Facebook recently introduced algorithm changes to its News Feed with the goal of bringing its users the higher-quality content and online experience that they want. Jim Tobin from Ignite Social Media reported on the agency’s blog on December 10th that the organic reach of brand pages on Facebook had plummeted 44% since December 1st. Now, only about 3 in every 100 brand fans receive regular News Feed brand updates.
Facebook’s blog post on December 2nd announcing the News Feed update promised to deliver users more relevant articles, reducing the amount of memes by privileging high-quality articles that friends click on. The expectation was that publishers of viral content like Upworthy and Buzzfeed would feel the blow most directly. Business Insider contributor Nicholas Carson recently reported that the director of Facebook’s News Feed had expressed a marked dislike for these publishers.
Instead though, social media marketers are taking the biggest hit. Ignite reported the dip in posts received by Facebook users after conducting an analysis of 689 posts from 21 brand pages. The study surveyed large brands across several industries. Ignite’s Tobin said that the average loss in reach of 44% led to drops in user engagement of up to 76%.
A recent report from Forrester Consulting emphasizes the importance of engaging social media users. The report indicated among its findings that social media users with daily brand engagement make double the purchases of those with monthly engagement. Social marketers who had embraced creating social media communities to increase customer engagement are now suffering.
Facebook is encouraging social media marketers to buy advertising to complement their organic fan bases. A Facebook representative confirmed to AdAge last week that the reach of organic brand posts isn’t projected to improve, only to continue its descent: “We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it,” he said.
In Earn It, Don’t Buy It, Tobin affirms the importance of social media engagement but suggests that Facebook may no longer be the best venue for engaging with customers. Getting around Facebook’s updates will require a regenerated content strategy. Tobin also recommends that social media marketers consider alternative forums.