Changes are coming and they will affect your brand’s Facebook posts.

Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of users about the newsfeed. What do people want to see less of? Your sales pitch.

Facebook announced tighter rules around posts with overtly promotional content. Anything Facebook views as too promotional or salesy will not make the newsfeed cut. See the picture above for an example of a whole lot of sales talk. 

But, this doesn’t mean fewer ads, in fact, it doesn't apply to ads or sponsored stories. The release clarifies:

“News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.” 

For brands, it simply means users are pushing back. They like your page, they want to engage with you, but they don’t want to keep receiving sales messages. This rule applies to organic posts. Pages that publish overly promotional posts or creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time. 

And that’s why content matters. In October more than 1 billion (with a b) people visited Pages. That’s not just any “page” that’s specific business Pages (like our Facebook Page). Moreover, of that billion, 750 million people visited Pages from their mobile device.

Your audience has come to you. You need to talk with them. Not “to”, with. As Facebook says, “the idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories – including Page posts – people see in their News Feeds.”

While “winds of change” might sound doomsy, it’s actually great news for your brand. You want people to find the newsfeed relevant.

As we have always encouraged, what you’re saying needs to be interesting and useful, not always a sales message. You’ve been let in on a personal space, next to pictures and posts from family and friends. Work hard to be relevant. Get people interested in you.

This change will be implemented in January 2015. And, like most things, it will take a little while to see what adjustments it will lead to. But, regardless of this newest change, promoted post, ads/sponsored stories or just your regular old page posts should still be about engagement first and some sort of conversion, based on the objectives you and your team has set. Whether that’s page likes, shares, comments, website views or any other action, it has to be about how your brand fits in to their life, first and foremost.

If you want to chat more about these shifting winds, tweet us @TheBurningBird. 

Posted by Sam Karikas. Sam is the Senior Writer and Social Media Manager at Phoenix Group.