The January sale is one of the biggest retail periods of the year, but retailers on Facebook may have found their promotional posts falling flat at the beginning of 2015.

In November 2014, Facebook announced an update to the news feed that made it clear promotional posts would be demoted ‘beginning in January 2015’.

These promotional posts included:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

And they pleasantly provided a few examples, one of which is below:

This change is particularly big news for retailers who would have been keen to push promotional discounts in the sales period.

But as of January 2015, Facebook has stated ‘people will see less of this type of content’ in their News Feeds.

Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing research

In the research for Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing, I found in a sample of five top retailers that sales promotions and highlighting new products in were the primary method of communicating on Facebook.

Editorial content, entertainment or advice were only found in a couple of instances. Most retail Facebook pages were being used to push product. If retail brands want more of their posts to be seen, they will have to move away from the sales approach.

It’s evident that Facebook users don’t want to see this content in their newsfeed, and Facebook has reacted accordingly.

Facebook also wants to push their advertising platform, and it appears that’s firmly where they want sales messages to go. It’s simply going to be tougher to be seen unless pages are boosting sales related posts.

The Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing report shows that many retailers are creating some form of editorial content, but it’s rarely at the quality of that created by publishers, and it’s almost never shared on subscriber based distribution channels like social and email.

With this latest change, retail brands will almost certainly have to change their approach from sales from high quality editorial on Facebook if they are going to be seen by their large followings.

You can see a summary of the report at Four Key Trends from the Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing report.