Facebook has overhauled how it ranks the posts, videos and photos that appear in its users’ News Feeds, introducing major changes on Thursday designed to put what friends and family have to say first.
However this shouldn’t have caught anyone off guard, organic reach has been on its way down for years.
A source at the social network even said, “We’ve been openly discussing the decline in organic reach for a long time—almost four years. I know it’s still surprising to many, but it certainly wasn’t a secret.”
If you’ve been managing a Facebook Page over the past few years, you’ve likely noticed a drop in how many of your fans have been viewing and interacting with your organic posts. This decline in organic Facebook reach came to a head in 2014, when marketers started picking up on (and complaining about) the situation in droves, prompting a response from Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland.
“Over the past few months, I’ve read articles and answered questions from many people who are concerned about declines in organic reach for their Facebook Pages,” Boland wrote in June of 2014.
This is a great example of why SEO is so important, any business that has sunk the majority of their marketing hours into Facebook is getting punished for trusting the social media giant.
Facebook is really being lazy here, this is their response to their fake news problem instead of fixing the real problem. That many accounts on Facebook are fake.
Facebook has admitted that up to 270m accounts on the social network are illegitimate, raising questions over the social network’s integrity as it is under pressure over Russian meddling in elections across the world. Buried in the social network’s results on Wednesday night, it disclosed that there are tens of millions more fake and duplicate accounts than it had previously thought.
Around 2-3pc of its 2.1bn monthly users in the third quarter of 2017 were “user-misclassified and undesirable accounts”, Facebook said, up from the 1pc it had estimated in July. Another 10pc of its accounts are duplicates of real users, almost doubling its estimate of 6pc from last quarter’s results. This suggests that in total, up to 13pc of its 2.1bn monthly users – almost 270m accounts – are illegitimate.
As Facebook has evolved into more of a paid marketing platform than an organic one, Page managers are realizing they’re now expected to pay for ads yet again to reach those newly acquired Fans, even if those Fans have seemingly elected to see a brand’s posts by liking their Page in the first place.
What does this mean. More Money = More Reach.
Facebook may be pulling off one of the most lucrative grifts of all time; first, they convinced brands they needed to purchase all their Fans and Likes — even though everyone knows you can’t buy love; then, Facebook continues to charge those same brands money to speak to the Fans they just bought.
In general Facebook is a bubble, they don’t want you to leave their website. To accomplish this they’ve make engagement an overwhelmingly powerful ranking factor, this means that if you aren’t actively connecting and communicating with people (spending time) then your reach goes down. Basically you have to spend a lot more time to just keep the same results than your would on any other social media platform.
Summary: Facebook is not future friendly for businesses.
However, it is still a necessary evil so here are some quick tips to improve your reach and engagement on Facebook:
- Facebook Groups should play a big part in your Facebook marketing strategy
- Reach out to influential groups and pages
- Social media distribution is no longer free, get used to boosting posts
- Broadcast live and post more video content