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Facebook's declining organic reach a 'real nightmare' for marketers

Matt Kapko | April 7, 2014
Marketers and analysts are crying foul as Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm that determines what content makes it into the News Feed. The organic reach of brand pages is now barely hitting 6 percent, but brands expect it to decline even further and faster going forward.

"I think we're going to kind of see a resurgence" in marketing on other platforms, he says. "We're going to see a lot of advertisers migrating into other channels and testing with more dollars."

Because so many changes to Facebook have been met with concern or outright dismay by marketers, one could wonder how fast the sky is really falling now. However, this latest outrage also enjoys the backing of new data from various research firms.

A Window Opens for Other Social Networks
"Brands and agencies are now openly talking about their discontent. Every day I talk to brands that are disillusioned with Facebook and are now placing their bets on other social sites," Forrester analyst Nate Elliott writes in a research note.

Some marketers are coming to the conclusion that "the paid ads Facebook encourages them to buy often lead to fake' fans generated by like farms,'" he adds.

Ignited's Martin shares these concerns. "You can buy fans and followers and likes incredibly cheaply, and the more cheaply you buy them the less they're worth," he says. "That can't be the only thing you're looking at& I'd rather have 1,000 fans that are worth $50 each instead of a million fans that are worth a penny each."

The proper response to these changes, according to both analysts and marketers, is to develop a wider social media strategy. The capability to build large communities of engaged fans was a "critical aspect of Facebook's early appeal to marketers" and many brands have invested millions toward that objective, writes Marshall Manson, managing director of Social@Ogilvy for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"Facebook Zero is a reality now facing every brand and business with a presence on the platform," he adds. "Action is required, and specific decisions will need to be made with regard to content planning, paid support for social media activities, audience targeting and much more."

 

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