As can be expected of a relatively new kid on the block, Facebook saw a lot of changes in its marketing offerings in 2013. Making big waves is the recent changes to organic reach. Facebook say the focus on delivering a good user experience continues as the number one priority, but what does this mean for Social Marketers?
Understandably there has been a lot of discussion (not to mention a lot of alarm) around the reduction in Facebook page organic reach announced in early December, but what’s the practical impact of this change?
The reduction in organic reach from around 16% last year down to less than 10% (and possibly even lower, below 2%) will mean fan acquisition campaigns are no longer going to deliver a high enough ROI to make them a priority. Straight up fan acquisition campaigns should start to drop off dramatically.
What this also means is that facebook competitions will become more like their traditional media counterparts and focus on informative leads rather than bribing people to like the page. This should mean more useful leads being generated rather than having budgets wasted on competition hunters.
Moving away from fan acquisition will mean quite a drastic shift in Facebook marketing goals, and may turn it more into a highly targetable ad serving platform, which with a large volume of daily users this will ensure that Facebook is still a viable ad platform, just not the diverse platform for reaching your audience as it was previously.
This is going to be a difficult pill to swallow for brands that have invested a lot in page fans over the last few years, leverage of those existing fans may have disappeared almost entirely with this change.
With no organic reach the question is what is the motivation for a user to like a page, any page? This is something that Facebook will no doubt be considering carefully, as if a Facebook user likes a page surely they’re expecting to get updates from that page whether they’re a company or not? The official line from Facebook is that if a user is interacting with posts from a page then they’ll see more content from that source, but currently it seems branded pages are taking the brunt of the organic reach drop.
As always Facebook is trying to make sure the content is relevant to its users, which makes sense, but making it more difficult for advertisers to reach those users may see advertisers take their budgets to other, more steady channels.
There has been a lot of discussion around the reduction in Facebook page organic reach. What do you think about the situation and how has it impacted your Facebook page? Leave us a comment below.