Status Update: Facebook’s Organic Reach Decreases

Small business owners across the world flocked to Facebook as a way to keep in touch with their customers and try to catch the eye of potential new customers. Many put a lot of time and money amassing a loyal group of Facebook fans that were advocates for their brands.

The thought was to build your fan page through any means necessary, at which point you would be able to reach your fans any time you needed.

Does that sound like you?

Well, according to multiple sources, organic reach for some Facebook brand pages has dropped to just 2 percent. That means if a page has 1,000 fans, only about 20 people will see each update the brand posts to its page. Small business owners who have been in the Facebook game for a long time have probably noticed this decline. A post by eMarketer notes average organic reach dropped from 16 percent in February 2012 to 6.5 percent in March 2014.

Fear not! Facebook has a solution to reach people who have said that they are interested in your business, often the same people you have already paid to get them to “Like” your page: Pay to reach them.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Facebook will let you pay to boost your posts and pay for ads to get more eyes on your content.

Facebook said last fall that the reason for the lack of organic reach was due to a lack of space in the newsfeed. And it has been reported that brands are willing to pay more to advertise on Facebook, which is driving up ad prices. So with declining organic reach and increasing ad prices, should your business even be on Facebook?

Well, that answer is really up to you, but here are some things to think about:

Are your customers and target demographic really on Facebook?

Teens are leaving Facebook in droves. The 13-17 demographic is down 25 percent from 2011 and the 18-24 demographic is down 8 percent over the same time period. However, the 25-34, 35-54, and 55+ demographics are up 33, 41, and 80 percent respectively. If your demographic skews older, there may be some value in remaining on Facebook. But if you are looking to attract teens, it may be time to look elsewhere.

What do your insights say?

Just because some pages’ reach has dropped to 2 percent, doesn’t mean yours has. Check out your page insights and dive into how many people are seeing your posts. If your reach and engagement are still at an acceptable level, stick with it!

No other social network comes close to the users that Facebook has

Facebook has over 1.3 billion (with a “B”) active monthly users, over 640 million minutes a month are spent on Facebook, and 48 percent of all Facebook users log in on any given day. There are A LOT of people on Facebook and odds are your customers are, too. You just have to reach them.

Do you have a good Facebook posting strategy?

It’s probably time to reassess your Facebook posting strategy. A way to increase your organic reach is to get your fans to engage with your content. Likes, comments, and shares go a long way and can help your content be seen by more people. So, how do you increase engagement? Just Google “increase facebook engagement” and you will get tons of great articles with posting tips to help share engaging content. Pick and implement a few and see what works.

When compared to traditional advertising, Facebook is more affordable and more targeted

How much do you spend on other marketing and advertising? Do you utilize traditional sources like newspaper, magazine, radio, or TV? Below is a graphic that shows the average cost of reaching 1,000 people.

Brian Carter points out on The Moz Blog that you can spend $1 a day and your ad could get in front of 4,000 people who wouldn’t have known about you or seen your ad. There are not many advertising channels that allow the targeting options you get with Facebook for the little cost.

It may seem like Facebook is being evil, and there are many people out there that would agree. But Facebook has to make money somehow, I suppose. Whether to give them your hard-earned cash is up to you.


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