Facebook organic reach is dead, long live paid media!
Facebook is backing us into a corner where our organic reach is declining and our only way out (or to be noticed) is to pay.
By now as a avid Facebook business user, you should be no stranger to EdgeRank, the algorithm used by Facebook to determine the most screen-worthy content. If you know this, then you should also know that back in December 2013 Facebook changed their algorithm in order to slowly start to kill organic reach so that businesses will need to pay to play, otherwise we are practically invisible (They have not admitted this of course).
According to comments in a sales deck obtained by AdAge.com, Facebook says that,”We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site“. Now whether or not Facebook did this intentionally in order to push ads onto us is up for debate, but either way brands are feeling it and all ready experiencing a lower than average performance.
An analysis by Ignite Social Media found that since December 1st 2013, brand pages reported to suffer an average of 44% decline in reach with some even reporting an 88% decline. A year ago brands could expect to reach 16 out of 100 fans but now that brand is lucky if they get 3 out of 100 (3%).
But it does not stop there…
On the 21st of January 2014, Facebook threw another spanner in the works by announcing they will show fewer text status updates from pages and instead more from friends. Why? Well according to their blog, their latest testing has shown that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves, however this was not working the same for Pages (their words, not mine).
Pay to play:
Here are a few stats for you to swallow – 30% of small and 47% of medium businesses have a social media presence. From these numbers, 88% of small and 85% of medium businesses are on Facebook and 9% of those small and 13% of those medium businesses advertise on Facebook.
I think those at Facebook HQ forget that many business on Facebook are not large, cashed up corporations but instead small-medium businesses who have worked hard for the likes they have earned thus far!
If you’ve already built up a presence on Facebook, don’t throw in the towel and run because dollar signs are starting to appear. Instead reassess your goals to determine how much upside there is to spending anything more than a minimal amount of time on the site.
Then ask yourself the following – Are these goals achievable on other networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest? or is Facebook still the best network to achieve your goals?
Don’t neglect your other online presence such as your website. Work to make your website stand our with intriguing copy and calls to action and then spread this through social networks.
What are your thoughts on this subject as a business on Facebook? Is it time now to move on to Google+?