How to Thrive Despite the Death of Facebook Organic Reach

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Facebook organic reach is dead…sort of.

There seems to be a lot of talk  in the social media marketing world about the death of Facebook organic reach without a better understanding as to why it had to die, and how your business can recover.

Why Did Facebook Organic Reach Die?

With 1.28 billion monthly active users, Facebook needed to create a filter. So instead of pushing all of the content on a user’s liked page to their News Feed–relying solely on social actions to filter content–the company attempted to limit the increasing amount of content that could appear on a user’s News Feed.

This allows users to see content from a wider variety of sources, and allows businesses to bid their way back in via Facebook Ads–all while making Facebook money. For Facebook and its users, it was a great decision.

Killing organic page reach completely could be the next logical step, as unimportant, low-quality posts that clog up the News Feed are what drive people away from Facebook.

Why Facebook Ads are Essential

Now that organic reach acts as a filter to clean up the News Feed, Facebook Ads take the spotlight. Before you start to complain about the “pay-to-play” movement, you might want to think about the amount of money you have applied to other digital mediums, on top of traditional advertising. 

Now think about how many people you actually target with those ads. Sure, you can target location in many cases, but can you truly reach people who have authentic interest in what you have to sell?

Facebook Ads allow you to do this and more. 

Now, Facebook page owners will provide quality content (since they’d have to pay for it) and Facebook Ads encourage a better user experience for Facebook users. Enhancing the end-user experience is what Facebook is after, and that’s what makes the money spent on Facebook Ads more effective for businesses.

More importantly, businesses are able to target local people, behaviors, and audiences that are specific to the products that you sell, increasing the likeliness of clicks to your website, and therefore leads.

You can do all of this for less than the cost of other digital advertising, while gaining more traction to your website by using Facebook Ads. But keep in mind: You cannot do this with Facebook Ads alone

Would You Believe That Facebook Can Become Your Top Referrer?

Facebook Traffic

Facebook can become your top referrer, but not through Facebook Ads alone. In fact, a strategy must be in place that provides your target audience with educating and entertaining content that relates to your business.

A strong strategy along with Facebook Ads can have your page thriving instead of just surviving.

First off, Facebook page owners using the service for business should have Facebook Ads applied. Period. Facebook organic reach is dead. The social network has evolved and it is time to evolve along with it.

Which Are the Most Effective Facebook Ads?

At the minimum you should have two Facebook Ads applied to your page:

  • Facebook Post Engagement Ads (Promoted Posts) — To target people who are interested in what your business is about and to have your content seen.

The first recommended Facebook Ad can easily be set up to target people within your local area. It can also be tweaked at any time. Facebook Post Engagement needs to be manually promoted, as the company no longer automatically promotes posts as to help filter the Facebook eco-system. I recommend promoting posts through Facebook’s Power Editor or Ads Manager, as opposed to individual posts.

Businesses should have both running simultaneously, as one compliments the other. 

To increase website clicks and possible leads, you should take advantage of Facebook’s “Click to Website” Ads. These hidden ads will not be posted on your page’s stream, but instead placed within the News Feed and right sidebar.

Here is what Facebook Ads look like when it brings traffic to your website along with a strong strategy.

FB Ads Traffic Example

The graph above displays Facebook Page likes and Post Engagement ads applied in December 2013 for less than $15/day combined. In May 2014, Facebook “Click to Website” ads were applied–along with an increase to existing ads–contributing to a 78% increase in people clicking to the website.

Every month the clicks from Facebook have grown. This example is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with Facebook Ads.

Can Using Facebook Ads Hurt my Business?

Yes. If ads are applied incorrectly, or to a low quality page or post, then yes, you are wasting money. More than that, however, you are hurting your page’s chances of receiving the shares and other user interaction needed for a successful Facebook campaign.

But this is subject to more than just Facebook Ads. This applies to how you use your Facebook page as a whole, since the Facebook algorithm is one of the most sensitive algorithms on the web. If your page is not successful, it is not Facebook’s fault; you simply need to start doing things differently.  

Enter the Facebook Algorithm

Facebook Algorithm

Many may think that the Facebook algorithm is hidden somewhere like the golden ticket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or that only mathematicians can understand it when it is uncovered.  This is completely untrue, as  you can see the algorithm at work every single day.

Facebook’s algorithm is displayed to page owners through date stamps and social actions. You can see how well a post is doing by looking at these features and taking note of the clear correlations. The “talking about this” feature compared with page likes can also tell you how well your page is doing by watching and analyzing how they fluctuate.

More on point, I mentioned earlier that organic reach is not completely dead. This is due to the ripple effect that Facebook is well known for with its social signals. On average, a Facebook Ad lasts for approximately three days; however, if you receive social actions, you’ll receive a more amplified reach overall.

Success on Facebook is Not Based on Organic vs. Paid

Your business’s success is not dependent on your Facebook organic or paid reach. They are only a fraction of an overall social strategy.

After all, Facebook Ads will only get your content seen–it does not guarantee that your post will be well received.

This also applies to your budget. Sure, the more money you allocate, the more your posts will be seen. But if the content shared is not creative and cleverly-crafted for your specific audience–on top of being related to your business–it’s like not having Facebook Ads at all.

It’s time to quit freaking out about Facebook Ads and apply that effort towards the greater success of your business. We pride ourselves on providing quality Facebook pages for our clients. Connect with us if you are looking to become our next success story.

Watch Erin and Amanda Ryan Discuss Facebook Organic Reach

You can catch Erin and Amanda Ryan on Auto Dealer Live with their new segment, Get Your Social On. It airs every Thursday at 3:30pm EST on UStream.TV.