Last November, Facebook announced that beginning in January of 2015, it will limit the amount of “overly promotional” posts that show up organically in followers’ News Feeds. Facebook describes these posts as those that push users to buy a product or install an app, encourage people to enter contests or sweepstakes, or repeat content used in advertising materials. Put simply, Facebook is reducing organizations’ ability to share free, ad-style content with its followers.
This is the latest News Feed change and it comes after more than a year-long trend of declining organic reach on Facebook, serving a potential blow to organizations that rely on the social network as a channel for free ad space. Originally encouraged to build their communities through “Page Likes,” organizations invested time and resources into growing their presence so they could share content across a large audience. Facebook still gives organizations the ability to do that – just not for free.
Currently, only six percent of an organization’s audience sees its Page posts, down from 12 percent in October of 2013. That number will continue to dwindle toward zero once Facebook implements its new policy in January. With these changes looming, now is the time for organizations to redirect their resources toward other audience engagement channels, such as email, to gain a greater return on their investment.
Facebook can certainly remain part of an organization’s integrated campaign, but it’s no longer reliable as a direct communication channel. So, where should organizations focus their efforts? Recently, we developed a guide to help organizations refine their digital communications strategy so they can thrive amidst these change in social media.
Our free ebook, Dealing with Social Media’s Engagement Decline, discusses how organizations can convert Facebook “Likers” to engaged members of a digital audience using alternative digital channels. It also examines how public sector organizations are:
- Transitioning away from social media outlets
- Improving community engagement outside of Facebook
- Reaching more of the right audience with the right message