Facebook’s Boring Tax: How the Newsfeed Changes Affect Your Business Page.

3 min read

Posted 7 years ago
by Téa Smith

If you have been listening to me for the last few years, good news, you’re pretty much prepared for the changes that Facebook are making to the Newsfeed, specifically with deprioritising Brand Page posts. This is fantastic news for Users, and in line with what I have suspected to be their strategy for some time: Facebook want Businesses to pay more for the privilege of crashing conversations.

As they should.


Social Media is (funnily enough) social. It is about stories, sharing, discussion, dissent. It is about communities, shared interests, and yes — “private”, intimate thoughts.

Advertisers, by and large, are crashing the party. Advertising is the dude who turns up in a suit and hands out business cards at a friend’s wedding. Who wants to be that guy?

Users tolerate marketing and advertising as the cost of using a platform.

This is an uncomfortable truth: on social media, nobody gives a crap about your business. Unless people seek you out, on your Page (eg Telstra Support), you need to be part of the conversation, otherwise, by default, you are an intruder.

How is this relevant to this week’s Newsfeed changes? It means that you need to do what you should have always been doing, and actually create something really interesting, and visual, or pay for the intrusion.


The boring tax

With changes made to the Newsfeed last year, businesses were faced with 2 options:

  1. Pay for Boosted and Promoted (Sponsored) Posts.
  2. Post, without paying, with a heavily reduced organic audience (your updates only reach 10–15% of your Likers), thus putting the burden on you to create excellent, compelling content to be noticed.

It is, what I call in my training courses, a “boring tax”: if you aren’t being awesome and creative enough to generate organic engagement, you are incentivised to pay a fee. The more boring it is, the more you need to pay (ie as engagement goes up, your costs go down).

I am sure that there are many marketers and business owners that will be disappointed, and even angry that Facebook would do this, but I think it is great, because what it does is force businesses to either be more respectful and interesting, or pay more money.


Hopefully, it means that businesses will now start to think about whether what they are posting is worth the cost of promoting it. It will make them consider tradeoffs between earned v paid engagement. It will hopefully make them consider what they post a little more carefully. It will also (yay!) make social media consultants accountable for showing ROI.

Everyone wins.

What to do

So now that text-based updates from Pages will be deprioritised over Friends’ updates in Newsfeed, you can see it as a hindrance, or an opportunity to step up. Here is how you step up.

Do the following from this point on to get around the changes and get noticed:

  1. Post an image, embedded link, or video with EVERY update, ideally original awesome shareable ones. If your update is text, find or create a compelling image to go with it.
  2. Pay to Boost the post (or, if you don’t want to, cross your fingers and hope for the best).
  3. Seriously, don’t bother paying for right column ads (they don’t appear on mobile, and people ignore them), and focus all your advertising in News Feed Advertising (Sponsored Posts) with a higher CPC Bid.
  4. Use targeting (I can show you how to do this),
This is a macro, in case you were wondering.

Note: If you plan on boosting or running sponsored ads, do not use macros, or images with more than 20% text in them (a ridiculous limitation, but an unfortunate fact: the ad will be rejected.).

Obviously, this is a very simple workflow, but hopefully it helps. Pay, or don’t be boring. Preferably both.

Or, you could give me a call (0407 877 431). Or something.

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