If you’ve been on Facebook at all recently, you’ve probably seen posts from pages asking if you can see their posts, to like or comment so they can tell who is seeing them, etc. They complain that Facebook has reduced the number of people they can reach organically and don’t understand why.
Facebook has made a number of comments on this decline, but the most prevalent assumption is that Facebook has what is being referred to as a “Pay for Play” attitude. They want to sell more advertising, so they are suppressing posts so that marketers and others have to pay to be seen. The graph below, done by Social@Ogilvy, shows the average decline of the organic reach of content published on Facebook pages over the last several months. As you can see, most pages are reaching only 2-6% of the audience following or liking their page. As of last week, that number was closer to 1-2%.
Matt Kapko from www.cio.com shares a quote from Marshall Manson, managing director of Social @Ogilvy for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, in his article on the topic:
“The proper response to these changes, according to both analysts and marketers, is to develop a wider social media strategy. The capability to build large communities of engaged fans was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers and many brands have invested millions toward that objective. Facebook Zero is a reality now facing every brand and business with a presence on the platform. Action is required, and specific decisions will need to be made with regard to content planning, paid support for social media activities, audience targeting and much more.”
So what does that mean for you, in regards to your brand and social media? Diversify. You can’t keep all your eggs in the Facebook basket anymore. Social media will continue to evolve, and this is just one stage in the evolution. I think we can assume all the social media platforms will one day do the same, unless someone can come up with a way to eliminate users who don’t interact with your brand from seeing your posts in a regulated way – allowing brands to trim dead weight from their followers, and marketing to a very targeted audience. Even then, social media platforms are going want and need to cash in on your use of their platform. Be ready to spend some money, but you will also need to be ready with unique content and the ability to change things up, grow your presence on the most useful platforms when necessary.
Have you noticed a big decline of your page’s reach on Facebook? Has that in any way impacted your sales or other marketing goals? We’d love to hear from you in the comments – tell us your Facebook Zero story!