If Facebook ceased to exist tomorrow, would your audience disappear with it?

Businesses could soon be dealing with a big change to Facebook, namely how they communicate with their audiences.

Six countries have seen a very worrying change to the way in which public posts are displayed. Non-promoted posts, i.e. anything that isn’t considered a post from a friend or a paid advert, have been moved to a separate “explore” page, rather than being displayed on the usual news feed.

Basically, anything posted organically from a business page is no longer going to be seen by their followers, unless their followers specifically go looking for it within the explore page or on the actual business’ Facebook page. So far, the change has been rolled out in six “test” countries including Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia.

In a recent statement, Facebook’s head of news feed, Adam Mosseri said the company currently had no plans to roll out the test to more countries. But if this test goes well, there’s nothing stopping Facebook from making the change worldwide.

The move will potentially push business pages to rely heavily on advertising to reach users, which will boost revenue for Facebook. However, Mosseri says Facebook are trying to improve the news feed experience, as users “want an easier way to see posts from friends and family”.

This issue only highlights the gravity of the changes we’ve been seeing to ads manager recently (like changes to audience targeting), stressing that fact: we don’t own Facebook. Ultimately, we have little control and zero ownership over the audiences we target.

Therefore, it’s incredibly important to focus on building your own database.

Implementing database growth strategies now could save you later, like competitions promoted through your Facebook ads to prompt EDM sign-ups or offering all new subscribers something of value like a one-off discount (enough to make them want to hand over their email address).

Make sure you have a clear lead magnet installed on your website and potentially look at how an autoresponder campaign could help you retain those new subscribers.

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