Facebook pulling away from organic search once again

Facebook has been undergoing a drastic change in how it allows organic reach to operate (if they let it operate at all), which you have probably heard of since this has been widely reported starting in 2013 and through this year. However, the intensified campaign against unpaid promotional material may have you rethinking your 2015 social media marketing plan.

As of mid-January, Facebook will take the next step in curbing unpaid promotional material in user news feeds that were originally posted by businesses as status updates. Business that post free marketing materials or repost content from existing ads will see “a significant decrease in distribution,” Facebook announced. This means that unless a business pays to promote a post, virtually none of its fans will see it.

The reality is that 80 percent of small businesses that use social media to promote their companies and drive revenues list Facebook as the primary marketing tool, trailed by LinkedIn and Twitter. In a poll, the top reasons cited for using Facebook include building a network of followers, increasing brand awareness, and customer acquisition. Clearly, this ramped up effort to eliminate the reach of free posts will sting many entrepreneurs and small business owners.

However, Facebook does not see it that way. Facebook’s vice president of small business, San Levy, says that just in the last month there were one billion visits directly to Facebook pages so presence on the social network still has a lot of value for businesses. He believes that organic reach is one of many business benefits that the site offers. Promoted posts are a popular paid advertising method for small businesses because they can be more effective, so many entrepreneurs are comfortable with the push away from organic reach.

In the coming weeks, keep an eye on your Facebook marketing results, especially click-throughs and conversion rates. Investing in promoted posts may be right for your small business, but there are also other social network marketing avenues. Small business owners should also focus on Google search rankings because that can ultimately lead to the most revenue and can be easier to monetize.

Digital marketing can be confusing to start with, let alone in the middle of a seismic shift in how a major social network operates for small businesses. Reach out to professionals in the field for insight and guidance in order to make the best decision for your company.