How to overcome Facebook’s ruling on promotional posts with content marketing

Back in November 2014, Facebook revealed that as soon as the New Year rolled around, it would reduce the number of overly promotional posts in News Feed. In a blog post, Facebook said:

“News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

The social network went on to say that the change would not affect the number of ads people see in their News Feeds, but was more concerned with increasing the relevancy and quality of overall content. However, Facebook-bating (asking for clicks, likes and comments), spammy strategies and pushing users to enter contests will now be cracked down on.

Therefore, numerous brands and businesses are going to find it even harder to generate organic reach and improve audience engagement. Several believe this latest change in policy is to encourage organisations to pay for promoted content, which is by no means an implausible suggestion. However, there are still various ways you can deliver valuable, worthwhile and authentic content to Facebook users. Here’s how:

Keep your posts clear and concise

Even though you’ll want to catch the audience’s eye and tempt them into clicking a content link, there is no need to post an entire or complete synopsis. Instead, keep your posts clear and concise to generate interest and raise eyebrows.

After all, shorter posts tend to perform much better than longer ones. In fact, keeping your posts under 250 characters has been known to result in 60 per cent more engagement.

So remember, give a brief summary of what the content contains and why your audience should be clicking the link. Don’t go into lots of detail or explicitly tell fans to go visit, otherwise you’ll reveal too much and could face punishment from Facebook.

Create custom images

If you’re struggling to attract attention or increase interactions, then images are the way to go. Recent studies have indicated that posting photos on Facebook results in 120 per cent more engagement than your typical text-based update.

These days, people want to instantly absorb information and more often than not, images are the best method to do this. Even if you’ve got a great promotion going on or exciting product news, some people will simply scroll past your written update.

Thus, start to create custom images for Facebook that will complement your existing content. Think of these images as the book covers to your content, so make them eye-catching, compelling and captivating. And even if you’re not the most skilled designer, there are various tools available to help you out.

Capitalise on trending topics

Although it may seem as though Facebook is against you, the social network is implementing various changes that you can capitalise on. One of them is the timeliness of content, which boosts and promotes trending topics to the top of News Feeds.

So, whenever it is appropriate and relevant, try to create and share newsworthy content that covers a hot topic and is trending on the web.

But you’ll still need to be careful about how you go about this. Only tie it in with your brand’s products or services if it is relevant, as fans and Facebook may frown upon content that is simply taking advantage of trending topics for promotional reasons.

Generate exclusive content

There aren’t many better ways to reward your loyal and dedicated fans on Facebook than providing exclusive content. As a result, individual users will feel like they made a good decision by choosing to like your page.

Even though they are part of a wider community, each and every fan wants to feel important. By generating content that is just for them, this can be achieved.

So, think about creating a downloadable whitepaper or special landing page where the content within is a Facebook fan exclusive. Along with gaining more attention, users will be more likely to take action too.

Lose the sales pitch

Despite the fact that Facebook is trying to rid its News Feeds of overly promotional posts, social media is neither the time nor place to be presenting your best sales pitch.

There is still the opportunity to publicise your goods and services through targeted advertisements, but in terms of providing the audience with interesting or informative content, this should not feature any sales patter.

Some people believe that Facebook marketing is on the way out and in many respects, certain businesses will struggle to adapt to these recent changes. However, those that do publish more engaging and valuable updates, unaccompanied by a sales pitch, can still achieve favourable outcomes and results.

Pay for promoted posts

You might not like the idea of paying for promotion on social networks, but with Facebook making it even more difficult to achieve organic exposure, this tactic makes a lot of sense. What’s more, there are several benefits to investing a portion of your marketing budget in Facebook, especially when it comes to targeting.

With the option of reaching out to specific audiences, you’ll know that your chosen posts are reaching the right people. You can also create custom audiences by uploading your opt-in email list. This enables you to keep costs down and increases the possibility of better engagement, as these users will already have a relationship with the brand.

Don’t forget that organic reach is still possible through paid for promotion too, as whenever users engage with your post, their actions will be seen by their friends as well.

Adjust your approach

Irrespective of Facebook’s ongoing changes, it still remains one of the most effective and influential ways to interact with an active audience. Numerous marketers are extremely unhappy with what is going on right now, but rather than criticising or complaining, adjust your approach to Facebook and promotional prosperity can still be achieved.

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