Facebook is Cutting Your Business’ Organic Reach, Again.

Facebook 'Dislike'

Oh Facebook– is there any limit to your greed?

Buried in the Facebook Newsroom yesterday (a Friday afternoon, no less), was an announcement by the social network that starting in January, organic reach for brands would be diminished, yet again.

Facebook Promotional Post
Image via Facebook

The Newsroom posts calls out the following as those that will receive less (or, zero) organic reach:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Facebook claims that this change is a result of user surveys; people have responded they’d like to see more “stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content”.

Well, duh.

Of course, Facebook fails to point out that “promotional content” is exactly what their ad products serve to promote. And, likely, is specifically, in most cases, what users are referring to when they say they’d like less of that.

But, no matter. The purported ‘user survey’ results (which were not disclosed, btw) serve as a catalyst for Facebook to further limit brands’ organic reach on the network; thereby, insuring they’ll pump additional funding into advertising.

And, I mean– why not? It’s worked thus far.

Facebook’s Q3 ad revenue jumped by 274% YoY, according to AdAge, and back in March, Social@Ogilvy published this case study, which highlighted that, across 100 brands, organic reach on Facebook dipped to just about 6%– a 49% decline from the October before.

Facebook Organic Reach Chart
Image via Social@Ogilvy

Now, of course, one can hardly blame Facebook for keeping the users happy, and their rationale is understandable. However, there’s no doubt this move is just as much about the shareholders (if not more). If Twitter’s recently revealed plans for 2015 are any indication, social networks, in general, will continue to grow & diversify their ad products; and cutting back on brands’ organic reach will ensure more putting ad dollars behind these opportunities.

Content & community management are still as important as ever; but, if there was any doubt left in advertisers’ minds that buying advertising is a necessity, these changes to organic reach will undoubtedly sway them to open up the purse strings.

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