In case you didn’t see it, the blog post, titled Facebook Promotional Ban Spells Trouble for Authors, said that the new Facebook policy that takes effect on January 1st will be a problem for Indie authors.
AuthorLink is talking about the new ban on purely promotional posts created on fan pages that goes into effect in a few days.
ClickZ Explains the New Facebook Ban
This is how ClickZ explains the new Facebook ban affecting page owners.
In order to keep its users happy, Facebook says, it will introduce “new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.”
According to the platform, it’s not just ads that users find “too promotional.” In fact, a lot of the offending content takes the form of posts from Pages users have liked.
What qualifies as “too promotional”? Facebook explains that this can include posts that encourage people to buy a product or install an app, posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context, and posts that just reuse the exact same content from ads.
As the new guidelines take effect in January, Facebook audiences will see fewer such posts in their News Feeds. And since the competition in the News Feed is becoming fiercer, businesses that continue to use promotional page posts will see organic distribution drop significantly over time.
AuthorLink Defends Its Position
I’m not worried about the new tweaks on Facebook, but AuthorLink is. It explains its position here:
As we see it, this move can only punish indie authors and small businesses that lack big bucks to buy paid ads. Sock it to the little guys.
We understand that Facebook wants to make more money. Don’t we all. But a ban on promotional posts is like snatching a candy bar back from a starving artist. Surely the brains at the top of this multi-billion-dollar organization can figure out some other creative way to make a dollar and satisfy stockholders.
I’m an Indie author, and I’m still not worried. Let me explain why.
Facebook’s Changes, Tweaks, Bans and Updates
Since last summer, when Facebook tweaked its algorithm for the umpteenth time, fewer of your fan page posts have been appearing in your readers’ news feeds.
How many of your posts do you fans see now? About six to eight percent of them.
Of course, this number is also determined by the amount of engagement your posts trigger. The more often a reader likes, comments on or shares your posts, the more often they will see future posts.
With the algorithm change of last summer and this new policy on promotional posts, Facebook is prodding you (and me) to purchase ads. Yes, if you purchase a Facebook ad you can promote your books as often and as much as you’d like.
What this means for Indie authors is that we need to focus more on content marketing and less on promotion.
Social media is wonderful and it levels the marketing field for Indies but sometimes Indie authors can turn social media into broadcast media by focusing too narrowly on book promotion.
Instead, let’s focus on nurturing our relationships with our readers. Let’s focus on curating great content. And let’s write blog posts on topics that our readers love to hear about.
Let’s use social media to write and promote content that our readers will find so valuable, they’ll navigate to our websites, learn about our books, and buy them.
In other words, don’t worry about this new tweak on Facebook. There will be more tweaks – you know there will be – and maybe one will come along that will make you mad.
Now, tell me what you think.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.