Facebook: A marketer's dream or a waste of time?
The idea was to answer questions about the direction Facebook is taking. There were the usual superfluous questions, but the one question that was on many marketers’ minds was: what happened to the organic reach on my Facebook Page?
Before we get to that answer, let’s first answer the question of whether Facebook is good for marketing?
If my research is anything to go by, yes it is. Or at least Facebook keep telling me it is.
Facebook says, “In a two-way communication mode like through Facebook, people can acquire information as well as conveying their own comments at the same time. This can make a big difference in social impacts because it effectively facilitates exchanges and interactions among people and thus contributes to making information flows more globalized and influential in the real world.”
Scroll down Google’s search list, well, go to the next listing and Forbes disagrees. It’s good to see Forbes directly underneath Facebook as it adds some clarity to the situation – or perhaps having worked in the realm of business journalism for so long, I am biased.
Forbes’ contributor Rob Asghar makes the valid point that “Facebook’s members are indeed exhausted and increasingly puzzled by the many subtle tweaks to the system – and by their own exhaustion from trying to gain one another’s attention. This may well be an irreversible decline.”
That was in 2013 and personally I don’t think anything has changed. Which brings me to Zuckerberg’s answer to the question: what happened to the organic reach on my Facebook Page?
He said Facebook’s billion-plus community is sharing more, which means there’s more competition in the News Feed. The average could see approximately 1500 updates a day but only sees about 100. This means if you are a business page looking to crack Ryan Seacrest’s top 100, sorry Mark Zuckerberg’s top 100, then you need “really good content that’s going to be compelling to your customers.”
Zuckerberg went on to say that Facebook would always favor relevant information over making sure businesses reach their customers.
“And in every decision that we make, we optimize for the first, for making it so that the people who we serve, who use Facebook, and who are reading News Feed get the very best experience that they can. And that means that if a business is sharing content that’s going to be useful for them, then we’ll show that. But that means if the business is sharing content that isn’t going to be useful for them, we may not show that.
“As the products continue to develop, there’s going to be more people sharing more things and we’re going to try to continue doing our best in showing the best that we can, knowing that there is no way that a person will take the time to go through every one of the 1,500 things that are shared with them every single day.
“There are a lot of pages that are doing quite successfully; their organic reach is growing quite a bit because they are delivering content to people that they really want.
“So if you are a business owner and you’re thinking about how to use your free page on Facebook, I would just focus on trying to publish really good content that’s going to be compelling to your customers and the people who are following you.”
So people have Facebook fatigue and they are battling to have their posts seen. Perhaps all is not good in the land of Facebook marketing. Having said that however, I heed the wise words of Asghar, who so eloquently says; “marketers will remember that because of technology like Facebook, we’re moving from monologues to conversations. ‘Every hero becomes a bore at last’, Emerson said, and what was true in his time is truer now. Don’t seek to dominate the marketplace; seek to engage it.”