The free ride is over:
Facebook has announced that organic reach is dropping and they’re in the process of pushing brand pages to pay for their content to be seen by their community.
Why this is happening:
Facebook is a free platform and has obviously grown to be quite large. With that, Facebook are faced with a problem, what to show in the users newsfeed. Facebook suggests that users have 1,500 stories each day that they could show the average user and if you’re someone with a lot of friends and follow a lot of brand pages you could have up to 15,000 stories each day.
Facebook then need to work out what to show the user, which they feel is most relevant based off edge rank.
Understanding this, Facebook are now requiring brands to think more about their posts and execute them at a higher level. Your posts will be seen organically, but it won’t be seen by many of your community as you’re used too. So if your post is not engaged with (liked, commented, shared) within the initial organic reach list, then Facebook will deem this post as ‘not relevant’ and will not show your post to more people in your community.
Facebook are also now trying to remove ‘meme’ and ‘brand page’ posts. So unless shared by your close friends you’re more than likely not to see these types posts.
What can brands do:
- Create engaging content with strong CTA’s for users to engage with the post.
- Listen to your community and post content they want to see (put the customer wants and convenience first).
- Pay for reach using promoted posts to your community and/or their friends.
- Pay for reach using custom audiences (highly targeted content).
- Pay for reach using custom audiences lookalike (targeted content).
How Facebook Sorts Users Feeds
- How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, clicked) are the post creator’s past posts with everyone.
- How popular is this post with everyone who has already seen it.
- How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with the viewer.
- Doe the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what types have been popular with the viewer in the past.
- How recently was the post published
This means the more successful a post is, and the more popular its creator is amongst everyone and the potential viewer, the more likely that viewer is to see the post. The fact that someone Liked a Page or added a friend at some point over the years doesn’t matter nearly as much. It’s whether the Page continues to be interesting to everyone and to any specific potential viewer of their posts.
Essentially, everyone has to earn their space in News Feed. If they publish posts that are interesting enough to get likes, comments, shares, and clicks, their reach increases. If their posts bore people and are ignored and scrolled past by anyone who sees them, their reach decreases. And since the natural trend is for reach to shrink as competition grows, Pages have to work harder and harder to stay visible.
I’m not saying you need to jump ship and look for a new medium, as Facebook is still extremely relevant being that they have such a large market share.
1. Be clever about how and what you’re posting.
It places more emphasis on making sure your digital team is organised and have planned your communications in advanced. Think of posts as magazine ads, put the time in to think about the execution as these posts shouldn’t be last minute unless it’s a flash sale or relevant content (it’s pouring, come buy our umbrellas).
2. Investigating custom audiences is highly recommended.
Please see attached for more information on custom audiences and lookalike segments.
3. Investigating other platforms and opportunities is highly recommended.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Polyvore, Snapchat are all platforms that your community engage with. It might be wise to invest your digital teams time into these channels as they’re far less cluttered.