With organic reach in the single digits and engagement plummeting over the past year, businesses aren’t sure how Facebook will fit into their 2015 marketing strategy.

Do you abandon ship and set up shop on another social platform? Do you ramp up email marketing? Do you cave to the pay-for-play model on Facebook to start advertising and boosting posts?facebook for business in 2015

The organic reach shrink on Facebook continues

Unfortunately, it’s not going to get any easier with Facebook’s recent announcement of looming changes for Pages for business. With recent outcries from consumers over the proliferation of advertisements and promotional content in their Newsfeeds, Facebook is again addressing these concerns like they did with a recent clickbait update.

“What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads.”

It sounds counterintuitive, but if you think about it – it really isn’t.  Facebook ads are regulated, must be approved, and are held to standards that organic posts by Pages are not. Facebook can control how many ads you see in your newsfeed and adjusts ads appearing based on whether you hide them, mark as irrelevant, etc.

According to users, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

(Quoted from Facebook’s announcement)

This update does not appear to affect promoted posts or traditional Facebook advertising, but organic posts. I believe that in January 2015, Newsfeed real estate for all Facebook pages will diminish to some extent regardless of post quality.

How to Make the Best of This Facebook Update:

  • Run super-targeted ads and tailored promoted posts on your most important content.
  • Focus on building an email marketing list or diversify to another social platform.
  • Keep organic posts relevant, contextual, conversational and non-promotional.
  • Communicate and nurture the engaged followers that you do still have that see your posts on Facebook.
  • Stop using Facebook as a platform to push your sales. Instead use it as a platform to engage with your customers (like it was intended to be).

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for owners of business Pages. Facebook is investing in Pages to continue to develop what their offerings. After all, Pages owners are the ones paying for Facebook ads, so it is in their best interest to keep them on Facebook.

One example of this is the recent addition of menu sections for restaurant Pages. Since your Facebook Page is often one of the first touch points for a new customer, how can you optimize that experience and keep them coming back and engaged? That could be developing custom tabs, ensuring that your hours and business information is updated, and offering unique discounts to Facebook users.

If your engagement from your followers is good, or even improving, I think you will be able to maintain a decent level of visibility. Keep the points above in mind when creating posts, and you will fair as well as the best as this change rolls out in January.

As Facebook marketing gets more difficult and nuanced, consider getting an expert’s advice. We have excellent social and paid search teams at Web Talent that would be happy to help you out – just get in touch or connect with us on Facebook!