Only a few years back, both online and brick-and-mortar businesses enjoyed a healthy organic reach on Facebook – at no cost. During this time, you could easily build an audience for your business on Facebook and organic interactions were strong. Among all the social media platforms, Facebook became the key social hub. Businesses of all sizes, in different industries and niches, could almost always find part their key market there, and keep in contact with the standard news feed. Nowadays, however, it seems organic Facebook Marketing has changed, with some saying it’s gone forever.
Tell us… how are your organic Facebook marketing efforts going these days? Do your posts receive as many ‘likes’ ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ as they used to? How have things changed for your business Facebook page? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
If you’re using Facebook for business, you’ve likely noticed a decline in the organic reach of your posts. This is explained by EngageSciences as a steady plummet in Organic Facebook Marketing since 2012. More accurately, the organic reach has been diving continuously – from 16% to 12% to 6% – in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. We’ll have to see what the rest of 2015 brings.
Organic Facebook marketing is not completely gone yet, it’s just greatly diminished. Will it phase out completely? This is a nightmare for business owners and marketers who put most of their social efforts into Facebook, thinking that it would always remain free online marketing tool and work in their favor. They are now having to look towards other social sites like Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
Organic Facebook marketing is quickly losing its organic, free market appeal.
When it comes to explaining the reasons behind the severe reduction in the organic reach, Facebook has maintained its position consistently. First off, it states that the site has grown immensely and the news feeds are becoming more and more crowded. As is true with most things, posts have to compete… and Facebook wall space is an incredibly competitive field.
Then, Facebook goes on to say that users are unhappy about being bombarded with different types of irrelevant posts in their news feeds, many of them highly promotional. Facebook reached out to users to try and help improve the Facebook experience and the #1 suggestion that came back was about seeing more posts from friends and businesses they cared about, rather than paid promotions.
According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
In short, Facebook aims at populating users’ news feeds with the best content possible, which is mostly considered to be from their friends and businesses of interest. This leaves little room for random organic promotion. Facebook believes if users are not given what they personally believe to be high-quality content, they might stop visiting Facebook all together.
According to many experts, Facebook engagement algorithm is not very transparent. Does Facebook offer an option to view an unfiltered news feed? What if users want to check out every single post from a particular Facebook page? Is there an option to satisfy the requirement?
Whether or not Facebook cares about the transparency of their algorithm, we should never forget that Facebook is a public company and obligated to provide healthy returns to their shareholders. According to a popular study and report by Social@Oglivy, Facebook’s stock price went up from around $50 to around $70 as the organic reach declined from 12% to 6% during Oct-Feb 2014. The elimination of most organic reach was quite tactical in its move to maximize revenues. Now a profit driven company, the drop in organic Facebook marketing added billions of dollars in market capitalization.
While you may want to cry over the nose dive in the organic reach of your posts, Facebook is certain to be smiling all the way to the bank. Small-to-medium businesses will continue to find it harder to compete for that precious new feed space and many fear that someday soon, organic Facebook marketing will be completely nonexistent.
What to Do Now
First of all, realize that you are not alone. Marketers across the board are having problems when trying to use the same tactics with organic Facebook marketing. The reach of unpaid posts has become limited so, what should you do now? We’ll all need to improve our Facebook skills to keep our social media selling afloat without spending a ton on marketing. Yes, it’s become harder than ever to increase the organic reach of your business pages but it’s still POSSIBLE, provided you follow these useful tips.
- Know What Engages Your Audience: Check out your Facebook page insights to fully understand what type of posts your target audience likes to engage with. Do pictures, videos or text work best with your followers?
- Post More Often: If you were posting to Facebook 2-3 times a week up until now, you should increase it to 5-6 times a week or more. The more you post, the better your chances of reaching more people.
- Post at the Ideal Times: The time you publish your post and share it on social media has become more important than ever before. You should study the browsing habits of your niche market to get a feel for the times when their activities peak on Facebook. Posting around those times, when most of your audience is logged in, should become your common practice, even if you have to schedule those post times through a social media management tool.
- Focus on Quality: Give your audience what they are hungry for! Teach them something new! Provide them with important resources! Set up Google alerts so you can share your breaking industry news as it happens! The content you post to your Facebook pages has got to create interest, interaction and be shareable. The more people that share your content, the greater organic reach you’ll get from your efforts.
- Share Other People’s Posts: The idea behind social sharing has been lost to many business owners but should be reclaimed now, especially since organic Facebook marketing is on the decline. Social sharing means sharing other people’s posts, as well as your own. Both Facebook and your audience likes to see that you are sharing valuable content and if you start this interactive sharing with your partners, vendors and clients, they’ll be more likely to ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ back on posts that you make, too. All of this creates a beautiful social sharing circle that helps everyone in your business circle, and brings you all many other benefits.
Today’s organic Facebook marketing requires you to do a bit of research and get to know what your target audience really wants to read about. Make a plan, adjust it as needed, and stick with it. If you’re willing to put in the required effort, you can still make the most of what’s left in organic Facebook marketing. An effective strategy and effort goes a long way!
Do you have any tricks on organic Facebook marketing to share? Please share them in the comment section at the bottom of this article. 🙂
Inspired by her love of travel, Susan is a passionate supporter of eCommerce software and the idea that people should own their own internet business (so they can work from anywhere in the world). Though she currently resides in California, she is often found blogging from random beaches and teaching her kindergartner the delightful difference between ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’.
With a strong past in product evaluation, educational content, and eCommerce sales, Susan is serious about helping online merchants succeed in their goals. She loves meeting other independent business owners on the road and hopes to run into you one day… maybe in the hammock next to her!