When a social media giant such as Facebook announces they are making a few changes to advertising structures, many people became outraged and opposed. In this outrage, they seem to have forgotten that Facebook is a for profit organization.
As a business, Facebook needs to make a profit. Facebook has realized that they are in fact a business and decided it’s best to no longer offer “free” rides to a business fan page. Now, all advertising comes at a cost – and it’s not just the time involved.
Will a Meaningful Experience Create a Decline in Organic Reach?
Facebook believes in creating a meaningful experience for their users. Their December 2013 news post, “What Increased Content Sharing Means for Businesses”, focuses on brands providing high quality content encouraging more social sharing. This helps push distribution on the news feed.
Facebook hopes that paid advertising will also weed out the non-engaging and spam content. So, organizations with a true purpose should be the only ones on board with advertising, if they can afford it.
How Many Fans Will Actually See the Ads?
Valleywag has the social media insider tip regarding Facebook. The social network is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent”, per their anonymous source. This means for large brands that all their internet-marketing efforts will only keep a high number of engaged fans, if they are on board paying advertising costs. For Nike, this means their 16 million + fans receiving their posts will decline to about 160,000.
Another decline will result from the speed of the content shown in the news feed. Since this is a competitive environment offering limited ad space, consumers won’t catch everything thrown at them. If a brand is not willing to spend much on advertising, they must rely on their fans checking out their page on their own.
This reach does increase if brands publish social content. It will encourage fans to share the content across Facebook and other social media networks.
Who Does This Hurt the Most?
While Facebook pushes for brands to advertise, there isn’t much of a plan for the small “Mom and Pop” shops or bloggers that rely on Facebook to freely advertise. They have invested years of personal marketing efforts and hit hard with the organic decline.
Also, consumers are missing tons of valuable information. What if consumers depended upon Facebook to keep them in the loop of their favorite small town social events?
Could There Be a Silver Lining?
So, is there any silver lining in all this? For some, yes. Many competitors may not be willing to pay for the Facebook ad space. So, they will leave and free up available ad space as well as decrease the Facebook competition for industries.
Any Facebook Fan page can play around with the various ads and spend amount to create the perfect campaign for them. Facebook allows meticulous targeted ads, to make it easier to measure the effectiveness of the ads. This can help a page see the increase of likes and engagements quickly.
So, all is not lost with the tweaks that Facebook has thrown. If a brand focuses on providing sharable content, this can help their advertising dollars go further. Blog, video, and infographics content will help drive engagement. The more content a fan shares, the greater the reach of a brand.