Monday, December 9, 2013

Facebook says brands should pay more to ensure audience engagement

Facebook has admitted that organic reach may not be enough for brands and marketers to reach their intended audience. Will engagement become more difficult and expensive?

Brand marketing is a big part of Facebook, and advertisers are taking advantage of the social network’s mechanisms at ad targeting for certain demographics, interests and locales. Paid reach is often done alongside organic posts, however, which include engaging the audience through pages. In a recent sales deck entitled Generating business results on Facebook being*shared with partners, the social network seems to be admitting that organic reach is not enough. In fact, organic reach by brands and pages is actually on a decline.

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site,” says Facebook’s presentation deck.

This move is seen as being in line with Facebook’s move toward streamlining the News Feed to become more engaging, especially to a mobile audience. Facebook will be boosting posts with quality organic content, and will give more priority to news items from reputable sources. This means less priority to lesser-quality ones like meme photos and links to viral meme sites, which may be in response to the trend among the likes of Viralnova and Buzzfeed, which capitalize on the viral nature of their content.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, this change in strategy is brought about by News Feed space that is becoming more and more limited. Given this, “the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”

The concern here, of course, is that companies and brands that already have a considerable following on their pages might have to spend more for engagement within their existing audience, rather than rely on the organic reach of their posts. For individual Facebook users, this might be one big contribution to the improvement of the News Feed.

Source: Ad Age

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