If you’ve noticed a decline in your organic reach on Facebook recently, just stop for a second before you trace back every piece of content you’ve ever posted to find the root of the problem. The real reason why you aren’t generating the same organic traffic you used to may actually have nothing to do with you at all.
As more and more content is being created and shared every day, businesses are vying for their audience’s attention more than ever. This up against the content posted by user’s family and friends, leads to some hefty competition in the News Feed.
Facebook have always stated they will innovate to suit the growing needs of their users, and their recent changes to News Feed preferences are no different. This change now monitors content to display only what is most important and relevant to the individual user first. This means not only is the content users are presented with affected but businesses are now struggling to control their reach like they used to. Especially small businesses who now label the platform useless in generating organic traffic.
According to a survey conducted by social media software company GetApp in October 2016, Facebook seems to disappoint on a number of accounts. Of the 500 small business owners surveyed, more than 25% of business owners stated that Facebook is “not effective” at driving organic traffic to their website. A very small 2.4% of respondents considered Facebook to be “extremely effective”, while 6.8% deemed it as “very effective”.
These are quite low numbers in favor of Facebook if you consider the fact that just about every business uses Facebook in some way, shape or form. We wanted to explore this a little further so we talked to one of the researchers at GetApp Lauren Maffeo, to gain her personal insights.
“The decline of organic reach on Facebook is not new; Facebook restricted organic reach of content published by brand pages to 16 percent back in 2012. Social@Ogilvy’s February 2014 analysis of 100 brand pages on Facebook showed organic reach hovering around 6 percent. Today, average organic reach on Facebook is around one percent.”
So should you even be using Facebook for your business anymore? Well yes! Don’t give up all that effort you’ve already put into building a genuine following just yet. Consumers value a social presence regardless, but not being dependent on one platform is the key. While you shouldn’t be putting in a halfhearted effort to keep a number of lesser performing accounts going, you should be prioritising those that you see a return on more. If there is a platform you find is more productive than another, than pursue that one. Put a little bit of extra effort into it each month and you’ll see the difference.
Organic content still has value on Facebook and businesses that publish engaging content that educates, entertains or adds value to their audience are the ones that will reach people in News Feed. However, anticipating organic reach can be unpredictable, so combining this with paid marketing can help businesses reach their business goals. Just like with any form of advertising, businesses that pay to have themselves seen are the ones that end up in sight of their audience first. The difference with Facebook Ads compared to traditional advertising however is they are surprisingly affordable! For only a few dollars you can target specific users based on their age, location, pages they already like, their Facebook interests and activity on your website, to immediately increase brand awareness and exposure, as well as capture and nurture leads.
“Small businesses should shift their strategies to focus on Facebook as a paid marketing tool. This includes learning to use features like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool, which allows you to upload lists of current customers and target new, similar prospects.”
Facebook always has been a trial and error platform for businesses, so why not test something a little different to what you’re used to! Who knows what great results you could see?!
How has Facebooks update affected your organic reach? Have you found results in using paid advertising? We’d love to hear your feedback!