Beginning in January 2015… pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.Facebook 2014Facebook has moved the goalposts (again!). As of January 1st 2015 a business that shares organic updates on its Facebook page that are deemed to be ‘promotional’ will see the reach of their page fall significantly over time. Or in other words, Facebook will punish businesses that use organic posts to sell things from now on.
The newsfeed is one of, if not THE most important feature that people use on Facebook to see what is going on in their network on a daily basis. As a result Facebook is constantly trying to improve this experience to ensure we all keep using it. Based on a survey recently conducted (hundreds of thousands people surveyed) the general consensus was that people wanted to see more posts from friends and families and pages they care about and less promotional posts.
[Need a refresher on how the newsfeed works on Facebook? Read our post FACEBOOK NEWSFEED EXPLAINED ]
What this means for dental practices’?
These are possibly some questions that you might be asking right now. Let’s tackle them one by one.
What is promotional content?
This DOES NOT refer to FACEBOOK ADS. The survey actually found that people did not mind seeing sponsored updates / adverts as they were shown based on relevance and re-targeting, reflecting content that was of interest to people and therefore not intrusive.
What Facebook will be penalising from now on is ORGANIC POSTS that are OVERLY PROMOTIONAL
The factors that Facebook will be measuring to categorise whether a post is overly promotional are:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from paid adverts
Here are some examples of organic posts that will be penalised in the future
These are real examples of dental practice Facebook posts but the identities have been blurred as we are nice like that 🙂 and we have privately messaged each of these pages to give them a heads up on the changes
Is the organic post dead?It is if you only used it for promoting your services! I believe it is still very much alive and still fundamental to your dental Facebook marketing plan. Apart from the community, trust and thought leadership your organic posts foster, if correctly used they could be the determining factor in the success with your Facebook advertising efforts – helping you categorise and re-target your website visitors (look out for my blog post on this topic in the coming months).
Also, dental practice blogging is fundamental to organic posts, because sharing blog posts links (still passively promote your services) will not be punished and will drive traffic to your website.
I would argue that organic promotions that sold your cosmetic dental treatments, Invisalign and tooth whitening offers never did that well anyway – not nearly as well if you had used Facebook advertising with the correct audience targeting.
A good facebook marketing mix is LESS (but higher quality) organic posts & MORE Facebook advertising campaigns Brendon Macdonald
Currently the best Facebook marketing mix is:
- LESS organic posts (but higher quality – spend a bit more time focusing on value of content you share) (1 to 2 posts a week is acceptable – a blog post, infographic, video, team photos, for example)
- MORE Facebook advertising – for example running like campaigns, website clicks, web conversions and offers.
It might feel counter intuitive to post less to get noticed more but with Facebook advertising you will be seen as much, if not more, than before as you will use your better quality content to show your offers and promotions and content to an audience that is relevant and interested in finding out more.
Is that not the reason why I am on Facebook – to promote my business?Yes, let’s all be honest the only reason we as businesses are on Facebook is to promote ourselves. You absolutely have to prove ROI from your dental Facebook activities, in fact, that is our fundamental belief – dental practices should make informed decisions about their online marketing activities.
Facebook is the still one of the most effective ways to promote your dental practice, you just can’t practice lazy promotion on Facebook anymore – you need to have a plan, good content and understand how to integrate organic and paid Facebook activities. It is worth the effort, we know as we do dental social media marketing all day for our dental practice clients.