Is anyone surprised that Facebook will effectively end organic reach in 2015? Facebook is no longer The Facebook, and it is no longer the domain of privileged Ivy Leaguers. In case you haven’t noticed, they’re a big deal. They are making money hand over fist and they continue to grow at a healthy rate. You knew that Facebook was a force to be reckoned with when your auntie, mom and grammy joined up too. For many years businesses received the benefit of visibility only for the cost of content and management. Well, sorry to say that era of free traffic has come to a halt. Given that automatic organic reach has diminished to 1% on average, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
So does this mean that Mark Zuckerberg should be polishing up his resume? Probably not.
I can’t remember a time when the New York Times offered free listings for businesses. So why would a media powerhouse like Google offer brands a free ride? Right? It doesn’t make sense that a business would give you something you’d gladly pay for. There is a lot of brouhaha about the real value of social and that noise is only adding to the confusion that exists around this most recent announcement.
Recent posts talk a lot about the lack of real strategy and goals. Even the analysis of large brands show a lack of any type of creativity in their social content or communication strategy. I continually see misguided, slanted and uninformed posts about what social is, what it should be and certainly about what it isn’t. Honestly, I’m sometimes wonder if I’m on the wrong side of this argument. Of course I’m going to fight for what I know and believe, but when Forrester says brands are wasting money on social you have to look at all sides of this argument objectively.
If you read headlines alone, you would tend to think that there’s a death clock ticking for Facebook. The reality is far from that, at least I think. Though unprecedented free consumer access will go the way of the DoDo in a few short weeks, businesses should rejoice about this change. This is good. In fact, I believe this is great. I hated having my feed full of Zynga game requests. I’m tired of clickbaity content. I’m tired of seeing irrelevant content from friends or businesses, just as you are. If a business wants to talk to me, they can pay for it. That’s fair. That’s how advertising works.
As a marketer who has led and managed social advertising, the value IS there. However, the value is only there if and only if the marketer has knowledge and a plan. That’s where most social media campaigns have failed, strategy and planning. However, we like to trash the mistakes of the visible few who make egregious tactical errors, the truth is that most social media marketing hasn’t been good.
There are a number of known social media marketers who know what they’re doing. People like Jim Tobin of Ignite Social Media is someone that I respect. He and his team do things right and have successes a many. They’ve invested in the resources and knowledge needed to excel with social. They’re strategic, creative and have the ability to execute at a high level. If you’re going to have a team on your side, they’re the ones you want.
Brands need to put pride aside and look to us experienced, knowledgeable social media marketers to help guide you. We see things differently, we have a broader range of experience, we can help to guide you in the right direction.
Facebook isn’t dying. Businesses aren’t going to ignore Facebook. This is a turning point and a good one.