Facebook organic reach stabilising?

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In March 2014, data from media agencies and ‘unconfirmed rumours’ from Silicon Valley suggested that organic reach from Facebook brand pages was in decline, and would soon be close to zero. However, our data from February and March shows that organic reach has stabilised. Furthermore, many pages have continued to perform strongly throughout the last 6 months. Where the content is good enough, pages are unaffected by changes to Facebook’s algorithm. This is not grounds for complacency, but it shows that brands should not dismiss their Facebook Pages when planning content strategies.

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Facebook organic reach stabilising?

  1. 1. 1 ZenithOptimedia briefing: Reports of ‘Facebook zero’ have been exaggerated Sam Bueno de Mesquita, Newcast Overview: Facebook organic reach has stabilised In March 2014, data from media agencies1 and ‘unconfirmed rumours’ from Silicon Valley2 suggested that organic reach3 from Facebook brand pages was in decline, and would soon be close to zero. However, our data from February and March shows that organic reach has stabilised. Furthermore, many pages have continued to perform strongly throughout the last 6 months. Where the content is good enough, pages are unaffected by changes to Facebook’s algorithm. This is not grounds for complacency, but it shows that brands should not dismiss their Facebook Pages when planning content strategies. Data shows small recovery in reach Newcast has taken data from 39 global brands with a combined fanbase of over 6 million. From November to February we saw, as expected, a precipitous fall in organic reach, from 6.7% to 3.4%. However, in February and March, organic reach stabilised and even started to rise a little. The rapid fall in organic reach to below 1% that many were predicting has not taken place. 1 http://www.slideshare.net/socialogilvy/facebook-zero-white-paper-31934430 2 http://valleywag.gawker.com/facebook-is-about-to-make-everyone-pay-1547309811 3 The number of unique people who saw a post in News Feed or on your Page, including people who saw it from a story shared by a friend – as opposed to content viewed via paid adverts 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% 01 November 2013 01 December 2013 01 January 2014 01 February 2014 01 March 2014 01 April 2014 Facebook daily reach per fan (39 global brands)
  2. 2. 2 Furthermore, using ZenithOptimedia’s proprietary SocialTools data, we can see that many brands have not felt the pressure of falling organic reach. The below graph was taken from 20 high-performing content owners, including media companies, celebrities and broadcasters. For these pages, with highly engaged fanbases and high-performing content, reach has barely fallen. What does this mean for brands? » Your Facebook Page Likes are still valuable, but only if you have content that users genuinely want to see in their newsfeeds Pages that produce content that is timely, relevant and valuable have maintained their reach. Pages that are just advertising a brand have seen dramatic falls. Where a brand has always-on content that users genuinely love, Facebook is still a way to reach users with high-frequency, high- engagement content at a low budget. » If ‘Reach’ is your crucial measure of value in fan acquisition, then you should continue to be wary of putting too much value into your page Facebook has warned that there may be a slow decline in reach in the future – not owing to changes in the algorithm, but simply as a result of the growing volumes of content shared on the platform. Fan acquisition should not be a key focus unless you have a goal for your fans beyond reaching them with content. » If you cannot produce the right content, start treating Facebook as a platform for paid reach If your organic reach has fallen below a level where it is not giving you any meaningful value, then Facebook should be considered as a paid platform – a place to put money behind campaigns and always-on content – rather than as something owned and organic. 0.00% 2.00% 4.00% 6.00% 8.00% 10.00% 12.00% 14.00% 16.00% 31/10/2013 30/11/2013 31/12/2013 31/01/2014 28/02/2014 31/03/2014 30/04/2014 Activation rates for content-owners' Facebook pages

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