Facebook has often been used as a source of free advertising for businesses—glass companies, included. As of this month, however, that has all changed.
According to information released by Facebook in November, the social media site has begun weeding out promotional content in response to user preferences.
“People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content,” the release reads.
According to those surveyed, there are consistent traits that make what the company calls “organic posts” feel too promotional:
-Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
-Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
-Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.
“Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their news feeds,” the release continues. “News feed is already a competitive place — as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in news feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional [content] should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
Marketing expert Donna Wells, however, says not to be dismayed—as there are ways around being filtered.
“There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, you’re just going to have to get more creative in your thought process,” she says. “My suggestion would be to look at what you’re doing, how you want to achieve those particular clients and shape it in a way that entices them to give you a phone call. At that point, you can give the promotion, but don’t necessarily post it on your page. Then you shouldn’t have an issue with receiving additional [attention].”
Palmdale, Calif.-based glass shop Palmdale Glass & Mirror is very active on Facebook, though the new changes to the social media site shouldn’t have an effect on how it shapes its posts.
“As far as showing specific products, sales offers, and things like that, that’s not how we use it,” says Hal Monheim, president of Palmdale Glass. “We use it strictly as a tool so customers can go on, browse and see how we’re doing. We post pictures of jobs. … It shows your activity, and people like seeing that.”
Nancy DeZarn of Dulles Glass & Mirror in Manassas, Va., says her company uses Facebook to “provide our customers with the types of content that we feel is interesting to them, which does not focus solely on making purchases.”
She adds, “This includes content about design, new innovations and interesting uses of our products. Despite the new Facebook algorithm, we think creating positive experiences is the best way engage with our customers.”
Wells does say opting to pay the social media site is a viable option, but warns against going overboard.
“I still like Facebook even if you’re paying for it, but I don’t feel that this should be a major portion of your advertising dollars. There are a lot of ways to do self-promotion on a complementary basis,” she says, adding that Facebook does offer a unique advantage versus other sites. “You can promote by photographs and people are very visual. [You] can show what you’re doing specifically, as a company. I think that’s going to give you an upper hand.”