Pay to play, the new reality for business on Facebook

Businesses with Facebook pages, we’ve got a mixed bag of news for you. Your content is not getting the same organic reach it used to and it almost certainly never will again. Since December, there has been around a 40% decrease in organic reach for all business page posts meaning they now only reach approximately 3% of your followers.

BUT, don’t panic. Facebook is still an incredible direct marketing tool and it is more cost effective than a lot of your alternatives. Before we look at some strategies to deal with this new reality, we first need to understand why Facebook are doing what they are.

The cynic in you is shouting ‘MONEY’ and that is definitely partly/mostly responsible – Facebook have grown an unprecedented platform and they are now taking their opportunity to milk the millions of businesses who use it for some cash. Fine.

But that is not the only reason. Consider the content deluge that Facebook is dealing with. This 2012 infographic from DOMA shows that every minute users generate 48 hours of YouTube video, 3,600 new photos on Instagram and 27,778 new posts published on Tumblr alone. In 2012. And we have continued to have exponential growth in content for the two years since.

Where does everyone love to share all this content? Facebook. Some 700,000 unique pieces of it every minute, giving the company an impossible task of presenting all content to all users. According to Facebook, the average user has around 1,500 potential stories from friends, people and Pages they follow every time they visit their News Feed. Is it really surprising that they chose to move towards a pay-to-play model for businesses? Not only will they generate revenue, but they are simultaneously discouraging businesses from posting bland content that they are not willing to put money behind.

I’m a business, what do I do!?

Get used to it – All your social media platforms will go this way, start getting serious about your content strategy and start fostering your community – they are going to be vital to your social media success.

Spend some $ Facebook should be a part of your marketing mix. Start with a small budget and monitor your spend. Your return can still be much higher than most other channels and paying a small amount towards your post will likely encourage you to pay closer attention to your content success and social media strategy.

Always be entertaining, educating or empowering – Make sure you are offering quality with every post and avoid advertising. Always remember you are using social media to communicate with your customers and grow your own community, it is not there for you to just broadcast your latest offers.

Start valuing your Super Fans – Super Fans are those extremely valuable followers who like, share and enjoy your content on a regular basis. They are going to help save you money by sharing some of the heavy lifting of getting some organic growth back into your posts. In the social world they are the most valuable customers you will ever have, treat them that way!

Call Massive Media – What, you didn’t think we’d put this in? We help businesses get their social media lives in order with our unique training program, have a look at the outline of the course on our earlier blog post. If you think your business could benefit from a chat then just choose your favourite contact method below.