Facebook Rules will Hurt Businesses
Facebook to limit overly promotional posts in news feeds.
The typical first thought by most Facebook page owners on the new policy: My businesses will be hurt by this change and how am I going to promote my product / service and get it seen?
My first thought: Had you been utilizing Facebook as social media was intended, this change wouldn’t matter.
It sounds harsh but the stark reality of the situation is Facebook (and any other social platform) was not designed to be an in your face, outbound marketing tool. Granted it works that way for many, but those activities are best left to email blasts, direct mail and radio – traditional outbound marketing channels. Using social media as an outbound tool defeats its true value.
Social media is about building relationships and social interaction. It should be utilized as an avenue allowing your clients and customers to reach you. Social media is an inbound channel. The move on Facebook’s part, while it may be seen as a huge negative and a means of capitalizing on the user base (something they have a right to do) is actually GOOD for business.
Strict outbound efforts do not generate loyalty, trust or build relationships. They attract customers focused on price or ‘the deal of the day’. They’ll likely pass you over for a better deal even hours after buying from you. Survival and growth requires a long term approach. It requires you to bond with your clients and customers. They need to WANT to buy from you. While price and quality contribute to that sentiment, factors such as respect, trust, developing a personal connection, that sense of liking your business enough to want to invite it to their family Sunday dinner, ultimately carries more weight.
You already have the outbound channels for the steals and deals. You should be using Facebook to drive the social aspect. The end goal is properly leveraging each channel to work together to find, close and retain your customer base.
My belief that Facebook should be used as an outbound tool doesn’t preclude you from using it to sell, and I am a proponent of social selling. It means filtering in your sales and promotions, product announcements and other assorted specials and to do so in a manner that doesn’t read ‘Buy Me Now’ every other post.
A Final Thought:
In the end, this will not likely affect too many users and it remains to be seen if Facebook is strictly going after those that ONLY post ‘advertisements’ and use the platform for driving numbers or if all promotional posts will be hidden from feeds. (How Facebook defines ‘promotion’)
Regardless, the change in policy doesn’t mean having to abandon the practice or be forced to pay for it (at least not yet). It does, however, require rethinking how you post those overly promotional messages and drive direct sales. A proper strategy will allow for direct sales pitches to be seen, but also grow your other social channels while increasing web traffic, SEO and your email subscribers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can comment below or you can find this post and comment on Google+, Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts! If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.
If you are interested in learning more on HOW to refocus and refine your strategy to use Facebook as it was intended and still leverage your fan base to drive sales, comment here or on any of the social media conversations. I’d love to talk over a good cup of coffee – and the coffee is on me!
To schedule a consultation or to book me for a workshop or speaking engagement, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a successful small business owner with more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience. Using the same social media and traditional marketing techniques I leveraged to brand and drive revenue for my own businesses, I work with other small to medium sized business owners to do the same. My methodology is based on my own practical experience leveraging inbound and outbound platforms with a revolutionary approach and philosophy. My methods have been applied successfully to retail, service and non profit based organizations.