Facebook will soon cut unpaid brand ads

The social media platform announced it will penalize “overly promotional” page posts in 2015 by significantly reducing the offending company’s organic reach.

The low organic reach your company page is getting on Facebook is about to get a lot lower.

Facebook announced Friday that brand posts deemed “overly promotional” by its algorithm will be curtailed. The translation: Expect your reach to drop even more than it’s already dropped.

What makes a post “overly promotional?” Facebook has three criteria it outlines in its blog:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

The post goes on to deliver the final punishing blow: “All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

There you have it, social media marketers. We knew this day was coming (and there may be more like it), but Facebook is officially a pay-to-play venue for brands now.

Is it a good thing for users? Who knows. Why would someone “like” a page if they didn’t want to see its updates? It strikes me that if a person doesn’t like what a brand is posting, they would just stop following that brand.

Facebook doesn’t see it like that—and neither does its board of directors, apparently.

Brands are the company’s biggest source of income. The better job Facebook can do of convincing brands to spend money to advertise, the more money they’ll make.

Facebook must find a balance between angering its brands over the drastic drops in organic reach and offering quality advertising products that are actually effective. They currently seem to have failed by some degree at both.

Sure, there are plenty of Facebook advertising success stories, but with millennials fleeing the platform for the likes of Snapchat and other startup services, these ad products are going to steadily decrease in value.

At that point, the obliteration of organic reach won’t really matter that much.

What do you think of Facebook’s recent announcement, PR Daily readers?

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