If you manage Facebook pages for brands, you’ve likely noticed that though the page’s follower count may be increasing, reach is falling. With reach falling, it’s likely that engagement begins to fall, too.
As social media managers, this can be pretty frustrating. High-quality content just isn’t enough anymore. When our clients have asked why their reach is falling, we’ve been forced to tell them that it’s not necessarily an indicator of content quality, but of Facebook’s desire to force us to spend ad dollars. Now, Facebook is coming out and admitting it.
Wasn’t This Always True?
In the past, Facebook has insisted that while some pages were seeing decreased reach, it was because of post quality and that the overall median reach of pages hadn’t changed. But now they’re changing their tune to say that all pages will be affected. According to their recent Facebook for Business post, “Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality.”
Ugh, Why Facebook, Why??
Facebook attempts to explain this decline by describing how many people are connecting and sharing on the network and says that when a user visits their News Feed, there are an average of 1,500 possible stories that can be shown. Of course, this makes sense; it’s just not possible for everyone to see every post. But in the same Facebook for Business write-up, the company also explains the solution… paid distribution. Utilizing Facebook advertising will get your posts in front of a larger audience.
What This Means For You
We still maintain that quality content is the most important factor in an effective Facebook strategy, but it doesn’t always cut it for distribution and reach. Once that quality content is there, you need to make sure as many people as possible are seeing it and Facebook ads are crucial to that. So, how do you move forward? Continue with your content strategy, while building in a robust advertising plan. Make 2014 the year your Facebook reach increases!