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6 studies why Facebook organic reach is declining so fast

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Rob Petersen

 

Facebook Organic Reach Insanity

  • 50,000,000+ businesses have a Facebook page
  • 1.48 is the average number of times these brands post each day
  • 2% is their Facebook organic reach and it’s declining (source: DMR)

50,000,000 businesses post 1.5 times a day to reach a 2%, a small and shrinking percentage of their audience. Does this fulfill the definition of insanity?

Why is Facebook organic reach declining so fast? What can business do? Here are 6 studies to explain.

  • TOO MANY POSTS, TOO LITTLE SPACE (FACEBOOK): Facebook studied the average user to find 1,500 posts appear in their feed each day. But if someone has lots of friends and Likes lots of pages, that number could balloon to 15,000. Because Facebook’s goal is to show people the most engaging posts, all posts are not created equal. It built a News Feed sorting algorithm, known as EdgeRank, analyzing 100,000 different indicators. Essentially, everyone has to earn their space in News Feed. But do businesses that pay for Facebook ads have an advantage? Here’s how the Facebook algorithm is determined:

Facebook Organic Reach TechCrunch

 

  • SPIRAL STARTS (EDGERANK): EdgeRank chronicled the decline.  From 2012 to 2014, it went from 16.00% to 6.51%, a 60% decline. The studies showed brands that struggled to engage their audience, when measured against brands with “Social DNA” were hit the hardest. Here’s the trend:

Facebook Organic Reach EdgeRank

 

  • LARGER THE FAN BASE, LOWER THE REACH (OGILVY): According to a Social@Ogilvy analysis of more than 100 brand pages, they also concluded Facebook organic reach hovered at 6%. For large brand pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2%. Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the future. All of the detailed data, analysis and practical recommendations are in the full white paper.

Facebook Organic Reach Ogilvy

 

  • PAY TO PLAY (CONVINCE AND CONVERT): Follow the money. Convince and Convert put together a chart showing  Facebook’s declining organic reach charted against Facebook’s rising stock price during the same period. As organic reach dropped from approximately 12% to 6%, Facebook’s stock price moved from nearly $50 to nearly $70. Advertising is Facebook’s primary source of revenue. For those relying on Facebook organic reach and using Facebook as their social hub, Jay Baer asked: Why build a house on rented land?

Facebook Organic Reach Pay to Play

 

  • CONSIDER YOUR CONTENT (SOCIALBAKERS): According to Socialbakers, which analyzed 4,445 brand pages and 670,000 posts, video is the most effective way to reach an audience with an average Facebook organic reach of 8.7%, followed by Links and Text only posts at 5.3% and 5.8%, respectively Facebook Organic Reach by Media Type

 

  • CAN’T BEAT ‘EM; JOIN ‘EM – COMBINE ORGANIC AND PAID (CONTENTLY): In a case study for Castrol Motorcycle Oil, the first phase involved an organic social media marketing campaign for six months. It delivered 5,000 fans, a good level of organic growth and 26,000 social interactions showing great engagement potential. But Castrol was focusing on North America. Facebook is a global network and organic reach can’t be controlled by region. When Paid Social Media was added, this hiked up the number of new fans. Plus, it could be controlled with a significantly high number coming  from the region the company was really going after – the United States. The study showed that combining paid with organic increased reach and engagement.

Facebook Organic Reach Case Study

Did you know Facebook organic reach is declining this fast? Do these studies help explain why? Do you agree with what you can do?

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