Facebook ROI or RIP? Brand’s organic reach is ‘destined to die out’

Mar 11, 2014 | Facebook marketing, Online advertising

Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero, with brands forced to pay to reach fans instead (or jump to other platforms), according to new research from Ogilvy. View the full Slideshare presentation of the Ogilvy presentation here: Facebook Zero: Considering Life After the Demise of Organic Reach from […]

Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero, with brands forced to pay to reach fans instead (or jump to other platforms), according to new research from Ogilvy.
View the full Slideshare presentation of the Ogilvy presentation here:


The research, published by Social@Ogilvy, indicates that there were on average 16% of followers of a brand page being shown a piece of content in 2012.
By February 2014, the percentage of organic reach dropped to roughly 6% in February 2014 for an average page, and just 2% for large pages with more than 500,000 likes.
The advertising agency went on to claim that its sources at Facebook were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future- an event it named ‘Facebook Zero’.
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Image source: Social@Ogilvy
The document describing a gradual decline in organic reach said that “content that is eligible to be shown in news feed is increasing at a faster rate than people’s ability to consume it.”
To come up with the figures, Social@Ogilvy conducted an analysis of 106 country-level brand pages it has administrator access to. The research was conducted on a global set of brand pages, the majority of which were from outside of the U.S. They spanned verticals and accounted for 48.2 million total fans.
The report author, Marshall Manson, Social@Ogilvy EAME managing director, suggested that eventually, there may be no space left for brands who haven’t paid to promote their posts.
In the short term, Manson expects to see the drop in organic reach to drive a bit more Facebook ad spending. In the longer term, he expects to see increased investment in social channels like Twitter, Facebook-owned Instagram and WeChat and for brands to effectively hedge their bets instead of being centrally focused on Facebook.
“I think we need to return to platform-neutral social strategies,” he said.
Conversely, Facebook will now have to justify paid-for posts in a marketing budget, which means delivering results.
zero1.jpg
Image source: Social@Ogilvy
Read the full report here

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