Facebook's Organic Reach Decline - Hiebing

Facebook’s 10-Year Turning Point

February 28, 2014by Dave Florin

Facebook is 10 years old. And with all of the overhauls and turmoil it’s put marketers through over the decade, we begin to wonder if Facebook is really our friend.

Even the meaning of “like” has changed in the past few years. You may be a big fan of the University of Wisconsin, share your excitement on and like their Facebook page—and want to see their updates—but you may never see a single one. Facebook’s post-IPO business model has changed and brought with it the requirement that brands with a presence must pay to be “social” and connect with fans.

For now, Facebook is evolving to just another advertising avenue; think billboard, magazine ad, etc. It is beginning to force out its own social aspect and transition any earned media presence into paid media.

While it remains a necessary platform for many brands—reaching 12 percent of some fans is greater than 12 percent of nothing—Facebook continues to squeeze brands for ad dollars. With some sources reporting a 44 percent decline in brand page engagement since December 2013, marketers are now forced to rethink social and digital touchpoints.

Optimizing posts for Facebook’s algorithms is no longer enough. While Facebook will continue to be the behemoth as a social channel, revisiting your targets’ interests will help you dig into where your brand advocates truly exist.

To that point, marketers must continue to explore alternatives in social. The number of niche social networks surfacing recently has made it easier to approach quality brand advocates before quantity. Do your research. Think about relevancy over reach with smaller, passionate groups of people on targeted, interest-based social networks.

Exiting the social behemoth is not yet an option. However, marketers must look ahead to new social avenues and avoid placing all their eggs in the big blue basket.

What Facebook alternatives is your brand a part of? Share with us in the comments.

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