As if it wasn’t hard enough to make Facebook a viable brand-building tool, Facebook just rolled out new content controls for promotional posts, in an effort to clean up news feeds.
What constitutes a promotional post?
- Posts that push people to install an app or buy a product
- Posts that push you to enter promotions and sweepstakes
- Posts that recycle ad content verbatim
This latest marketing challenge comes just two months after Facebook banned “like-gated” promotions; the practice of forcing people to “like” a page before providing an incentive.
What to do? According to Search Engine Journal, applying effective content marketing strategies may keep your Facebook engagement strategy from going down in flames:
- Create custom content images: think of them as book covers for your content.
- Include ANY image, even if you can’t include a custom image.
- Go with short posts: posts with fewer than 250 characters result in 60% more engagement.
- Pay for ads: With organic brand posts coming under such scrutiny, you may want to hedge your bets by paying for advertising (Facebook does have some great targeting options).
- Leverage trending topics: create and share content that is newsworthy.
- Post Facebook-exclusive content: your fans will feel privileged to access unique content and will be more inclined to pay attention to it.
- Use your cover photo to promote important content.
- Save the sales pitch for paid ads: Facebook has made it pretty clear where they stand on this issue, so it would be foolish to rock the boat.
Yes, the rules have changed…yet again, but they also serve as a reminder that, at the end of the day, Facebook is a social platform. A pushy promo never feels right in a news feed. If you respect your audience and understand why content marketing principles are important, Facebook can still be a valuable marketing platform for your brand.