Earlier in the month, Facebook announced a small but hugely important change to its marketing policy via its development blog. The social network is keen to promote ‘quality connections’ between brands and consumers and is introducing measures that prevent companies from acquiring a huge volume of Page likes without building genuine relationships.
In a nutshell, businesses will no longer be able to incentivise users to click on their Facebook Apps by offering rewards or gating specific content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.
Posts that don’t adhere to these new rules will not be shared within users’ News Feeds, significantly lessening their reach (and arguably making them a waste of time altogether).
The introduction of this new policy is set to have a large impact on the way in which companies use the site to promote their products or services and interact with their consumer base. Traditionally, enticing people in to an application using promotions, special offers, competitions and exclusive content has been the norm, and many experienced marketers are clamouring to come up with new, ‘compliant’ ideas before the new policy is introduced on 5th November 2014.
Despite Facebook notifying its users relatively early, angry and indignant users have already taken to commenting on the blog, with one disgruntled Facebooker calling the move “another proverbial nail in the coffin for small businesses trying to gain traction on an increasingly difficult Facebook marketing platform”.
Many have even gone so far as to say that Facebook is introducing the new policy to encourage businesses to migrate to its paid ads platform, resulting in more revenue for the social giant, which is reportedly worth USD$104 billion. However, Facebook is sticking to its guns – it is adamant that the update will ‘benefit people and advertisers alike’ and that it’s just working to filter out fake endorsements.