Why The Organic Reach of Your Brands Facebook Page Is DecreasingBrands have seen the organic reach of their Facebook posts’ drop like a rock over the past few weeks and many marketers are in a tizzy wondering what’s going on. The explanation is simple: Facebook wants marketers to spend money on promoted posts and paid ads.
Many of us take Facebook for granted as a marketing tool since many of the features are free and relatively easy to use. Moves like this snap us back to the realization that Facebook is a publicly owned company in the business of pleasing stockholders. Facebook’s new stance on organic reach pushes marketers to spend money on paid postings in order to increase their reach. I’m going to show you what the new organic reach landscape looks like and why Facebook has made the decision to make their most recent update.
Facebook, Why Did You Do This?!
According to Facebook, users are posting and sharing content more than ever. This clutters newsfeeds and limits the exposure a post can get. In response to the increased content, Facebook made an algorithm change last year to their news feed. The algorithm change attempted to weed out spammy or non-engaging content from appearing in newsfeeds. Either intentionally or not, Facebook made paid postings and ads more appealing since they can reach many more users. The only thing that mattered was the size of your ad budget.
Facebook recently made another change to their newsfeed algorithm in an attempt to feed more relevant and valuable content to users. This time Facebook came out and said that in order to increase your post reach, paid postings are almost a necessity. What?! You can read the entire 3-page document Facebook created right here if you don’t believe me. In summary, Facebook reiterates the point that newsfeeds are becoming too cluttered and brands will need to use paid postings in order to reach a large audience.
Key Parts Of The Newest Update
We have more details on the newest update since Facebook has been more transparent (maybe because of their investors) as to how the new changes will affect company/brand pages. The entire update revolves around a reduction in organic search results for brands, and an increased push towards paid ads. Here’s the big thing: posts that don’t receive engagement won’t populate in the newsfeed for fans of the page. It’s hard to say which fans will see a post by default but it sounds like posts will first go to fans who have interacted with the page before. Details are also slim as to how exactly a “like” will influence organic reach.
Why The Organic Reach of Your Brands Facebook Page Is DecreasingFacebook also stated that fans should be acquired in order to further a page’s reach with paid ads. Previously, a brand would acquire fans in order to enhance their organic reach. According to Facebook, a page with a large number of fans and engagement demonstrates “social context.” Social context seems to be Facebook’s favorite phrase in the document mentioned before but it’s never defined in their own words. My take-away is that a brand’s social context is measured by how many users interact with a page, and to how many other users they’re connected to.
Hold on, there is one boost to organic reach! Posts containing a link to a news article hosted by a publisher will actually see increased organic reach. A “publisher” isn’t explicitly defined but examples given include TIME, Buzzfeed, and Bleacher Report. Your brand might not be making headlines on those sites but I’m sure you can pull industry-related articles to post.
Conclusion – This Move Makes Sense For Facebook
Facebook isn’t just trying to make more money with their latest update, user experience is also being enhanced. Facebook is trying to cut down on the number of company updates that you see and focus more on the individual users you’re connected to. This is a move towards Facebook’s roots as a social network for individuals, not brands. I think that many of us would rather see some more new car/baby/new puppy pictures from friends instead of a business trying to get our attention.
It isn’t out of this world for Facebook to try and profit off of the huge amount of data they’ve compiled on users over the years. Facebook is a great tool for us as marketers, but it’s been a relatively free tool up until recently. The decrease in organic exposure hurts, especially for brands just starting out on Facebook. Unless you want to pay for advertisements, Facebook will act more as a place for you to maintain an online brand community. It won’t act as a place to blast your message out to the masses for free.
Luckily, promoted posts and ads can be more effective than ever if you want to go the paid route. More and more user information is available to marketers which makes segmentation easier. Because of that, you can spend less money on a more targeted audience.
Whichever route you take, Facebook has changed significantly for brands with the latest update. Organic reach is projected to decrease more as time goes on so we will need to accept that and adjust our strategies accordingly.
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