Since early this year, Facebook has been getting a lot of flak for scaling back the organic reach of brand pages. Much like other marketers, I went through phases of frustration and anger, however I was optimistic that Facebook has some good reasons for limiting the amount of people a brand page could reach through its posts. Much to my delight, they finally came clean about why organic reach has declined and what it means for marketers and users alike.
Explosion of Content Creation
Everyone and their mother (literally) have a Facebook account. This means that everyone and their mother can create content whenever they want. There is an insane amount of content constantly being pumped out and there has to be some way to manage it. Along with the amount of content creators increasing, mobile technology has made sharing easier than ever. With one tap of the smart phone, users can share content from anywhere. On average, there are about 1,500 stories that could appear in a user's News Feed every time they log in. Users with a lot of connections could actually have as many as 15,000 potential stories any time. To combat this overwhelming amount of content, the News Feed algorithm sorts content by what is the most relevant for its intended user. This means that of the over 1,500 potential stories a person might see when they log in, Facebook only shows them roughly 300. This makes content consumption more enjoyable and creates a better overall user experience. A good user experience keeps people spending time on Facebook and keeps social media marketers employed.
As I mentioned in the previous point, there is more content and more content creators than ever in Facebook’s history. With this increase in activity comes increased competition a we are all battling for real estate in the News Feed. Facebook wants to provide the best user experience possible, so it has made sure that users are presented with content that is most relevant to them. People want to see content from their friends and family more than a flash sale on toilet paper by an e-commerce brand page. Now, this isn’t to say that people wouldn’t ever want to see this type of content, so Facebook allows it with moderation. According to Facebook, the total number of pages liked by the typical user has grown more that 50% since last year. People are liking more pages, but this doesn’t mean that they want to see more content from those pages than their real life connections. Again, the better experience Facebook can provide, the more time people will spend with Facebook and the more available they are to the right social media marketing messages.
This might be a bold statement, but if you are a marketer and are complaining about the decreased reach of Facebook, you need to wake up and realize what’s good for you. By limiting brand pages' organic reach, Facebook is protecting users from annoying regurgitations of memes and other “like this if...” content. If you want to know how to combat the decrease in organic reach, consider the following options.
• Refresh your social content strategy and brush up on what the News Feed Algorithm is
• Calibrate your efforts on what is making your community react, not only on what is trending.
• Invest what you can in a Facebook advertising strategy.
So there you have it, two main reasons why Facebook has decreased organic reach. Are you still annoyed with them? Tell me in the comment section what you think of their reasoning!
Photo Credit: Facebook Organic Reach/shutterstock