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Look Out Below! Facebook’s Organic Reach Plummets Toward Rock Bottom




Best guess off the top of your head – is your organic reach on Facebook half of what it was a year ago? A third? Even less? Are there days when you think you might actually hit rock bottom – or Facebook Zero?

Social@Ogilvy thinks it’s a real possibility and before you say they’re rabble-rousing, take a look at this chart:

Organic-Reach-ChartWe’re looking at a 49% decline from the peak period less than a year ago! This has nothing to do with the number of active Facebook users, it’s all coming from the changes Facebook made in the newsfeed algorithm in regard to Page posts.

I thought that was bad enough, then I read this in Social@Ogilvy’s report:

“Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future.”

Zero! Your fans won’t see a single one of your posts unless they go directly to your Facebook page unprompted.

Yes, there’s the paid boost option but boosting every post is just ridiculous. It’s not just about the cost, it’s about the handwork involved. I’d be more likely to pay Facebook a flat fee to make sure all of my posts hit the newsfeed. Remember, this isn’t just about communicating with my Page followers, it’s about getting my followers to share with their friends so the circle widens.

I suppose it’s our own fault for putting all of our eggs in this one, very powerful, social media basket. Facebook pulled us in with promises of free publicity and we “bought” it. Businesses of every size spend from two hours to 20 hours a week creating Facebook posts and contests and promo pages. Third-party businesses popped up whose sole purpose is to help you engage with customers on Facebook. So what happens when we hit Facebook Zero?

I know Facebook is all about power to the people, but can the site continue to thrive without businesses? If you can’t have an effective brand page, will you still buy ads on the site? Will you fork over daily dollars just to be seen or could it be the beginning of the end of one of the best sources of free publicity ever to hit the web?

What do you think? Is Facebook Zero a real possibility or will Facebook give in and let Page owners have their say?

  • Fred Dees

    I feel like FB will start to develop more of a marketplace for the businesses to operate. This way they can keep social and businesses “separate”, or at least separate enough to appease users. FB realizes that there is a legit backlash with users wanting the newsfeeds to be without corporate influence (lol). And I think if FB can develop something like a marketplace to work beside social, they can satisfy both

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Wow. I felt my Page drop was bad lol….FB is taking a big business approach to Fan Page marketing, supporting the big fish. I hold no grudge toward them; just move through different marketing channels over here.

  • StuffinReneesBrain

    This is such an important bit of information. What is your suggestion to marketers?

    • Com_Truise

      Channel research, I guess. It is unlikely that Facebook lasts forever anyway.

  • JohnL

    What a shortsighted plan. There is no reason to add fresh content if no one sees it. Just pay for ads if you want people to see things. This will mean instead of seeing new and killer posts from pages in which you are interested, you will only see specific promotions for products and services companies are trying to sell. That’s what I plan to do. I own a business. My page has 115,000 followers…that now see a small fraction of what I post. I ended a small test ad campaign on March 12. On March 13, my organic reach dropped precipitously and has continued to fall by 90%. There’s no way I will invest time and money outside of sales posts now. What is the point? Pay to reach 15% instead of 10% of the people who like my page? Likes mean nothing. Without organic reach, there is no relationship building. There is no “social” aspect. Look out for tons of hard sell ads…and google+ to dominate this niche in 2014.