If you own a small business, it will not surprise you at all to learn that there have been changes to Facebook that are affecting your content marketing strategies. The level of social interaction on the social media giant changed so significantly in 2015 that many businesses are being forced to spend money boosting posts just to keep even a small percentage of their hard-earned followers seeing their content. Here’s a run-down of the changes that affect small businesses and some business marketing strategies you can use to offset the negative impact of the changes to your business.

Promotional Content Posts Are Limited

Facebook, in their infinite wisdom, decided to poll users and find out whether or not they wanted to see promotional posts. Not surprisingly, users voted down seeing posts that solely push you to buy a product or install an app, enter sweepstakes with no real benefit, or re-used content that is posted multiple times by the same entity. The reality of what this means for most Facebook Pages is that your digital marketing plan just got much more expensive. Instead of the organic reach that you have enjoyed by building an engaged follower audience on Facebook, you will now have to essentially advertise your post in order to get it in front of the same people who used to see it for free.

Validate Your Content

One way that you can have a better shot for followers to see your content is to test, tweak and test again. Creating posts that have valuable and engaging content that your users want to see will (eventually) get you higher view rates—but is unlikely to get you back to pre-2015 levels of views and engagements. Beautiful imagery and engaging videos are two examples of content that people love to engage with and share, and sprinkling this type of content in with your marketing messages will help both messages be seen more efficiently.

Activate Your Search Engine Tools

No, the best SEO tools are not just for websites anymore. You can also use them to drive cross-platform engagement by pointing people towards your blog. With a significant 2015 change to Facebook’s interaction with external content, comments on a post on your blog automagically come through to Facebook, garnering you additional attention on both platforms. The same holds true for Instagram. Now that Facebook has purchased the graphics-based platform, not only is advertising integrated but cross-posting functionality is more robust and likely to be enhanced in the near future.

Embedded Facebook Videos

No more sending Facebook Followers off-site to YouTube! No, Facebook has finally gotten smart and now allows users to embed videos directly in the platform. While you can still link to YouTube videos, there is a very high likelihood that embedded Facebook videos will get a little extra love from Facebook’s algorithms, so using video to grow engagement may give your message an added boost without an additional ad spend.

Facebook Messenger Enhancements

While not fully fleshed out yet, Facebook appears to be making enhancements to the order tracking and communications functionality within Messenger. When shoppers choose to link their Facebook account to purchases, this handy tool provides the retailer the opportunity to communicate directly with their customer for order updates, questions or concerns.

Facebook’s 2015 changes can be a challenge to marketers, but may eventually result in more effective social media marketing tools as the technology emerges. In order to make the most of your social media presence, consider employing a local San Antonio social media marketing team, like 2tenMarketing.