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Facebook: Put Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

Brands on Facebook have seen a declining number of posts reaching their network without paid influence. In the early days of brand pages, you could post a piece of content and the majority of your followers would see it. By 2012, the average number of a brand’s followers who saw a non-sponsored post had fallen to 16%. Now, the average is about 6%.

“Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero.”According to Ad Age, Brands’ organic Facebook reach has crashed since October. Why is organic reach falling? It’s simply a matter of competition. Facebook has more users and more brands than a few years ago, leading to more active and updated news feeds. There’s too much content being generated and not enough space on news feeds. Users can’t consume all of the content that is being presented to them, so those who pay get to be first in line. Some see this development as a sign that it’s time to stop using Facebook as a marketing tool. They argue that spending time and money to build a fan base is useless if they can’t get their messages out to the masses. We don’t see this as a reason to abandon Facebook; it’s merely a sign of a mature market.

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Social media isn’t free. Facebook is not a promise of unlimited interaction. It has always been a platform with highly specific targeting measures and reach potential. Now we’re seeing it grow into its shoes. Facebook has done a good job of amassing an audience that enjoys its services.  Facebook, in turn, can grant access to this audience for a fee. This is how advertising works. Digital marketing has often been seen as a bargain or a “cheaper” alternative to traditional media.

Until recently, production values for a TV spot and a web spot were vastly different. We are nearing the end of that era. The cost of media development is shifting to become more consistent across the board. The difference is that digital media is far more effective dollar-for-dollar. Additionally, digital platforms can offer much more than print or TV: extended experiences, interactivity, and brand-powered services. When digital platforms like Facebook are used this way instead of just having content ported over from traditional media, brands can build large and engaged audiences. These advertisers don’t mind paying for access to their audience when it offers such an effective and cost-efficient solution.

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