The decline of organic reach on Facebook

By now, most businesses know that to be marketing your business successfully, you have to be utilising social media. Facebook is by far, the key player.

Like most things though, utilising social media effectively can be tricky! It’s not as simple as posting a random update and engagement, traffic and sales will automatically follow. It involves a lot of work and that’s why there is so much information out there to help you to implement and deliver effective social media strategies.

What makes it ever harder though, is that the goal posts continually change.

What is organic reach and how has it changed?

A few years ago for example, a good organic reach on Facebook (the amount of your followers who see your posts in their newsfeed) used to be easy to attain. As time goes on however, and social media newsfeeds get more and more clogged with content and the content competes to be displayed, organic reach on Facebook for businesses continues to decline.

Facebook have said many times that they regularly update their newsfeed algorithm in order to keep up with the increasing amount of content being shown. If they didn’t tweak the newsfeed, people could be shown up to 1,500 pieces of content every time they access their newsfeed. In a time where people are increasingly busy, that much content wouldn’t prove an enjoyable or useful user experience and therefore Facebook implement an algorithm which shows only the content they feel you as a user will be most interested in.

That makes it tricky for business to maintain valuable organic reach – unless of course you are a big player such as Cadbury or Cola Cola. Thus many medium and small sized businesses are struggling to be seen in their followers’ newsfeeds, unless they start to pay for visibility.

The most noticeable decline has happened in just the last month. It’s so new in fact, that there is little information about the latest change.

Our analysis suggests that it seems to be any business page updates which include a link and automatically populated information and where that link leads that are seeing the great declines.  

In the space of a month, updates which were previously reaching say 200 people, are now only reaching say 5 people organically.  That’s a decline of 97.50%.

So what exactly does this mean for businesses and their use of Facebook moving forward?

Here at Affinity, we think this is a bold move from Facebook. Clearly their intention is to encourage many business pages to start paying for visibility using the ‘Boosted Post’ option and paid campaigns. But for many businesses that budget just doesn’t exist. As such, if Facebook keeps this up, it could actually discourage many businesses from engaging on the platform.

For now though, we are convinced that Facebook remains as important as ever when it comes to your marketing strategy.

Our advice? Don’t give up on Facebook just yet. Photo and video updates currently still seem to be maintain their organic reach stats. Try trialling a different approach to your updates.

Rather than posting a simple URL and relying on Facebook to auto-fill the content, try uploading your own photo and crafting your post around it and include the URL afterwards.

Watch this space too as we monitor the web for updates and information from Facebook. 

 

Written by Kerri Ware, Senior Account Manager