There’s good news for socially-active brands trying to avoid spamming audiences. Facebook is going to do it for you. As a result of annual user surveys, the company announced changes to its newsfeed algorithm, which will limit the reach of organically distributed promotional posts. The three post types include those that:
- Solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Reuse the exact same content from ads
The move supports Facebook’s necessity to continue engaging users long-term. Just as the site determines which posts users will see by their friends, it will also distribute brand content matching user interests, while blocking ads. Paid ads, which have a much wider and more targeted reach are intended to be the method of distributing promotions through the site. Facebook’s ‘anti-spam’ goal was also demonstrated last year by its crack down on ‘click baiting,’ or posts that lead users to websites that don’t provide real value.
For brands that already understand best practices in maximizing reach, the change won’t have a big impact. Their social success has made it evident that entertaining, thought-provoking, and unique content are the best tools for building organic user engagement. Brands still adjusting to the process now have opportunities to learn more about driving user activity versus driving sales. The fans of your radio brand are likely to be more interested in thoughtful topics about their favourite artists than offers for half-price concert t-shirts. On the other hand, if trying to promote a sweepstakes contest for free concert tickets, paid ads will be much more effective in targeting fans of the artist, who may in turn share it with other fans. Facebook appears to be emphasizing the importance of showing users smart content, in order to help brands retain and build fandom and activity on their pages.
Recommendations for Facebook Posts:
- Make the real value of posts about radio promotions or contests apparent. Will users understand what the offer is and why it’s exciting?
- Thank users for submitting positive reviews of your app, rather than listing off its features or over-emphasizing download links.
- For paid ads, include all features, pricing and supporting links for products or promotions so that the information is available to users in one place.