Facebook Engagement is Declining. This is Why.

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Why is organic reach on Facebook declining?

Back in June 2014, Facebook’s Vice President of Advertising Technology wrote about 2 key reasons for the decline in organic reach.

#1 – More and more content is being created and shared on Facebook every day
#2 – Facebook News Feed aims to show the most relevant content to each user

At the time these comments were shared, there were 1,500 stories that could appear in an average person’s News Feed each time they logged into Facebook. For people who had large numbers of friends or who followed lots of pages, as many as 15,000 potential stories were available.

And let’s face it, the amount of content being published to Facebook is continuing to increase.

The more content that is published on Facebook, the more competition there is to gain exposure in the News Feed.

Facebook Explore Feed

Facebook recently rolled out its new Explore Feed that is specifically designed to show posts from Facebook Pages.

Put in simple terms, the Explore Feed could help to clean up the News Feed so that it shows more posts from your friends instead of Pages.

This has lots of businesses running scared, assuming that nobody will see their posts. But, personally I think we need to look at it from a different perspective…

Why did you join Facebook?

I’ve seen lots of posts from people complaining about the reduction in organic reach, but let’s be honest about WHY people sign up for Facebook. It is to connect with friends and contacts NOT to be sold to.

Where most businesses go fundamentally wrong (in my opinion) is that they treat social media as just another advertising platform.

In other words, they focus on media when users are focussed on being social.

Facebook have made it clear that their mission is ‘building a global community’.

Now, if we take think about an offline community for moment, such as a village pub, would you keep frequenting said pub if every time you went there, random people tried to sell you stuff?

I mean, these people might be offering things you are vaguely interested in, but do you want to be pestered by them ALL THE TIME?

Facebook is not going to fulfil its mission unless it acts as a gatekeeper to make sure its users are getting value and want to keep coming back.

Where can you get FREE advertising?

If you think about traditional publishing, it is almost impossible to get free advertising. Media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV know they can only show a limited amount of advertising alongside valuable content else they will never get people to read, listen or watch their content.

Facebook knows this too and having grown its audience to the largest social platform on the planet, it is focused on giving value to its users.

Although it is getting increasingly hard to do, you can still get organic reach if you publish content that is of value to your audience. Moving forward, organic reach will increasingly rely on your audience members sharing your content and engaging with it through reactions and comments.

Using paid promotion

Facebook provides the most targeted and value for money advertising on the planet. Where else can you choose an audience based on their specific location, age, gender and detailed interests?

Also, what other marketing tools let you promote further content to people based on their engagement with the things you previously posted?

And the best bit about Facebook is you can test your ideas (and often get results) for just £2 – £3!

Organic reach might be on a rapid decline, but Facebook ads are still one of the most affordable ways to market your business in 2017 and beyond.