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What the Upcoming Facebook Changes Mean to You – Industry Experts Weigh In

What the Upcoming Facebook Changes Mean to You – Industry Experts Weigh In

Tired of seeing too many promotional posts in your news feed? Facebook is making changes and we have industry experts weighing in on how these changes will affect marketers going forward.

For background, I highly recommend you read the official release from Facebook here but to save you a little time, I’ll summarize.  Facebook has determined, through polling of their users, that it would be an improvement to have less business promotional posts showing in the News Feed.

This means less organic reach for businesses who uses Pages on Facebook to distribute content, posts, photos, promotions, etc…   As many of you know, the organic reach of Pages content has dwindled in the last year – with common organic reach numbers around 1% or less.   We all know the feeling, crafting what you feel is a great post for readers interested in your business – only to see it reach a handful of readers (compared to your overall “Likes” on your Page.)

Our industry holds a wide range of opinions and expertise, so rather than us just tell you one side of a story or one view on how this will change marketing on Facebook – I put out a call for comment to our industry leaders.   I hope you enjoy the responses we received and they help you craft your own strategy for marketing on Facebook in 2015.

From All Inclusive Marketing, Carolyn Kmet summarizes how to focus on engagement, not promotional posts.

Many companies believe that social media marketing means maintaining an active and engaged presence on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc. However, in my opinion, social media is not about having a presence on specific platforms that may or not be around 50 years from now. Social media is about engaging people, regardless of platform. This isn’t done through promotional posting, such as, “We’re running free shipping,” or “Check out our new products.” Engagement is accomplished by creating such a positive experience that consumers are inspired to spread the word. If a company is impacted by Facebook’s new algorithm limiting “promotional posts,” then their social media priorities are misplaced.

From an affiliate marketing point of view, Facebook’s decision looks to be a beneficial one. Companies will have to rely on their affiliates to relay promotional messages.

AvantLink’s Chad Waite explains how the changes lower the value of building communities on Facebook

Ever since Facebook’s ending of the EdgeRank algorithm in 2013, changes began to be put in place that started to limit the value of building an external community on a Facebook page. This is especially apparent in the recent changes to the organic syndication of page content into newsfeeds without the use of ad dollars. For social marketers who have no only spent countless hours curating those groups, but working in a social strategy into an overall larger marketing plan, the fact that these communities can no longer reach their participant’s main news feed is discouraging to say the least.

To me, it undermines the value of including robust public representation of a company/brand’s presence on Facebook. Why encourage your website visitors to join you on Facebook when they essentially become unreachable without paying the price?

This move feels the same as Google’s withholding of referral search terms in Analytics, replacing it with “Not Provided”…except for paid ad searches.

Alternatively, Prosperent’s Ashley Coombe feels that it is a fantastic change, and explains why.

This is a fantastic change. That seems odd for me to say, as a social media marketer who uses Facebook more than any other social platform, but it’s true. I always think of Facebook algorithm updates as an opportunity for skillful marketers to shine.

Bottom line: don’t worry. If you’re doing things right, you won’t be affected. If you’re doing things wrong, you won’t be affected (because people have already been ignoring you). If you are affected, it won’t cost you a lot to fix the issue.

Use this announcement to revisit your Facebook strategy and make your content interesting, or use ads for your existing successful promotional content.

For more information on why you will or will not be affected, click here. http://ashleybcoombe.com/will-your-posts-be-penalized-by-facebooks-recent-announcement-2/

From a retailer’s perspective, Top 100 Internet Retailer Fanatics weighs in with how these changes specifically help or hurt their Affiliates promoting Fanatics products.

From a merchant perspective with a number of affiliates who primarily drive traffic and sales through their Facebook groups, pages, and posts, this new change limiting promotional posts will be rough for a number of those affiliates. Many of them took a hit with other recent Facebook updates but this one will probably be the most painful. The affiliate industry will once again need to become smarter with how they use social media and will have to improve on creating engaging content that isn’t necessarily promotional. The affiliates that can do that will be the ones who will succeed with Facebook.

Want to weigh in? Feel free to comment below – our industry holds a lot of great opinions so we’d love to highlight yours.

While you are here, take a look at industry resources to help you get prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

PMA Industry Resources for Black Friday and Cyber Monday | The PMA

PMA Industry Resources for Black Friday and Cyber Monday | The PMA

The Performance Marketing Association has collected a number of resources from our members designed to help you, as either a retailer or an affiliate marketer, get more out of your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and remaining Q4 strategies.
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Brian Littleton - President 2015 PMA Board of Directors

Brian is the founder and CEO of ShareASale – a retail Performance Marketing Network with over 4,000 Merchants. Brian is a three-time winner of the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year and current President of the PMA Board.

Latest posts by Brian Littleton - President 2015 PMA Board of Directors (see all)

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