Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is changing and it’s changing really fast. In the last few years world’s largest online social network, enjoying the attention of 1.22 billion monthly active users has gone through multiple shifts. This has resulted in a disappointment for brands and companies whose Facebook Page organic reach has taken a nosedive. While this has emerged as a challenge for brands as well as marketing agencies, Facebook was quick to justify the move as an opportunity – coming at a cost.
During last few revamp and rollouts, Facebook has made major changes in its algorithm, widely known as Edge Rank. It’s an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed, and how high and to whom, on News Feed. Of late, the social giant has tightened the new algorithm with Pages that has shrunken the potential reach of each update on the page – despite of having hundreds of thousand fans. After much of uproar Facebook had presented these changes as inevitable and in favor of brands and companies. The explosive growth in number of users, undoubtedly, has become a cause of concern for Facebook, in terms of providing seamless experience and meeting the expectation. Each one of more than half of adult Facebook users have 200 friends in their network, 36% Facebook users strongly dislike other people sharing too much information about themselves, according to a study done by Phew Research last year. Consequently, Facebook has implemented few stern relational-joints to filter out updates from users’ News Feed that interest him least. Therefore, irrespective of number of fans of any brand page, updates on that page are reaching only to those fans that either have shown close interest in the topic or have interacted with the page, recently. However, Facebook has left a safe passage to void this algorithm for Pages that are owned by cash-rich companies. If the organic reach of a page has declined significantly, page admin could pump in money on each update to increase the reach.
Facebook Page Organic Reach: Heading To A Dead-End
The new Edge Ranking change has disappointed millions of small-scale business owners and startups, which don’t have deep pockets for Facebook marketing. The frustration and anger have reached to a level where small brands have started dissociation with Facebook to channelize their efforts for better platform like Google+. A breakup letter to Facebook from Eat24 is a classic example of such annoyance.
In April 2012, Facebook officially announced that Page organically reach about 16% of their fans. However, by February 2014, the organic reached is reportedly declined to 6.15%, according to the study based upon the analysis of 106 country-level brand pages. The crash in organic reach of Pages in last few years also showcases a future scenario when brands could be totally dependent on Sponsored Updates. Big brands, having more than 500,000 fans, are more distressed as their organic reach had declined to 2.11% by February 2014.
Facebook Marketing: Driven By Intelligence For Optimum ROI
The challenge with organic reach is bound to grow for sure, but Facebook also offers flavors of advertising mechanism that justify the investment. All it needs that marketers must leverage upon data intelligence, ROI and long-term strategy.
Consider this, if your core focus is to enlarge your brand’s community on Facebook, you could create an ad with a focused approach to increase your Like. On an average each fan from the U.S. costs $1.10, and here we are talking about a page that already has 5k fans. To take the fan base tally to 10K, page admin will have to omit $5500 to acquire additional 5K fans. With 10K fans, you page organic reach would be 615 users on each update. A simple calculation proves that page admin coughed $5500 to reach mere 300 additional users. On the other hand, boosting your each page post separately to 1000 users cost just $7, and in many cases much lesser.
In nutshell, the future of Facebook organic reach for Pages looks shady and marketers must be ready to fund their page to increase reach and engagement. While Facebook justifies the move in best interest of growing of users and updates, a lion share of Facebook’s 1.2 billion users is available only at the huge cost for business.
Key Findings & Takeaways:
- Must allocate a separate budget for Facebook marketing.
- Spend $10 (minimum) each day on Facebook to build a community.
- Growing brands on Facebook must split their community into multiple pages for optimum ROI. 6.15% reach of page with 200k fans is higher than 2.1% reach of a page with fan base of 500k.
- Target Post Engagement campaign while doing Facebook marketing.
- Community building campaigns and post engagement campaigns must run parallel to ensure create highest level of engagement.