All over the digi world, designers are freaking out about the promotional post changes coming to Facebook next year.
What exactly are the changes?
According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make 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
That doesn’t mean ALL promotional posts are bad, but that they’re rewarding the types of promotional posts that the Facebook insights show get less negative feedback. Yes, Facebook is making changes by listening to their users. In their announcement they give visual examples of bad promotional posts – and on this page, good ones.
Take a look at your insights. Click on an individual post, and it’ll pull up what the post looked like in the newsfeeds plus a detailed breakdown of the user interaction with the post. Here’s an example:
See the negative feedback at the bottom? That’s actually not bad at all considering how many people saw this post. But – that feedback would be pretty horrible if only 300 people had seen that post. When the ratio of negative feedback to good feedback is bad, Facebook isn’t going to reward posts like that. Make sense?
More from their now updated “guidelines“:
At Facebook, we believe that ads should contribute to and be consistent with the overall user experience. The best ads are those that are tailored to individuals based on how they and their friends interact and affiliate with the brands, artists, and businesses they care about. These guidelines are not intended to serve as legal advice and adherence to these guidelines does not necessarily constitute legal compliance. Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that their ads comply with all applicable laws, statutes, and regulations.
So how is this not a ploy to get people to spend more money on FB ads?
Because of the 20% text-on-an-image rule. You already can’t give Facebook your money so they’ll show these blatant promotional posts to more people. Facebook has never liked the infomercial “BUY BUY BUY!!!” promotional technique because their users make it clear that they don’t like it. And when it comes to digiscrap product previews, they wouldn’t pass the 20% rule anyway.
So what do we do as digiscrap designers?
Facebook does have a list of tips to help you optimize your business page reach, but here’s mine for digiscrap designers:
- Post consistently, every day – not just release weekends. Be relevant to your community – digiscrappers really do like to be linked up to tutorials and articles relevant to them. Once you’ve got posting every day down, start increasing to two times a day. The more interaction you get on non-promotional posts, the more FB increases your reach on the promotional posts.
- Have attractive posts. You can share CT layouts with links back to their gallery posting or your store – just be sure to word it so that the post isn’t solely to get people to buy something. Focus on what you like from the layout, or even a quote from the CT member who made it.
- Use your FB insights to optimize your posting schedule. They show you when people are online each day, so you can schedule your posts to go out just before that peak time.
- Build a tribe – interact with other designers from your store and reshare their posts that are relevant to your following, like tutorials and challenges. There’s no need to be exclusive to your own brand – it’s going to be hard to come up with enough of your own content to do that.
- Overlap your social media or marketing platforms – meaning, link back to a pin you made on Pinterest. Share your newsletter subscription link once in awhile, especially if a freebie is coming up (just be careful to not be too used-car-salesman in your wording.)
That all being said, do not stay exclusive to Facebook or any platform for your marketing – nor should you ignore any one platform because you don’t like their changes. Running a business is more than just putting out a product, you have to connect with customers and provide them with content that inspires them to use your product. Take a look at other products that you buy – like Chex cereals. Do they just show you a bowl of milk and cereal and call it a day? No, they give you recipes and ideas for doing more with their product.
We’d love for digiscrap designing to be as simple as creating a product and being in a great store. “Build it and they will come” is a very flawed business model, it just simply doesn’t work unless you’re a monopoly. If you poke around online for marketing information, specifically social media – you’ll hear a lot about the 80/20 rule. 80% marketing, 20% product development. For many businesses that’s true – but in digiscrap many are definitely following the opposite or worse, almost no marketing. I’m not saying to all the sudden become a social media whore and post up a storm (that will just piss people off) but maybe work your way up to a 50/50 split of your time. Start at an hour one day a week curating & scheduling content for your social media following, at least one post a day. Think like a customer and what they would enjoy seeing.
Any increase of effective marketing techniques will help in some way. But an increase in spending all kinds of time complaining about Facebook changes? That doesn’t help at all. Everyone ignores the additions they make that are completely positive. Yeah, it’s going to be rough at first – especially as you try to find your groove – but it’s an investment in your business that will pay off.
If you’re interested in learning more techniques for marketing your digiscrap or craft business, let me know in the comments. Who knows, maybe this will turn into a blog series!
Note: Yes, if you take a look at my own FB page I’m not following my own advice. Because of recent events covered in other blog posts, I haven’t been promoting my own digiscrap business and site because I haven’t had the time to be a part of the digiscrap community. I do manage dozens of social media pages, big and small (as you can see by the stats above) – so I pretty much live and breathe social media strategy for others.