From occupying a dominant position just a few years ago, Facebook’s fan (business) pages have seen their ‘fan reach’ sink to an alarming low, leading to speculation of their impending demise. If you maintain your own business page, fan reach is defined as the percentage of your fans that see your post after its published on Facebook.
Fan reach falls drastically
From 2009 to 2010, Facebook’s fan reach on its business pages was at 20+ percent, with many pages enjoying record impression results. Since then, page administrators have seen severe drops in their fan reach, so much so that even with significant growth, it would take at least 2 years to recover. Here’s a brief timeline on the problem put together by Just Ask Kim.
- 2 years ago: Fan reach falls to 16 percent, a reduction but not enough to worry about
- 1 year ago: Fan reach falls yet again to 14 percent
- 8 months ago: Fan reach drops to 12 percent
- 4 months to present: Fan reach has dropped to an all time low of 9 percent, with several pages reporting lower impressions
Of course, the numbers above are simplifications meant to make the downward trend understandable. But, in any case, several marketers have been forced to rethink their strategies, in particular, just how much time and effort they should spend on their FB pages with the start of 2014.
Not all pages are equal
Yet despite the fatalistic attitudes of many online and social media marketers, a subset of Facebook pages have actually been spared from this shortfall in fan reach. Marketers who have allocated a stable budget for Facebook advertising and creating effective ads have not been affected as significantly. While fan reach has fallen across the board, the effects are less consequential because they have a funnel that capitalizes on their ad strategy.
In other words, those paying for ads on Facebook aren’t feeling the decrease in fan reach as much as the people relying on ‘free’ reach are.
Cough up the money
Similar to how Google had shifted its attention to its paid advertisement system, Facebook is slowly making a compelling case for page owners to cough up the cash and protect themselves from dwindling fan reach. And if your plan is to do it on a long-term basis, you’ll have to come up with a strategy that funnels money out of your leads.
Facebook fan pages have gone from being a free way to market your brand on the world’s largest social network, to joining the ranks of paid media. Facebook is of course, well within its right to do this— and are using this to maximize their revenue.
It’s now up to marketers to respond to this paradigm shift.
No budget? Here’s what you can do.
Just Ask Kim has taken the liberty of outlining some measures you can take to improve your fan reach without having spend one cent.
- Study the EdgeRank formula to figure out how Facebook rewards pages with more reach and what they ignore.
- Use your fan list to your advantage. Use posts that encourage discussions among your fans to show signs of engagement on your page, which in turns increases EdgeRank, thereby letting more fans see your posts.
Do note that if you choose not to invest Facebook’s business pages for your brand, you’ll have to do more research and work. In any case, we here at Enform can help you achieve better results with your social media presence.