns and understanding the best ways to target their demographic. Add this strain to the increasing need to create eye-catching visual ads and videos, and you start to realize just how difficult this transition could be for small businesses.
So what can you do to prepare? You could just wait and see. There hasn't been any official statement from Facebook saying these changes will be made across the board. It is, however, a safe bet that changes WILL continue for public page owners. Don't wait for those changes to happen. Develop a strategy now. Understand your demographic and how to target them with Facebook ads. Focus on creating and implementing a few high quality, engaging posts a week to 'boost', but for now, plan to continue with daily posts to keep your page active, informative and engaging for potential visitors.
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