Facebook Marketing

Facebook Tells Businesses: Organic Reach will Fall – Get Ready to Pay to Play

Bottom Shape

Krista Neher

Dec 05 2013

Facebook Tells Businesses to Pay to PlayAdage reported that Facebook has now openly told businesses:

You’ll have to pay to reach your fans. Organic reach will continue to decline.

This is based on sales documents that Facebook shared with partners, and is a shift from previous claims from Facebook that declines in brand organic reach were not related to sponsoring posts. In the past, Facebook claimed that pages were not necessarily penalized in their algorithm. They now acknowledge that businesses will have to pay to play.

So, if you have to pay to reach your fans, why bother to acquire fans? Is it still an efficient use of funds?

According to Facebook, the main reason to acquire fans isn’t to build a free distribution channel for content; it’s to make future Facebook ads work better.

Ads work better when they have social context – this means that it is more efficient and effective to run ads if you have a large and relevant fan base.

What this means to you:

  • Expect organic reach to decline
  • If Facebook works for your business, you’ll need a budget
  • Consider ROI and the types of posts worth promoting
  • Compare the value of paying for Facebook vs. other channels that still give good reach without a budget
  • Evaluate how much you can afford to spend on Facebook
  • If you don’t want to spend, evaluate if Facebook is still worthwhile to you – you may want to limit your time and effort
  • Consider that other networks over-time may go in this direction as well (they all have to make money after all)


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