Facebook Zero: The Reachpocalypse

fb_icon_325x325With more than 1.35 billion users on Facebook globally, it’s no wonder marketers have used Facebook as an influential way to reach consumers. In the past, a significant number of a brand’s Facebook fans would consistently (and constantly) receive content without the company shelling out a dime for the service.

But those days are over. It’s the reachpocalypse! Facebook warned companies organic reach (the number of people who see posts through unpaid distribution) is fast approaching zero.

The Timeline

The decline of organic reach has been in the works for several years.

September 2012: Facebook began restricting organic reach when almost 17% of fans received posts through unpaid distribution.

February 2014: Overall, organic reach decreased to 6%. For large pages with 500,000+ likes, the rate dropped to 2%.

December 2014: Organic reach is expected to approach zero by the end of this year.

Why and What Now?

Facebook is trying to increase revenue by requiring brands to rely on paid reach, but monetizing its platform is not the only culprit. Increased content promotion is also decreasing organic reach. It is easier than ever to create and share content; between 1,500 and 15,000 stories appear in a person’s newsfeed every time he or she logs in. The competition for newsfeed mindshare is making it harder for brands to reach their audiences.

In short, the reachpocalypse demands companies revaluate their Facebook strategy for 2015. Sharing exceptional/quality, highly targeted content with paid support is now more likely to increase engagement, which in turn increases the likelihood of posts being shared organically by viewers as well. Marketers should consider a mix of organic and paid content on Facebook – and don’t forget there is a whole other world out there with more than 100+ social networks. It’s time to assess the value you’re getting out of social.