If you’re active on Facebook in any of the popular cattle groups, you know there is a lot of uncertainty going on right now with all the pages or groups at the risk of being shut down for violating Facebook community standards.
The fact is, while we have all enjoyed and benefited from being able to sell our cattle on Facebook for years – often for free – is that Facebook is simply borrowed space. There’s a good chance these pages could change or be shut down, especially as more shareholders like PETA get involved on Facebook.
Back in 2017, Facebook announced that selling animals or livestock violated it’s community standards. Many people assumed this was targeted more at puppy factories rather than the average farmer selling a show calf, and things died down.
However in the last few weeks, Facebook has gotten serious about this rule and has really cracked down. At least every group I’m a member of has been affected, and it will only continue.
So what do you do?
1. Don’t panic and get off Facebook. I’ve had a few people text me and ask if Facebook is going to fizzle out and should they move to MeWe. Our answer is no. MeWe has been around since 2016, and hasn’t really taken off. It’s social media with no rules. Let’s see how that works out. Our recommendation is to stay with Facebook and Instagram as your primary social media outlets.
2. Stop slacking and elevate your marketing. Facebook has allowed everyone to get a little spoiled. Snap a picture, post it in your favorite Facebook group, sell the calf. No fees, no commissions, easy. Unfortunately those days may be coming to an end. Experts all say, you can’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket because essentially Facebook is “rented space” and you could get evicted anytime. The best marketing plans are well-rounded. Facebook is one piece of the puzzle but by now, if you don’t have a website, it makes you seem like cattle is your side business and not a priority. All legitimate businesses have some sort of basic website. You also need to be investing in print advertising, at minimum the month of your sale and preferably more. Print advertising is a lasting reminder of your business and a status symbol. Facebook scrolls last for a few seconds, websites and print advertising last for eternity.
3. Setup your own Facebook page if you haven’t. This allows you to market your cattle through the business platform. It unlocks a ton of features like advertising, analytics and more. If you need help with this, we can do it for you.
Guess what DOESN’T violate Facebook community standards?
—> Sharing a link to your website.
So, the logical process in promoting your cattle for sale is to post their picture on your website, then share your website link. Bingo! Problem solved.
Additionally, link shares like this are a preferred content source of Facebook. So, posting a link to your website is a great work-around for getting the word out about your cattle for sale while respecting and abiding by Facebook rules.
Let’s everyone keep calm…we aren’t going to lose the ability to sell cattle on Facebook. We just may have to change our approach. I run my ranch’s Facebook page which has about 150,000 followers. We abide by Facebook policies 100%. Our team at RHD understands these rules and regulations and we would love to help you if you need help.
If we can serve you or help you get through this Facebook transition, request a free consultation with us and we’ll be happy to see if we are a good fit for you.