Today I want to talk about the drop of organic reach on Facebook, a very relevant topic as it affects the way organisations elaborate their strategies and, in turn, reach their goals. Facebook, in fact, is still one of the best channels companies rely on, and it is pivotal for marketers and brands to understand how to cope with these new changes.
Let’s start with the definition: the organic reach refers to the number of people a brand can reach posting on its own Facebook page for free.
As the competition started to increase in the news feed (we are exposed to 1,500 contents per day on average, people are liking 50% more pages in the last year) Facebook decided to show people the content that is more relevant to them according to a number of factors relative to each person. We talk about a ranking system as opposite to a real-time approach.
What is the logic behind it? Fans might represent brand best customers, but they are not always customers or potential customers. Having fans is not an end into itself:
- Fans make a company ad more effective. When a person see a friend like a page, that ad drives 50% more recall, and 35% higher conversion;
- Companies can use information about their fans to make decision on how to reach the current target and prospects;
- Fans give business credibility.
Organic content has still value: informative, engaging posts can still reach people in the News Feed. However, the success of a post is unpredictable and to achieve precise business objectives (conversions, boosting app downloads) it would be better to promote posts. Paid media on Facebook allow business to reach a broader audiences more predictably, and with much accuracy than organic reach.
Content Marketing is a powerful discipline that is used by brands to acquire customers through an editorial calendar that aims at communicate the brand values and to solve the problems customers can face.
If well conceived it helps to establish long term relationships with customers increasing their Lifetime Value. It is based on storytelling, that needs to be declined according to the communication code of each channel. It is pivotal to delineate what a company stands for, individuate the consumer behaviour of its target, and try to stay top of mind.
Talking about Engagement, this is defined by Fan size, and post frequency. A page with a limited number of fans may have a more dedicated close circle of followers. Research shows, in fact, that as a page grows, it’s core group of advocates get diluted and consequently becomes pivotal to put some money on content to reach the right group of people. Since the News Feed ads were introduced, due to an increase in competition, the standard engagement formula has been replaced by the Reach Engagement equation that is: absolute interactions divided by unique page impressions.
To conclude, “organic posting is the most popular social tactic — but paid advertising is the most successful tactic” – (Forrester Research)
- Paid promoted content is working best for brand-focused social advertisers (Brand Awareness)
- Paid social ads are working best for response-focused social advertisers (Conversions)
Smart marketers should identify objectives and tactics that fit into their customer journey and into their marketing initiatives (creating brand impact to drive discovery, offering deep product information to convert prospects, and building relationships with existing customers after the point of purchase). There is not a one size fits all strategy, thus good marketers should try and create the right balance between paid media (Facebook exchange, Promoted posts, Retargeted content) and tactics like social listening and content quality to reach their goals.