Facebook algorithm change hurts brand's organic reach

Have you noticed that the content you’re sharing on your Facebook Page isn’t reaching as many people as it used to? Well, you are not alone. Recently many companies have noticed a steady decrease in their organic reach (the number of unique people who’ve seen your post in their News Feed or on your page). Consequently many brands are reevaluating their social media strategy either by leaving Facebook altogether, paying for ads or creating more creative and shareable content.

Late last year Facebook changed its algorithm to feature some posts more prominently and restrict others. Facebook’s goal for promoting some posts over others is to protect the user experience. According to Facebook, News Feed worthy posts are those posts about your best friend’s baby or the photo of your friend’s homemade cupcake and not the posts from your favorite Pages.  Algorithm

More often than not, these changes go unnoticed. However, this change could have a sweeping impact on brands, especially for small or local companies that have dedicated a lot of time building and maintaining a loyal fan base.

A recent study found that this change has drastically impacted the organic reach of Facebook Pages. Companies’ posts reached only six percent of their followers in February, which is down from 12 percent in October. As a result, the competition for each News Feed story is increasing.

“Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and we’re seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality.” Facebook for Business, December 2013.

It has been questioned that Facebook’s goal is to reduce organic reach so drastically that brands are forced to buy ads rather than refocus their social media strategy.

However, there are a variety of ways in which brands can work towards counteracting the Facebook algorithm changes without purchasing ads.

Focus more time and money on community building. If you delete your Facebook Page altogether, you are losing out on the opportunity to interact with fans who are already engaging with your brand. Keep your fans interested by taking the time to answer questions and respond to comments.

Create contests to drive engagement. Who doesn’t like participating in a good contest? Contests on Facebook help Pages gain more fans, increase brand awareness, get user-generated content and can help increase immediate sales.

Build audience on other networks and drive them back to Facebook. There is an assortment of different social media platforms out there that you can continue your conversation on. Try expanding to Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + for additional leads and conversations.

Create and post content that is relevant and easily shareable. Social media is all about engaging and sharing content. Confused about what content is worthy of being shared? Try following the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of the content shared should be used to promote your brand through high-polished, detailed and relative content, while 80 percent should be content that interests your audience and engages them in conversations.

What is your opinion about Facebook’s algorithm changes?

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