Brands that use Facebook for marketing have seen a sharp drop in engagement. The tight-lipped social network acknowledged as much in a leaked sales deck obtained by TechCrunch in December that included this statement: “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” Coupled with recent changes to the news feed algorithm, marketers are finding it harder and harder to generate organic buzz.
Organic reach has been a sore subject for brands since late 2012. In November of that year, Facebook restricted brand content reach to about 16%. Then in a December, 2013 blog post, the company said it would begin to place more articles from publishers in the news feed and that it would favor “high quality articles” over “the latest meme”. According to a Social@Ogilvy report that analyzed over 100 brand pages, Facebook organic reach was around 6% in February, 2014 — a decline of 49% from October. For brands with more than 500,000 likes, the fall-off was much steeper, with reach dropping to about 2%. Facebook has told marketers that they should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery” of their messages in news feed. Translation: You must pay to play.
No one really knows for sure how Facebook decides what appears in news feeds, but some elements are well known as weighting factors:
Facebook engineer Lars Backstrom has said that Edgerank is dead and that Facebook’s news feed algorithm now employs almost 100,000 weight factors. But Edgerank is still part of the mix. As I wrote in a post last year, Edgerank consists of 3 primary factors:
In light of these developments, it is vital to take some steps to recover the digital reach that your brand has lost due to Facebook’s changing algorithm. The team at Offerpop, a social marketing platform that enables users to create and launch Twitter and Facebook campaigns, compiled the infographic below to illustrate at a high level how brands can combat Facebook’s reach decline by revamping their digital strategy.
Facebook’s Organic Reach Decline: How to Respond is a post by Pam Dyer on Pamorama | Social Media Marketing Blog. A Forbes Top-25 Forbes Social Media Power Influencer, Pam is a Seattle-area marketing professional and Seahawks fan. Follow her on Twitter at @pamdyer.