The Decline and Degeneration of Organic Reach on Facebook
Facebook organic reach is in major decline for every brand and SMB. You’ve likely read a few articles, with rants for social media managers and content creators, who are frustrated and a little angry. It’s now so bad that social@Ogilvy says that organic reach on Facebook is going to zero with a bullet.
You read that right. Social media consultants, gurus, and ninjas, can see that it’s only a matter of time before your organic reach on Facebook is zero. Not almost zero or essentially zero. It will be actually zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Yea sure we became aware, back in 2012, that organic reach on the world’s largest social network has been restricted to around 16%. I called BS on that the day I read it.
The following year, in December 2013, Facebook told us that they made even more new changes to their News Feed algorithm, and that organic reach on Facebook will be reduced further.
Say goodbye to reaching just 16% of your fans. Say goodbye to reaching more than 10% of your fans. In fact, does anyone out there organically reach more than 10% of his or her fans these days? I’d bet not.
Facebook Organic Reach is Dying
Here’s is a chart created by social@Ogilvy that shows a 49% decrease in reach for brand pages when compared to the same period last year. Just to repeat – that is a forty-nine percent decrease in average organic reach!!
It seems that the only way for brands and SMBs to reach their Facebook fans by getting into their News Feed is to advertise on Facebook by boosting your posts. Another way of saying, just like everything else in life, you need to pay to play.
Zero organic reach on Facebook is a reality. It’s coming. Will you be ready? The recent changes in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm are directly responsible for this decline in organic reach. So what’s a social media consultant to do? What are business owners going to do?
Advertising on social media is a good thing and can work. Many retailers have found solid ROI from Facebook advertising campaigns. It’s nearly impossible to build a Facebook following and fan base organically.
“The ability to build communities of fans, and then maintain contact and encourage engagement using content published to fans’ News Feeds was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers. The opportunity of achieving engagement at scale motivated many brands and corporates to invest millions in developing communities and providing for care and feeding via always-on content.
With the impending end of organic reach, what are the consequences for marketers and others who use Facebook to connect with their communities? How can brands and corporates get the most from Facebook in the future? Is Facebook still a driver of “earned” conversation and word of mouth? Or is it just a straightforward paid channel? How should communities approach content and engagement going forward?”
Decline of Organic Reach: The Wrap
Is Facebook Zero the real thing? I have to lean that way and agree. In my experience using the social platform, for marketing purposes, since 2007, we have two choices.
1. Pay to play and target your ads accordingly. Do your research, optimize your social ads (SMO), create compelling landing pages, and publish quality and useful content.
2. Get off Facebook. Or stay on, but use the platform sparingly. Start building communities on other social networks. There are other platforms that your fans/followers spend time on each day.
Either way, brands, business owners, and social media marketing professionals will need to take some sort of action based on long term strategy. Action will be required, decisive decisions will need to be made when planning out your content strategy, audience targeting, your social posting schedule, and your paid social advertising.
If you need help navigating the social media advertising waters or understanding this issue with Facebook reach declining and approaching zero, reach out to me and fire away.
I’m happy to help you figure this all out and strategically plan your social media marketing and advertising efforts.
To read more about Facebook Zero, read the full report from social@Ogilvy.