There's never a dull moment when it comes to Facebook. They've once again added new features and announced a change to posts for business pages in 2015. A big announcement. You need to know these changes and adapt your strategy otherwise to be honest, you'll be wasting your time marketing on Facebook if you don't. This post starts with the most important change, but there are more so be sure to read the entire post. Here's what you need to know -
Starting in 2015 (however it seems this has already started to roll out) Facebook will no longer show posts in fan's News Feed that are 100% promotional, for free. That means if you want a promotional post to be seen on Facebook, you'll need to pay for it.
I'm a member of an advanced Facebook marketing group and last week I asked this question, I think you'll have the same questions that I do.
This may or may not surprise you, but no one really had an answer of what would be considered "promotional" and we all agree, there is a grey area that we won't really have clarity on until next month.
What we do know is if you post about your store or products saying "Come in today!" "Call to buy!" "Click to buy now!" or "Sale ends today!" the post will not be shown in anyone's News Feed, unless you advertise it. We also know that if you run a contest or sweepstakes on your Facebook page that has no real context it will not be shown organically (for free) but we're not entirely sure what will fly and what will not at this moment.
So what the heck should you do now? Here's a breakdown of what I suggest.
- Change your Facebook posting strategy. Now more than ever it's important to post engaging content - things like relevant questions, tips, quotes, advice, facts, etc., that relates to your perfect customer. Social Edge members make sure you fill out your Customer Profile Worksheet to help identify what kind of content to post.
- When it comes to posts about your store and products, test to see what gets organic reach (gets seen for free). Since posts that are 100% promotional will not be seen for free, try posting a new product arrival and teach what the product does, but leave out price and salesy copy. Or create photo albums of new arrivals and test to see what the organic reach is of the album.
- Test store and products posts that are not 100% promotional and target only certain groups of people who like your page. This is new to Facebook and it's important to test this feature because it does limit who your posts are shown to as it narrows down your likes, it does not add in new targets. However, this could be a way to get better organic reach (free visibility) and engagement. (screenshots on how to do this below)
- Use Facebook Ads. In my opinion, if you don't use Facebook ads in 2015, you're wasting your time on Facebook. As a retailer, you need to promote sales, events and new product arrivals. But with these changes, no one is going to see your posts unless you push them to your page using email, in-store signage and ads. Ideally, you're using all of these outlets to market posts on Facebook. Social Edge members, on December 18th, 2014 a brand new Facebook Ads Training Course will be live in membership. This will completely walk you through the ads platform, help you understand which ads to use for your page, how to save time and money, and how to significantly increase your Facebook marketing efforts. If you're not interested in learning Facebook ads and would just like my team to manage for you, click here to contact us.
Here's a few screenshots of where to find the new Audience Targeting feature and how you can use it to focus your posts towards a more targeted audience, without paying for it. NOTE: A few more Facebook changes are below these images, keep reading so you know what's going on!
With this change, it's critical to fully understand the Facebook ads platform before spending money there. Facebook ads are incredibly targeted and effective, if used correctly. Please get trained, I don't want you to waste your time and money!
If you'd like to read the full announcement from Facebook, click here.
ADDITIONAL FACEBOOK CHANGES:
Currently being rolled out over the next few weeks in the U.S. and worldwide next year, you'll be able to add CTA (call to action) buttons to pages. These buttons can link to any page on your Facebook page, or to outside websites like your site.
These CTA buttons should align with your business goals. For example: in 2015 you'd like to build your email list (this should be one of your goals! email marketing is highly effective for retailers!) so you'll use the 'Sign Up' CTA button for people to join your email list to receive a special offer like $ or % off. Or if a goal of yours is to increase appointments for interior design clients or men who are going to propose, you can use a 'Book Now' CTA button. Here's an example of where the CTA button will be located on your page:
There will be seven CTA buttons available, which are:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now (great for eCommerce retailers!)
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
Finally, Facebook has added the ability to add an end date to a post on your page. This means the post will stop showing in the News Feed once it's 'expired.' Currently this is for desktop only and not available on mobile devices, yet.
For example: on a post about an in-store event, set the post end date to be after your event. Here's where to find it on your page Timeline:
With all these changes, if you have any questions please leave a comment below in this post. If you have a retailer friend, please send this post to them so they know what to expect in 2015 and how to leverage these changes.
It's important to change your strategy and learn what will be most effective for your business when using Facebook in 2015. Please let me know how I can help you.