Facebook just announced that starting in January it will begin limiting the number of “promotional Page posts” in the news feed… unless they pay for it. Facebook is now officially an advertising platform.
So, what is considered a “promotional” post? In short, anything that looks or feels like an ad, that includes the reuse of advertising material brands may have paid for. You probably think “a little vague”, well most terms with Facebook are rather vague and give them a lot of latitude to interpret.
Over the past few months, brand reach on Facebook as dwindled to about 2.73% according to Forrester Research, the new policy is likely to reduce that substantially and force brands to pay for play for more content, until they have to pay for every post to have any reach.
Facebook is now officially an advertising platform in the traditional sense of the term leveraging their massive user base to generate display advertising both in and off the feed and that after charging brands for ads to develop a follower base they cannot reach anymore.
What should brands do? There is not much of a choice, they should consider Facebook as any other advertising platform and develop their communication in a way that they can pull their now paid audience away from Facebook and other social media platforms and towards platforms they own and use social media to attract traffic to their websites and use their website to build their database.
Yes, we have come full circle, the website is becoming what it should have always been, the center of the digital strategy and social media, a way to build traffic to the web properties owned by the brand.
Brands will still be able to build relationships and interact on social media but email will take on a new dimension and allow brands to further build their database and/or drive consumers to owned communities versus communities owned by third parties