Facebook announced some significant changes to its newsfeed in the coming weeks, and they have marketers and business owners on edge. The social media behemoth has been the dominating force in advertising for some time now. With over 1.37 billion active daily users, it’s easy to see how over $15 billion advertising dollars was spent by marketers on the platform in 2017. Will limiting the reach to these users cause marketers to rethink their social media advertising strategy?
The Steady Decline Of Organic Reach
Facebook has been limiting the organic reach of pages and businesses for quite some time now. Ever noticed how you can visit a Facebook page with 50k even 100k followers but when you go to the page posts feed, there are very few ‘Likes,’ if any? Those posts likely weren’t promoted. Therefore hardly anyone saw them.
In 2014, social media agency Social@Ogilvy published an analysis that found that Facebook pages with more than 500,000 likes, the average organic post was only likely to reach 2% of their followers. So these changes are something we probably could have seen coming.
Is Facebook Pulling A 180?
Zuckerberg has decided to take Facebook back to its roots and prioritize the connection between friends and family, introducing a complete overhaul to how it ranks the posts, videos, and photos that appear in its users’ News Feeds.
Page posts that generate conversations between users will appear higher in News Feed. Live videos often create significant discussion among viewers on Facebook – averaging six times as many interactions as regular videos.
The News Feed tab will now condense all pages, including major publishers and brands, and allow users to prioritize the pages whose posts they are most interested in.
What Does This Mean For Marketers And Influencers?
Zuckerberg predicts that one immediate effect of the news feed change will be that users spend less time on the platform.
Facebook’s vice president of product management, John Hegeman, told Reuters he felt advertising will be unaffected by the changes, but many industry insiders expect ad prices will go up as fewer scrolls through the Facebook feed will offer fewer opportunities to serve ads, ultimately increasing competition and costs.
Marketers are not taking these changes lightly, especially since some have long relied on Facebook to drive traffic to their websites. Some experts say it’s the nail in the coffin for organic reach and they’re probably right. Unless you’ve got some viral material on your hands, you’re not going to get a lot of reach without paying for it. It could be time to take a closer look at other advertising opportunities on Facebook outside of the News Feed.
At the end of the day, Facebook will likely still be the top dog in advertising. Zuckerberg promised users that Facebook would always be free, but to keep it that way, he has to make money somewhere. He’s not going to give up those advertising dollars, and he may start charging you a little more to reach your target audience on his platform. For now, keep creating awesome, engaging content, hyperfocus on your target audience and spend your ad dollars wisely.