Facebook's organic reach is decreasing

Status Update: Facebook’s Organic Reach Decreases

Small business owners across the world flocked to Facebook as a way to keep in touch with their customers and try to catch the eye of potential new customers. Many put a lot of time and money amassing a loyal group of Facebook fans that were advocates for their brands.

The thought was to build your fan page through any means necessary, at which point you would be able to reach your fans any time you needed.

Does that sound like you?

Well, according to multiple sources, organic reach for some Facebook brand pages has dropped to just 2 percent. That means if a page has 1,000 fans, only about 20 people will see each update the brand posts to its page. Small business owners who have been in the Facebook game for a long time have probably noticed this decline. A post by eMarketer notes average organic reach dropped from 16 percent in February 2012 to 6.5 percent in March 2014.

Fear not! Facebook has a solution to reach people who have said that they are interested in your business, often the same people you have already paid to get them to “Like” your page: Pay to reach them.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Facebook will let you pay to boost your posts and pay for ads to get more eyes on your content.

Facebook said last fall that the reason for the lack of organic reach was due to a lack of space in the newsfeed. And it has been reported that brands are willing to pay more to advertise on Facebook, which is driving up ad prices. So with declining organic reach and increasing ad prices, should your business even be on Facebook?

Well, that answer is really up to you, but here are some things to think about:

Are your customers and target demographic really on Facebook?

Teens are leaving Facebook in droves. The 13-17 demographic is down 25 percent from 2011 and the 18-24 demographic is down 8 percent over the same time period. However, the 25-34, 35-54, and 55+ demographics are up 33, 41, and 80 percent respectively. If your demographic skews older, there may be some value in remaining on Facebook. But if you are looking to attract teens, it may be time to look elsewhere.

What do your insights say?

Just because some pages’ reach has dropped to 2 percent, doesn’t mean yours has. Check out your page insights and dive into how many people are seeing your posts. If your reach and engagement are still at an acceptable level, stick with it!

No other social network comes close to the users that Facebook has

Facebook has over 1.3 billion (with a “B”) active monthly users, over 640 million minutes a month are spent on Facebook, and 48 percent of all Facebook users log in on any given day. There are A LOT of people on Facebook and odds are your customers are, too. You just have to reach them.

Do you have a good Facebook posting strategy?

It’s probably time to reassess your Facebook posting strategy. A way to increase your organic reach is to get your fans to engage with your content. Likes, comments, and shares go a long way and can help your content be seen by more people. So, how do you increase engagement? Just Google “increase facebook engagement” and you will get tons of great articles with posting tips to help share engaging content. Pick and implement a few and see what works.

When compared to traditional advertising, Facebook is more affordable and more targeted

How much do you spend on other marketing and advertising? Do you utilize traditional sources like newspaper, magazine, radio, or TV? Below is a graphic that shows the average cost of reaching 1,000 people.

Brian Carter points out on The Moz Blog that you can spend $1 a day and your ad could get in front of 4,000 people who wouldn’t have known about you or seen your ad. There are not many advertising channels that allow the targeting options you get with Facebook for the little cost.

It may seem like Facebook is being evil, and there are many people out there that would agree. But Facebook has to make money somehow, I suppose. Whether to give them your hard-earned cash is up to you.

How Much Social Media is Too Much?

eMarketer poses an interesting question in there recent post titled, “Is Social Media Marketing at a Saturation Point?” eMarketer estimates by the end of 2013, 91% of US companies will be using social media for marketing purposes. Facebook obviously dominates as far as which service most companies use and Twitter is a distant second.

So will social media marketing hit its saturation point? That is an interesting question. 91% of companies is a lot of companies. The unfortunate thing is that, I am assuming, most of those companies have no idea how to use social media to benefit their business. They think, “Well Bob has a Facebook page for his business. I should have one for mine.” If companies can’t monetize their social media efforts, I do believe it will reach a saturation point. But I also think that savvy companies will still thrive and succeed with social media.

Companies need to stand out on social sites. And in getting closer to the saturation point (whatever that point is), they will need to stand out even more. Like websites, having a Facebook page and/or Twitter account is the first step. But how are you using them to benefit your business? How are you using them to stand out from the other 91% of companies?

Engagement is a RESULT!

Jason Falls from Social Media Explorer sat down with eMarketer recently and I love a few of his points about social media. Read the article HERE.

Falls was asked “How do companies measure social media engagement, and how does that affect their social marketing strategy?” Falls responds with the quote of the article: “They think it’s [engagement] something they have to force, but engagement is not a goal, it’s a result.”

A-freaking-men! Engagement is great and wonderful and everything, but it can’t be forced. I hear, “we need to get better engagement for X” and “the engagement for Y is down this week.” Then I am expected to get people “Like” and comment to get “engagement” up. Sure I can throw something up and people will “Like” it and comment on it, but is that what we really want? Do we want fans commenting on something that has nothing to do with the brand just so we can say engagement is up?

The scene in Tommy Boy when Chris Farley and David Spade are trying to sell brake pads to the guy that wants a guarantee on the box. He wants the guarantee on the box because it makes you feel all “warm and fuzzy”.

When we throw up posts just to try and get engagement, we can get engagement and that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. But really all we are putting up is a “guaranteed” piece of shit that – if we really think about it – does nothing to help the brand.

Think about it, and read this article. It is very good.