Sunday, May 4, 2014

Facebook Page Reach & Algorithm Changes: Some Thoughts

If you are a Facebook marketer, you probably know by now that in the last few months Facebook seems to have pretty dramatically changed its algorithm. Your "page reach" may have declined substantially. What you used to get "for free," Facebook seems to be wanting you to "pay for" via advertising, "boosts" to your posts, etc.

What's Going On? Big Picture Thoughts


Facebook Algorithm Changes
What's going on is the same game that has been played since the Internet began. First, a new marketing vehicle (Google, blogging, MySpace, email marketing) comes along. It's great! It's free! The users are not that sophisticated and the companies that produce it "give away" their product, including "free advertising" to participating companies. Think Google in its early days; think the Display Network on Google, think of email marketing in 1995. Next, everyone swamps into the "new" thing.  Third, the company or companies that produce it begin to "monetize" their content: they "raise prices" and make it more difficult to reach customers "organically." Their solution: ADVERTISE.

That's what's going on as Facebook matures. Facebook is more cluttered than ever, AND Facebook (now a public company) wants (NEEDS) to make money. So both of those trends mean LESS "free stuff" for you as an advertiser, and MORE paid stuff.

Possible Solutions to Facebook Changes


What can you do?

  1. Pay to reach more fans. That's respectable, if expensive. On Google, it's called AdWords, on Facebook it's called "Boost" as well as other forms of advertising.  But basically call in your manager and explain to her that the FREE game is ending, or at least becoming substantially more difficult, and it's time to pay up.
  2. Work harder (than ever) on organic reach. On Facebook, the idea here is to REALLY engage your fans with better, more interesting, more provocative posts... posts that a) get likes, b) get comments, and c) get shares.
Facebook isn't doing anything that revolutionary: it's simply following the time-honored Internet tradition: first it's free and uncluttered, then its a hybrid of cluttered, pay up, and (harder) free.

Here's a wonderful in-depth article on the topic: "7 reasons why pages should stop complaining about Facebook reach"