Facebook Organic Reach DeclineIt seems like, not so long ago, at least 3 to 4 speakers were preaching at every conference I went to: “Throw away your corporate website and invest in a Facebook page. Because that’s where the conversations and engagements are happening”.

I believe some Rip van Winkle-like social gurus are still muttering similar sermons. Well, thankfully, that didn’t actually happen.

Marketers didn’t throw away their corporate websites, but many companies did invest a lot of money to acquire Facebook fans through quizzes, contests, sweepstakes and various other methods. Sometimes, through a process I like to call ‘social bribing’. “Win an iPad by just Liking our page” – you know the whole drill.

I wonder what those social gurus have to say now.

If you haven’t already heard the news, reports were coming in for the last couple of months that, after the latest newsfeed algorithm change, Facebook’s organic reach is now down to 2 to 5%. That means, if you have 100,000 fans, your posts are only reaching (or seen by) a maximum of 5000 readers. Facebook now officially confirms the story.

Brian Bolland from Facebook wrote a blog post confirming the change in the Facebook newsfeed algorithm. In his defence, he cited many logical points (or excuses), such as quality content, engagement ratio, and so on. But what shocked me was one paragraph:

“Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals. Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space. Similarly, paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content.”

Now you can throw away your overused slide, accompanied by cute graphics, on Paid versus Owned versus Earned media – at least for Facebook. Now, it all boils down to cost per click comparisons: for this much, does a Facebook ad cost more than a Google ad or not?

At B2Bento, we have strongly advocated the hub and spoke model for B2B social media strategy for a long time. We believe that your main content publication platform should be your own blog (yes, it’s NOT dead), with content syndication through appropriate social media channels.

Conversations can be channel-specific, and engagement can be channel-specific, but you CANNOT rely on a third-party application to be the anchor of a complete content strategy.

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