The New Facebook Rules

Everyone, sound the alarm! Facebook’s new rules started this month!

Whenever a social media platform changes their rules, or anything really, there are always a few people who feel the need to throw themselves on top of their computers and sing, “We Shall Not Be Moved”.

An ongoing survey conducted by Facebook shows that users wanted to see more posts from friend’s pages and less promotional content from businesses. Facebook wants to encourage interaction and engagement with their News Feed, so they are making promotional content less visible.

Users don’t want to constantly be bombarded with advertisements. Would you listen to a radio station that was 90% commercials? No, you would not listen to that station. You would make a point to never visit that station again. That’s what Facebook is trying to avoid. Promotional posts will decrease the organic reach of a business over time, according to the new rules. The exact words are, “fall significantly over time”. So what does that mean for businesses?

Some are saying businesses should steer clear of Facebook due to the new rules, but Facebook isn’t trying to kill off businesses. They are trying to discourage constant promotional input that pretends not to be advertising. In fact, Facebook is adding call to action button options for business pages — 7 different kinds. We’ll be alerting our clients when this feature is rolled out, and working with them to find the best way to use this new Facebook business opportunity. You should plan to discuss it with your web firm, too. (And hey, we could be your web firm. Contact us and let’s talk.)

Facebook is now making a clear distinction between accounts where you can see who your friends are dating and business pages. You could look at it as another step toward honesty and transparency, or at least a chance to see more pictures of babies and cats when that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Still, some are saying that Facebook isn’t worthwhile for business. We can’t agree. There is a growing emphasis on branded communities. In the past, people would buy a product or a service, and they might be fervently loyal to that brand, but they wouldn’t tell more than a few people. Now people want to support a business. They want to know about a brand and keep up with them.

Facebook seems like the perfect way to do this, but they are now expecting businesses to act more like a business, and — let’s be frank — they want businesses to pay for the privilege.

Facebook makes a good point to those considering jumping ship. Facebook is still free for businesses and can be accessed by desktop, tablet, and phone. Pages can be accessed at home or on the go, and there are over 1 billion users on Facebook. It doesn’t make sense to abandon a tool like that.

Basically, don’t work yourself into a tizzy over the new Facebook rules. Try posts that aren’t advertisements. Share useful information that people care about and want to see. It’s true, it’s getting harder to use Facebook as a free way to blast ads to tons of people, but Pages are still worthwhile to have. Facebook isn’t a magic lamp. It’s a tool, and like any tool it has to be used properly.

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