By now you’ve heard talk about how organic reach on Facebook brand page posts has plummeted to an all time low. The December 2013 Facebook algorithm update certainly rocked a few worlds, probably yours.
Luckily there are folks out there who work tirelessly each day to analyze these situations and help marketers weather the storm. Storms can be tricky, but with social media at least we know the storm will be short lived. What seems impossible and unfair one day may be your best friend the next. The social network who rocked your world one day may not exist the next.
It’s always nice to end on a high note so let’s start off with the bad of declining Facebook reach:
Facebook Brand Pages Suffer 44% Decline in Reach Since December 1
Ignite Social Media analysts reviewed 21 brand pages across various industries and collected some alarming data. On average, they found that since the December 1 update those accounts experienced a 44% decrease in organic reach. This also led to a very large decrease in user engagement as well. Visit their blog for more stats and some details about their study.
Facebook Admits: Expect Organic Reach for Pages to Continue Declining
Search Engine Watch puts it pretty simply, “if Facebook can display business posts in the newsfeed, they would far rather get paid for it then do it for free.” Kind of a grim outlook for brand page owners, but it seems likely.
Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads
As if you haven’t seen the point already, Adage.com drives it home in their response to declining Facebook reach. In their discussion of the matter, they site several quotes from Facebook reps about how the initial decline was expected and how marketers/brands should be prepared for an ongoing decline.
Now that we have the bad stuff out of the way, let’s talk some about the ugly stuff. I guess the best way to look at this is to consider it the ugly truth:
The Facebook Casino
In this post from Brandsavant.com, a simple analogy is used to convey the ugly truth about the recent Facebook news feed update. He says you should think about the situation like it’s a casino and, “Facebook is The House.” Take what you want from that statement, but it’s probably true. We’re all just doing what we can with what Facebook allows and there’s not too much we can do about it!
Organic Reach May Plummet if Facebook Pages Don’t Follow this Advice!
Scott from Post Planner has a way of taking a tough subject like this and using it to create sticking points for marketers and businesses to use. He breaks it down pretty simply by saying, we’re all going to have to do two things: Post better content and buy ads.
By now you may be wondering what good can come out of all this. Here’s what I think:
Facebook is still technically free to use. And you’ll still be reaching some of your fans, albeit a small portion if you choose not to advertise. If you do choose to advertise you can reach your fans as you once did as well as potential customers for a relatively small investment.
And perhaps the best news of all…Your competition is faced with these same challenges and this gives you an opportunity to step it up and grow your market. If you embrace these changes while your competition keeps doing the same old things, you’re sure to come out on top!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Focus on creating content that sparks engagement and has a specific purpose. Cute cat pictures need not apply.
2. Use tools to find out specifically when your fans are online and share your content then.
3. Take this as an opportunity to expand into other social networking sites.
4. Ask your fans what kind of content they like most. This can be done as directly or indirectly as you please. Sometimes it’s nice to be straightforward and say, “Hey folks, we want to make sure you’re enjoying your experience on Facebook. What can we start or stop doing to make you enjoy your experience more?”
If you have questions about how to liven up your Facebook communities or get started using other social networks feel free to get in touch. You can comment below or send me an email through the contact page.