Newcomers to digital marketing have not benefited too much from organic reach on social media. For those of us who are dealing with their relative demise, we have had to make adjustments. And many of these have involved monetary considerations. In this article, Brandon Lee suggests a possible pathway for greater organic reach that many are not taking advantage of. It is another article in our series “Great articles that you may have missed” …
Before the fall
In February 2012, Facebook made one of the most striking changes in its algorithm, and this change has caused massive hysteria among social network marketers and small business owners.
Before 2012, it was easy enough for brands to reach their audience through social networks. The best part? It was free (organic). The first users could reach between 16% and 20% of their audience each time they published a publication. Again, FREE.
And then it happened.
The great decrease in the organic scope of 2014
An Edgerank Checker study found that between February 2012 and March 2014, the organic reach of the average Facebook page dropped from 16% to 6.5%. Social @ Ogilvy’s research, for its part, suggests that for pages with more than 500,000 “likes”, the organic reach could be as low as 2%.
Based on the above figures, that means that a page with 10,000 fans could expect only 650 of them to see the posts on that page in their news. For a page with 1 million fans, about 65,000 would see publications.
The decline in the scope continues
SocialFlow analyzed more than 3,000 publisher posts on Facebook and found that organic reach decreased by 42% between January and May 2016.
Then, later in 2016, Facebook again adjusted its news feed algorithm, to further prioritize the content of friends and family on the pages. In the publication of the blog announcing the algorithm change, Facebook’s Engineering Director, Lars Backstrom, warned that the Pages could anticipate a drop in organic reach, which in some cases could leave the scope even lower than the estimated previous 2%].
After this algorithm adjustment, SocialFlow adjusted the decrease in organic reach, which had decreased further. Between January and July 2016, publishers registered a 52% decrease in organic reach on Facebook. (Find more statistics on Hubspot.com).
You’re seeing the impact of this, right? Fewer people who see organic posts on their Facebook page mean fewer clicks, comments and actions. And having less of those interactions means fewer conversions, leads and customers. Understandably, this has bothered many Facebook page managers. So why would Facebook decide to lower the visibility of organic publications in the first place?
Why is Facebook Organic Reach Declining?
There are too many Pages producing too much content for too many fans, which means competition for visibility on the News Feed is high.
What’s more, Facebook is trying to make sure that people are only seeing the best content — the stuff that is relevant to them.
It’s Not Just About Organic; Paid Will Soon Become More Expensive for Reaching Your Audience.
Social media influencer, Mike Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner, and Molly Pitman, DigitalMarketer’s Vice President and Traffic Manager, discussed the state of Facebook organic and paid during a recent interview. You can see the full interview here. Below is a snippet from the conversation:
Mike Stelzner: … Let’s face it, Facebook is running out of inventory. By mid-2017, they will not have more inventory for paid advertisers.
Molly Pittman: Yes.
Mike Stelzner: If there is no more inventory for paid advertisers, what are the chances of organic things coming out? Zero.
Molly Pittman: Correct, and what is the likelihood that your brand’s organic publications will show up before someone’s real friend or relative [posts] on Facebook, right?
Mike Stelzner: It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen.
What Mike says is absolutely true. Facebook has limited inventory, and although the platform is still registering new users, the demand for Facebook ads has skyrocketed.
When demand exceeds supply, what happens?
The prices increase.
We do not recommend that you stop your Facebook ads or that your ads are not effective. To be clear, we believe that Facebook Ads are an extremely effective way to reach an audience with a marketing message. DigitalMarketer has a lot of great strategies in Facebook ads. We also use Facebook ads.
However, ads are simply not as effective at starting a conversation as personal interaction. That is why social selling has gained momentum.
People want to talk to people, especially in sales and recruitment.
The assets of the most underutilized company: the networks of its employees.
The social networks of your employees could give your brand a greater reach when it comes to communicating with your audience. But they are not.
Do your employees talk about your organization on social media? Do they become thought leaders by creating valuable and rich pieces of content? Does your sales team drip the content to stay in the foreground with the buyers? Do your employees come to your networks when your company is hiring?
Here’s why this is important.
- 64% of sales teams that use incoming social sales reach their quotas.
- 85% of employees are hired through networks.
The most cost-effective approach to influencing sales agreements and attracting the best talent is to leverage the networks of your employees and sales representatives.
Your potential reach
This is a great exercise created by Write2Market that describes the power of publishing through the social networks of its employees.
1. How many people in your company are on LinkedIn? If you are not sure, go to LinkedIn, find your company in the search field and see how many people are listed there as part of your company. That’s your active population of LinkedIn employees.
2. Multiply the number of employees by 500 to find out the scope of one of your publications if everyone shared it.
500 is the average number of connections a person has on LinkedIn.
3. That is equal to ______.
4. Now take that big number, and multiply it first by .05 (5%) and then by 500. What is that number? _______
That’s the number of people who would arrive if the people with whom they shared their employees shared the publication. We assume that 5% of your second level audience, outside the company will share it and maintains the assumption of an average of 500 connections. Feel free to increase this if you think the content is particularly relevant or exciting. You can also consider multiplying by 200 if you want to simply estimate the impressions of the brand: the people who see your name in the source.
On June 22, 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced a revised statement of Facebook’s mission: “To give people the power to build a community and unite the world.”
Facebook will continue to help users create a community on their social media channel. This means that it will favor the conversations of the users about the brands. If brands want to join the conversation, they will most likely have to pay with ads. But even that does not guarantee that your audience will see them. Leveraging your company’s employees on social media to amplify your brand’s message is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can implement at this time.
I hope you like this article and have learned something new. Click Like, comment and share our articles if you really appreciate my work.
If you have any questions about this article, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments box below