As the New Year approaches it is traditionally a time of looking for new opportunities, new directions to take or of reinforcing our plans for the path we are already on. However, sometimes opportunities for some mean challenges for others.
From January there are going to be two new, major challenges for people working in internet marketing. Today I’m going to address the challenge you’ll face if you plan to promote your business on Facebook.
Facebook have already released a statement regarding promotional content. Essentially they surveyed some Facebook users and produced the conclusion that people don’t like promotional content appearing in their news feeds. As a result Facebook have said that from January they will change their algorithm so that less promotional content will appear and that “Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
This step should not really come as a surprise. Facebook is now a public company with shareholders who expect a return. As with Google it seems the opportunity to promote most effectively is moving from free to paid advertising.
So with organic reach about to fall, how should we react?
We cannot change the decisions Facebook makes, in fact from their point of view the proposed changes seem to make good business sense. We just have to decide whether to stay with this platform or look elsewhere, and that should be dictated by the results we get in 2015.
There’s also a lesson to be learned here. Don’t organise your business so that you are reliant on other platforms. Facebook, Twitter and every other social media platform can change their terms and conditions in a moment and there’s nothing we can do about it. Instead of getting frustrated that the days of widespread, free promotion may be over, work on building your own digital assets. Instead of having a business reliant on someone else’s business, use the most appropriate platforms to drive readers to your own blog, websites, and email lists.
You can also regard this change as an opportunity to focus on the quality of the content you are posting online. Make it part of your customer acquisition funnel and good enough to invest money in promoting. Get people from the social media platform, whether it is Facebook, Twitter or any other, and get those readers onto your email list. You’ll have more control over how you communicate with them.
The fact is Facebook ads can drive some of the most targeted promotions online. It is still an opportunity worth considering. As with any other opportunity in your business, try to make the most of it, monitor your ROI, and cut your losses if it doesn’t work for you.
Next week I’ll be looking at the Tax changes ahead if you sell digital products to anyone in Europe.