If you pay attention to social media, specifically Facebook, you've probably noticed that it's been going through a few changes when it comes to pages. Whether you're a business or a page created just for fun, sweeping changes including a decrease in organic reach and the takedown of pages meant just to be for fun have been hot topics in the Facebook community, many of which have begun to circulate both panic and rumors with varying degrees of factual accuracy.
While it is indeed easy to see the changes Facebook is making, I wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the biggest rumors going around, verify if they are factual and offer a possible solution if one exists.
Facebook Organic Reach is Down
To get straight to the point, yes, Facebook's organic reach has significantly dropped over the past few years with some business pages claiming that they have had their reach reduced by up to 52 %. The reason behind this varies depending on who you ask. Facebook's official statement claims that there are simply too many pages on Facebook producing too much content for fans meaning there is much more competition for pages to compete with one another to grab your attention. Other experts in the social media field have argued that reach is down as a direct result of Facebook's new algorithm, specifically designed to lower organic reach forcing business pages to pay for boosted posts and ads and in essence, become a "pay to play" network.
Is Facebook becoming Pay to Play?
Technically, no. Nowhere does Facebook require anyone or any business to pay for ads or posts in order to grow their audience. Facebook's official statement can be read from their 2014 organic reach post and can be summarized with the following:
"No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses."
While Facebook takes the stance of trying to make sure their audience sees only what they want to see in their feeds, marketers and social media experts see this as a method of making payment the only reliable way to get your posts out further. Many see it as an unfair move as they feel that fans are being cheated out of content they wanted to see. From their perspective, there should be no obstacle regarding reach for pages fans liked. After all, if you liked the page, you're interested in the brand and want to see the content right?
Facebook is removing nonbusiness pages
This is one is a little harder to discuss as there has been some evidence that Facebook is taking down or removing fan pages, pages made "just for fun". Rumors have spread over the reasons why this is happening including the rumor of Facebook only wanting business and "paid" pages but based on what we see this is not true, at least not for the reasons why it's currently happening. Facebook has made a conscious effort to take down content and pages that violate its terms of services. This includes images, videos, and content that promotes hate speech, sexual content, violence, threatening another person among other reasons. Keep in mind that Facebook has become efficient enough to detect some of this content and flag it for inappropriateness without someone reporting it. Also, keep in mind that repeated attempts to post content that Facebook views as inappropriate will result in your page being taken down permanently.
What Can I Do?
There are many things that you can do without spending a single dime on Facebook. While organic reach is down, keeping a consistent posting schedule, looking at your insights and planning your posting schedule around the time your fans are most active on Facebook. Take a look at your engagement on a month to month basis and be aware of the posts that get the biggest reaction. Was that post informative? Funny? Was it a video or something from your own business? All of these factors can help give you an edge and keep your current fans engaged before you start planning the next part of your social media strategy.
When taking it to the next level, remember there's no need to spend a lot of money when you're first starting out creating ads or boosting posts on Facebook. Spend as little as $5-$10 per post and make sure you fill in the information for your target audience as detailed as possible (age, location, interests, etc.) before launching the ad.
Finally, when it comes to what you post always keep it in mind for your audience but make it as inoffensive as possible. While your content should be targeted towards your audience if you have to ask yourself "Is this appropriate to post?", it probably isn't. A very simple rule of thumb that should always be followed.
If you have any more questions regarding your business's Facebook account or what would be ideal content to post, let me know. I'd love to sit and talk with you about next best course of action.
*For more information, please view the original article here