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Grow Your Business Social Media

Facebook to Combat 'Overly Promotional' Pages with New Update

Facebook to Combat 'Overly Promotional' Pages with New Update
Credit: 2nix Studio/Shutterstock

Facebook pages and ads may be a great way to expand your social audience and customer reach, but getting too promotional could cost you.

The social network reached out to its users to find out how they feel about the content on their news feeds. According to the Facebook for Business blog, the company surveyed hundreds of thousands of people as a part of an ongoing survey. What did they find?

"People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and pages they care about, and less promotional content," the company wrote. "We dug further into the data to better understand this feedback. What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from pages they like, rather than ads."

Facebook explained that, while users have options to control the number and quality of the ads they see on their news feeds, the company hasn't monitored those options for promotional page posts as closely. [8 Facebook Tools Your Business Should Be Using ]

So what does Facebook consider "too promotional"? The company defined three key types of content:

  • 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.

If your business page routinely shares content that fits those criteria, you may want to rethink your Facebook strategy. Come January 2015, the company will take action to make Facebook more user friendly and combat overly promotional posts in users' news feeds. Once these changes take place, pages that post a lot of promotional content should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time, the company said.

Facebook pages are still incredibly important for businesses, however. In October, nearly a billion people visited Facebook pages, and more than 750 million of them did so on mobile devices, according the company's blog. And many businesses use their pages as customer service channels.

So how can your business successfully run a Facebook page without becoming too ad heavy? The key is to be engaging.

"Businesses should think about their page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply a publishing service," Facebook wrote. "The businesses that are doing this well understand the discovery and communication that happens when people come to their page."

Facebook also reported that it is increasing its investment into pages, given their substantial traffic. The company is looking for ways to add more features to help people interact more with their favorite pages, and to add more industry-specific page-customization options.