Facebook is making lots of changes that will affect businesses’ organic reach. Here’s what you need to know and how it may impact your company.
In our most recent social media news post, we mentioned that Facebook was experimenting with an Explore Feed feature. You may or may not have heard about how this might affect businesses’ ability to achieve organic reach on Facebook.
The social media network claims it is trying to create the best user experience possible. But it might come at a high cost to businesses trying to reach new audiences. Could this be the end of organic reach for businesses on Facebook? Let’s take a look.
What is Facebook’s Explore Feed?
Explore Feed is a new tab on your Facebook homepage that will include recommended content that it thinks you might find interesting. This will include posts, articles, photos and videos from users and other Pages you don’t currently follow.
This separate news feed will only appear when you click on the Explore tab, leaving users’ homepage news feed to content from friends and Pages you already follow.
“We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven’t connected with yet,” says Facebook in a statement. “Businesses should be optimistic about the potential for users interested in content like theirs to find their pages through the new Explore Feed.”
What does this mean for your business?
In October, Facebook launched Explore Feed as an experiment in six countries — Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. The results showed a massive decline in businesses’ organic reach. Most countries reported a drop of two-thirds within the first 48 hours after Explore launched.
A user’s feed will now only show their friends’ posts and paid posts and advertisements. This is a huge disadvantage for small businesses with limited budgets that have traditionally relied on the organic reach of their Facebook posts to help attract new audiences.
As Mashable says: “That means Facebook’s main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers. Instead, it’s a battlefield of ‘pay to play’, where publishers have to pony up the dough to get back into the News Feed.”
Facebook insists these changes are in direct response to requests from users for an easier way to discover new Pages they aren’t already following. But it means a lot of changes for businesses running a Facebook business page. Companies need to ensure their content is high quality, unique and highly relevant. And more and more companies will have to start dipping into their budgets to boost posts and buy ads.
Important to note
Facebook is also tightening the reigns on Pages and individuals that use engagement bait to attract new followers. What is engagement bait?
“Engagement bait is a tactic to create Facebook posts that goad people into interacting through likes, shares, comments, and other actions in order to artificially boost engagement and get greater reach on News Feed,” says Facebook’s Newsfeed Guidelines. The social network’s new algorithm will demote any posts by individuals or Pages that promote their content through engagement bait.
Despite all of these new changes and their accompanying challenges, we’re not ready to write off Facebook for businesses just yet. The key will be for companies to continue to provide the best content possible through the social media platform to organically engage followers.
What do you think of Facebook’s new Explore Feed?
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