The days of easily reaching your Facebook followers organically have come to an end. In 2012, Facebook restricted organic reach of content published from brand pages to about 16%, with additional reductions in 2013. Today, research has shown that the organic reach, or the number of your fans who are receiving your Facebook posts in their news feeds without using advertising, hovers somewhere between 2-6%, with industry predictions that absolute zero is right around the corner.
Why This is Happening?
According to Facebook, the growth of the platform and the amount of content that is being posted is the reason for the decline in organic reach. Because there is more content, there is more competition for room on people’s news feeds, which are designed to show them the most relevant, original content that is available. The more pages that users like, the higher the competition for spots on their news feed. According to Facebook, about 1,500 stories are vying for a seat in any given news feed right now. Through Facebook’s algorithm, which chooses to show posts based on their relevancy to each individual, their originality, the level engagement they receive and other factors, only about 1/5 of posts actually make their way to user screens.
What Can You Do?
Create Interesting Content People Naturally Want to Share – There ARE ways to get around this shift in social media marketing. You can concentrate on acquiring more “earned media,” which is unpaid media that is shared by third parties organically (like customer promotions through Instagram photos, shares, twitter hashtags, Facebook check-ins, Pinterest pins, etc.). You achieve this by developing original, helpful content and experiences that please your customers so much that they want to share it with the world themselves. People love to share when they are happy…so please your customers so much they can’t help but tell the world about you.
Enhance the Content on Your Website – Redirect more attention to your inbound marketing practices on your “owned media,” like your website, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, etc. Make sure to include easily accessible “share icons” so that your fans can seamlessly share your content. Adding great content to your website will help with both social media and search engine exposure.
Use Social Media as 2-Way Communication – Use social media to communicate, not just advertise. Engage your customers with concern and offer advice and useful information whenever possible. Your efforts will be remembered and so will your brand.
As far as Facebook goes, things are always changing and evolving; but for right now, there are a few ways you can get around the organic reach restrictions. Remind fans that they can click to view their “page feed” on the left sidebar of their news feed to see content from pages they have already liked, and they can “get notifications” from your page by clicking the “liked” tab on their profile page.
It all comes down to going above and beyond for your customers. You can’t get something for free…well, at least not now that Facebook has severely decreased their organic reach. So you have to get back to the basics and put in the leg work. Become a brand people appreciate for good reason and you will be rewarded.