Facebook Organic Reach Is Dead: Why You Have to Pay-to-Play

Posted by Nick Fischer on Apr 7th, 2020 in Marketing & Design

Roughly 1.5 billion users are active on Facebook every day. Since its initial launch, it has dominated the internet and completely changed the way we interact online. If your business is not already on Facebook, you are missing out big time. When it comes to utilizing the Facebook platform for business use, there are two primary channels.

Organic Posts: Content, status updates, links, images, and videos that are posted into your primary news feed for your existing followers to engage with.

Paid Advertising: Ads that are created and pushed into the news feeds of your ideal target audience to generate awareness, website traffic, or other valuable actions for your business.

If you have a Facebook page for your business, you’re probably already familiar with organic posts. 

The problem businesses are facing with organic posts is the limitations in the reach. There are a few reasons why your reach is low:

  1. Organic posts are specifically designed to show to your page followers. So if your business page only has 100 followers, your initial potential reach is 100 people. No matter how good your content is, you're going to have a hard time getting any traction with such a small following.
  2. The followers that you already have are not engaging with business postings. If you think about how people are using Facebook, most people are not there to buy products and services; People are on Facebook to socialize. They want to see their friends vacation pictures, watch their nieces dance recital, and most importantly share cat videos.

It’s Not Just You

Trust Insights did a study to wrap up engagement rates from 2019. They pulled that stats from 2,316 business pages that published 6,034,384 organic posts in 2019. They found that only 1 out of 4,647 page followers actually engage with a brand’s content. That’s just 0.0215%. 

Posting organically on your page without a paid strategy is wasting your time. If this is your social media strategy, I have bad news: it’s not going to cut it.

Normal website goal completion rates for website traffic is typically around 2-3%. So let’s say 3% of the people that engage with your social content convert to a customer, that means your organic postings have a 0.000645% conversion rate. This is not worth anybody's time.

As Trust Insights poignantly remarked,  “You’re better off standing on the sidewalk in front of your office, handing out brochures, than you are investing time in posting on Facebook without paying.”

What are the benefits of using Facebook advertising?

There are many reasons why Facebook ads are more effective than organic posts, but the most important reason is that you can reach exactly the right audience. On the Facebook Ads platform, you’re able to pick out your exact audience with extreme granularity. Look at your existing customer base, and think through who your customers are:

  • Where do they live
  • How old are they? 
  • What are their interests?
  • How they spend their time online?
  • What other information do we know about them? 

If you compile that information, Facebook can find more people who fit your customer’s profile. So for instance, if you’re selling a widget to 34-year-old males that are married with kids, work as accountants, live in downtown Cleveland, and like to watch the Chicago Bulls, you can do that. For marketers, it doesn’t get any better than that.

If your targeting is done correctly and you run personalized ads, you’ll see your engagement rates skyrocket. You’ll see more people engaging with your post, more people clicking over to your website, and more people converting into customers from your content.

To be effective on Facebook, you must have a paid strategy.

Without including paid ads in your social strategy, you’re not going to get the results that will drive your business forward. With paid ads not only are you able to amplify your message to an extremely larger audience, but you can get much more targeted with who is seeing your content which drastically increases the effectiveness. You’ll get higher engagement and higher conversion rates when you put your valuable content in front of the ideal audience.

Figuring out your paid social strategy can be challenging and it becomes a constant moving target. There is no “set it and forget it” strategy that will work for you long term. As you run ads, boost posts, and target different users, you are collecting data to see success rates. With proper analytics in place, you can start to understand what types of ads people respond to most: what pictures they like, what language they respond to, and who is responding more frequently. 

By constantly running A/B tests with your ads and your targeting, you can learn a lot just by watching the numbers. As you collect the stats, you’ll want to continuously adjust your strategy to take advantage of the tactics that are pushing your business forward the most. We do this every day, and we can do this for you too.