Senior living communities, like thousands of other businesses that market via Facebook, have faced a rude awakening recently. Earlier this year, Facebook announced a change in policy, effectively eliminating the reach of unpaid status updates that are deemed as marketing in nature.
In other words, if your post is self-serving (e.g. announcing a rate special, promoting an event, showcasing a renovation), it will suffer from suppression in distribution, even—and this is the most hotly-debated point—among your own followers.
It unclear at this point exactly which types of material will face limited distribution and how our industry will react. Even worse, the move comes at a time when senior living communities are beginning to see tangible results in lead generation as a result of Facebook.
To no one’s surprise, paid status updates are the alternative. Forté has worked with many senior living communities, utilizing Facebook’s paid status updates through the “boost” program, and it works well. In fact, the program enables highly-efficient targeting and a prospect reach that greatly exceeds that of organic reach. We have embraced the program and our clients have seen substantial results.
We view the issue as two-fold. First, senior living communities and many other small-to-medium sized businesses simply don’t have the budget to boost every post. This policy puts our clients in the position of selecting which material they wish to be seen—and have the budget for—and which they deem less important.
The second issue is particularly bothersome when viewed in tandem with the former. That is – if your own followers can’t see your posts without paid boosting, then what’s the purpose in even having followers? Diligent marketers have spent years developing even small collections of dedicated followers. Was that work, as well as continued efforts to build an audience, all in vain if you have to pay to reach them?
As you might expect, small business and others are up in arms over Facebook’s new policy. At Forté, we are disappointed in the direction being taken by Facebook. It will have a negative impact on Facebook effectiveness for communities and organizations that do not adjust to the policy. For those that do adjust their approach, the effect will be minimized and the tremendous benefits of a strategic paid Facebook advertising campaign will be realized.
If you have any questions about how this change impacts your community, you can contact Trapper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-890-7912 ext. 40.