Why we shouldn’t mourn the death of organic reach on Facebook

BIG Partnership senior social media manager, Lucia Fella, explains how brands can use Facebook to target specific demographics as organic reach declines.

It’s no secret that it’s increasingly difficult for brands to get organic reach on Facebook, due to algorithm changes that took effect at the end of 2014. With Facebook’s latest announcement, content from friends and family will be prioritised in the News Feed, meaning that brand pages will fall even further down the pecking order.

In the last 18 months, the average reach for Facebook Pages has gone from 20%, to 10% to less than 3% more recently. Following this latest change, organic reach will be pretty much non-existent. But what does this mean for brands?

A cynic might suggest that Facebook has shareholders to keep happy, and advertising is the best way to increase this revenue, which has more than likely driven this shift, rather than, as they say, to stop people “missing important updates from the friends they care about.”

However, from a balanced perspective, why should Facebook serve up billions of engaged users on a plate to large multinationals for free?

While organic reach may be as good as dead, the advertising and targeting options available on Facebook are unrivalled compared to traditional advertising methods. Using Facebook’s audience definition, you can target a particular demographic to suit each individual campaign. Audiences can be defined using basic demographics such as age, location, gender and languages as well as certain Facebook interests including broad or specific interests.

But where the value really lies, is in the recent ability to target more detailed demographics and behaviors including (to name a few):

  • relationship status (think wedding suppliers targeting newly-engaged couples)
  • parents (the opportunities are endless)
  • income
  • listed places of work
  • industries
  • job functions

As well as being highly targeted, there is a multitude of objectives to choose from. Whether it’s getting more Facebook fans, increasing the reach and engagement of posts, driving traffic to your website, gaining conversions, getting videos views or app downloads. Advertisers have the opportunity to reach their audience with a very specific call-to-action.

And it doesn’t have to cost the earth! With engaging video content, we’ve seen campaigns cost as low as 1p per view. An e-commerce campaign from last year saw us reach over one million people, drive 20,000 clicks to the website and resulted in 300 sales, giving a cost per acquisition of £3.33 and a conversion rate of 1.5%. The ROI on these campaigns can be incredible and with the insights available, is extremely measurable.

So while it may be the end of organic reach as we know it, it’s definitely just the beginning for Facebook advertising.

Now, I’m off to share this organically on Facebook. I think it’s an important update and I’d hate for my friends to miss out…