Valleywag says that Facebook is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent. This would affect “all brands” because Facebook is a business and they have to make a lot more money. But in doing so is Facebook, destined to just become another online media property for media companies looking to target consumers with advertisers’ messages?
Facebook’s ad business is humming to the tune of $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a more than 76 percent increase from the same quarter a year before. But according to several ad agency executives, Facebook is still mostly indifferent to their needs to the point of arrogance.
Brands themselves greatly helped Facebook by giving it free advertising in their TV commercials and sites, urging their customers to “like” the brand — and paying Facebook to pile up likes. Facebook has returned the favor by choking off brands’ access to those communities. That’s one expensive and frustrating lesson that it’s better to own than rent.
In reality Facebook had to make this move as users were ignoring brand posts. People don’t really like seeing a bunch of ads in their news feed. They like seeing updates from friends and family, funny YouTube videos, and maybe some news stories about topics they’re interested in. So Facebook has decided to show them fewer self-promotional posts from businesses and more of all the other stuff.
However, what Facebook has done is forced brands and media agencies to look at Facebook and compare the costs of the platform to other online properties. Could, for example, a brand get a better ROI by spending their media dollars on sites like the NY Times ? That’s a question that a lot of marketers are going to be asking.
But you still need social media
Brands still need their Facebook pages to engage super consumers and as a direct line to customers/consumers’ questions about the brand. In addition, marketers who understand that they need increased effort to engage consumers, are going to be rewarded while brands who continue post irrelevant posts are going to see even less of a return for their social media efforts.
Facebook has been warning brands to make their content more relevant to audiences, but time-stressed consumers just don’t have the time to learn about new Maxwell House coffee’s when their coffee of choice is Starbucks.