No More Free Rides For Marketers On Facebook!

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 10, 2014

mobile ride

The organic reach of brand pages on Facebook is continuously declining and the internet giant may soon stop allowing advertisers and marketers to take a free ride on its pages. According to a study by Social@Ogilvy, the organic reach of brand pages on Facebook currently stands at about 6 percent, a decline of 49 percent from peak levels in October.

For large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent in February 2014. And Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future.

“The ability to build communities of fans, and then maintain contact and encourage engagement using content published to fans’ News Feeds was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers,” states the study. The opportunity of achieving engagement at scale motivated many brands and corporates to invest millions in developing communities and providing for care and feeding via always-on content.

According to Forbes tech writer Ewan Spence, the implication of this move is clear. The free ride for brands on Facebook is coming to an end, and Mark Zuckerberg’s network should now be moved into the ‘paid channel’ in the marketing budget. “The end game here is that a message posted on a brand page will not be shown to anyone unless it gathers a notable number of likes from a user’s friends. If their friends like a post, if there is a visible adoption of the post by the community, only then the post has earned the right to be shown organically,” he says.

So far marketers and advertisers have been freely creating brand pages, gathering likes and comments to promote their brands. But the new business model will mean ‘paid for’ promotion will have to be employed to kickstart the life of a post, which will then hopefully gather enough likes and social capital to earn the right to be shown for free.

“Brands are going to have to be more strategic in their use of Facebook, and think carefully about the content they are creating, when they post, and how they promote that post across Facebook’s network,” suggests Spence.

Average Organic Reach of Content Published on Brand Facebook Pages

FB study