There has been a lot written about the decline in organic reach on Facebook. The data has been poured over, conspiracy theories have been written, and the overall conclusion has been that Facebook is stealing hard earned reach from page owners, leading many to look for a new area of focus away from Facebook. However, we believe the decline in organic reach on Facebook offers an opportunity for brands, and here's why.
Before organic reach began its steep decline, all Facebook pages were in a slightly strange position. They had organic reach, generally of around 20-35% of their audience, and were involved in a battle to optimise this to make minor improvements. There was a lot of hoping involved, particularly when it came to the reach of pieces of content that had been expensive to create.
Facebook has naturally seen a decline in organic reach due to the fact that there are more pages than ever before, users on average like more pages, and those pages are creating more content than ever. This leads to a highly competitive space, with pages competing for attention in the News Feed space of their users alongside content from friends, families, groups and events.
In the balance of fairness, it's also important to mention that not all pages are seeing a big decline in organic reach. In fact some are actually growing. We have a number of clients where organic reach is improving month on month and year on year. There are no tricks involved in this, this just comes from an understanding of the audience, a data led content strategy, and a programme of consistent content optimisation. By applying data to your Facebook content you can see strong improvements, as discussed in our social content eBook recently here.
But for those where organic reach is decreasing, this isn't necessarily the end of the world. In today's Facebook, brands and professional marketers have an advantage that they never had before. Brands are able to promote their content to new audiences, ensure that their best content receives more reach, and specify which audiences see their content based on real life data. The decrease in organic reach has led Facebook to advance their ad product at a fast rate, enabling new targeting options and new ad formats that are highly effective for advertisers.
Previously, brands were competing with all sorts of poorly run pages, some of which were solely concentrated on gaming the Facebook algorithm to get as much reach as possible. Now, brands are in control of their own destiny. Whilst it's worth optimising and using data to improve your organic reach amongst your fanbase, the key to success now really lies in effective promotion of content through the ads platform.
A large amount of page owners are not serious enough about Facebook marketing to spend budget, and many of the rest are unsure as to how to best promote their content. For brands, this gives a great opportunity to achieve high levels of reach at relatively cost effective levels. With competition still not particularly high, brands can really dominate and achieve fantastic results at low levels of spend.
If you haven't got involved yet, now is the time. Set a goal for your content, understand your audience, and promote your best posts effectively by using the full range of targeting options in order to succeed.
Don't see the decline in organic reach as the end of your Facebook marketing. Take the opportunity to grow your reach in a controlled way, amongst the people who you want to see your content.
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