Facebook disappoints marketers, but is the network dead?

Facebook was adopted and accepted by both “common” people and companies faster than anyone would have expected.

For web agencies, new jobs appear everyday. When the Social Media Manager job appeared, online marketers who embarked on this new adventure struggled to explain to companies and organisations the importance of Social Media Optimisation in addition to and not in place of SEO. It wasn’t easy at all, the in-house marketing teams being accustomed to more traditional forms of advertising were quite sceptical when faced with this of this new opportunity. (Probably) Hundreds of pitches later, CMOs started to understand, to believe and, more important, to invest.

But did they get it right? Some of them did, most of them didn’t.

Millions and millions of users who willingly submit their personal information, tools for advertising and numerous available reports. And all for free. Seems like any company’s dream, doesn’t it? In fact, Facebook was never free and now it’s going to cost even more to address your potential clients. Thinking of Facebook as a free tool was wrong and so was thinking that you need to invest only in likes gathering campaigns.

Another major mistakes companies made was to believe that anyone can handle a Facebook Page. Of course, anyone can post, but without some know-how in PR and without a strategy, the efforts are often doomed to failure or, worse, they could have a negative impact on the company’s image.

What did Facebook do? They changed their algorithm.

Facebook officially admitted that Organic Reach is falling short and the only efficient way to be seen by your fans is through paid ads. As reach plunged, so did the other indicators (engagement rate, comment rate, like rate). Important pages reported fallings of up to 76%, but, on average, the decline is around 44%. At least for now.

While many thought that if you have 10,000 fans, you will have addressed 10,000 people with just a share, in fact, by now, only 16% of the community will see the page’s activity. 16% is already low enough, but it is expected to lower to 3% by the end of the year.

Is Facebook dead? Of course not.

There will always be people resourceful enough to invest in Facebook. The fact that their competition might not do the same is only another advantage in their favour.

Facebook also twists the marketer’s arm to create intelligent, shareable and potentially viral content. No one will invest in promoting a cat picture, a fade “good morning” or any other useless content.