Organic Brand Promotion on Facebook Destined To Hit Zero

According to a Social@Ogilvy report, organic reach of Facebook posts by brands has plummeted to half since last October as the site focuses more on paid promotions. Obviously a result of recent algorithm changes, the eventual outcome is sure to dissuade brands from investing time on the platform if you have to pay to play exclusively. What are they thinking down at Facebook? On average, Social@Ogilvy clients’ organic reach declined from 12.05% in October to 6.15% in February, with pages that have more than 500,000 likes seeing a decline from 4.04% to 2.11%. “Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero,” author Marshall Manson warns.

What that translates for small business, is the end of the road for getting free reach. It isn’t all bad news, in my opinion, because there is still Google+ which works well as a platform regardless of whether B2B or B2C is your thing. Costs? zero. SEO mileage? immeasurable. The writing has been on the wall for sometime, as in 2013, Facebook pretty much said marketers would have to seriously consider plonking down the cash for advert visibility.

Image Source: social.ogilvy

The question brand marketers should be asking themselves is, why stay on the platform if there is no free space or natural organic reach. Of course, if your competitors are spending heavily you may be compelled to compete and I think this is what Facebook is counting on. Marketers should also think about revised social strategies going forward. Besides Google, I can see Twitter, also benefiting from the fallout especially as its relationship with TV is growing.

The report tells us that social media is still highly relevant for businesses and brands, as a means to engage with huge communities of customers, advocates and influencers. Innovations that center around areas like social CRM, real-time marketing and brand advocacy, will continue to offer new opportunities. The report cautions against over committing to a single platform and to maintain clearly defined business objectives, and a plan to deliver clever storytelling all designed to facilitate engagement. The report,  entitled Facebook Zero: Considering Life After the Demise of Organic Reach is displayed below.

The infographic below, done by Marketing Weekly, which gathered research from a number of industry resources, provided guidance on how small businesses can “Get Promotion and Get Organized” with Facebook marketing strategies. When starting off with social media marketing, the infographic explains why it’s important to create a set of goals for what the company hopes to achieve by advertising on Facebook. With goals in mind, the next aspect of social media marketing is to measure each initiative, because tracking success is key in figuring out what tools work best.