A few weeks ago, Ogilvy & Mather broke the tragic news: ‘Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.
In 2012, Facebook famously restricted organic reach of content published from brand pages to about 16 percent. In December 2013, another round of changes reduced it even more.
By February 2014, according to a Social@Ogilvy analysis of more than 100 brand pages, organic reach hovered at 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. And Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future.’
In a few words: show me the moolah, or you are going to be invisible.
More or less at the same time, Princeton University released a study saying Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2015-2017.
It’s very possible that this End of the World scenario is greatly exaggerated – read TechCrunch’s article entitled “Facebook Hilariously Debunks Princeton Study Saying It Will Lose 80% Of Users” – but it’s no secret that users are growing rather tired of Zucky’s (stolen?) brainchild.
Especially youngsters, which see Facebook as “the place my mom uses to exchange recipes with friends”, and use mainly to pretend they are behaving when mom’s not exchanging recipes and checks on the children’s profiles, and for professional networking. So, maybe Facebook will not die tomorrow, but, for sure, users will pay less attention to ads and silly messages for brands, featuring stock photos of people “liking” stuff.
The next few bullet points provide some food for thought for a decent Facebook presence if you don’t have an indecent budget. Nike, Starbucks and the likes, please ignore them, ok?
How small brands can handle the end of Facebook’s organic reach
- Good content is key
Yes, now more than ever, you will need good content to get your community talk about you and help you stay alive and well without spending all your money on Facebook ads
- Give ‘em goodies
As this post on AllFacebook suggests you can ‘Boost Organic Reach On Facebook By Rewarding Millennials For Posts’, by rewarding ‘their loyalty with all kinds of goodies, ranging from special offers to VIP recognition.’
- Think Instagram before Facebook
In the good ol’ days, you had to create ad hoc content for every single platform, now it looks like you should go for a “focus on Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Pinterest / Google+ / Whatever, then re-post everything on Facebook” kinda strategy. Of course, it depends where your fans and followers are – are they geeks? Try Google+. Are they hipsters? Go for Tumblr. Of course, part 2 – don’t simply copy and paste, though. Give it a twist!
- Think viral
Try to come up with stuff users will die to share. Therefore, make them images more beautiful and bigger and that logo SMALLER
- Share a lot
Share other pages (GOOD) content, and pray their influence will somehow bring you great fortune and lots of new fans and followers
- Give ‘em ideas
Making people buying your clothes can be complicated, on Facebook. You’ll need to come up with something more subtle – see the example below, in which a cool, shareable picture works together with a copy about fashion and tips if you visit London in a certain period. Enamour them, and they will talk about your brand and (eventually) will buy your clothes
What do you think?
(Image sources: Ogilvy & Mather, Dreamstime.com, JOSEPH, dailymail.co.uk)