To give some context to this debate, it’s worth looking at the evidence that’s stacking up against Facebook.
Facebook has been relatively open about its desire to restrict organic reach. In a sales deck distributed to ad partners at the end of 2013, Facebook stated: “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.”.
Much of the disquiet among marketers has been fueled by Forrester research published in October 2013, which began with the bold statement that “Facebook is failing marketers.” Based on a survey of 395 marketers, Forrester found that Facebook creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity.
So, Is Free Social Marketing Dead?
These rumblings have been growing louder over the past 12 months, particularly in regards to Facebook, which some marketers claim is now little more than a glorified advertising network. It could be that Twitter will also become a so-called ‘pay-to-play’ network for marketers, as it recently hinted at plans to implement a news feed-style algorithm.
Separate data published by Ogilvy in March this year showed that organic reach on brand pages had plummeted to just 6 %, a sharp fall from 12 % in October 2013. The situation is even bleaker for pages with fewer than 500 fans, as they saw organic reach fall from an already low 4 % to just 2.1 %. Ogilvy also quoted anonymous “Facebook sources” as saying that it wouldn’t be long before organic reach hit zero (wouldn’t that be disappointing?!).
Marketers have been complaining for some time that organic reach no longer exists on social media and that brands have to pay for adverts if they want to engage with their target audience.
But… Free Social Marketing Is Still Alive
Yes, I do believe in that – especially if you are a brand with an active and well built up page/profile. According to TheGuardian.com, the top 1% of pages still reached 82% of their fans. It could be that it simply comes down to producing content that is both relevant to your audience and tied to long-term business goals.
All in all, I have developed a new level of appreciation for “jumping onboard” early in the game. Facebook pages that put a lot of effort into great content and consistent marketing years ago are now enjoying the fruit of their labor. They say, it’s not too late to “jump” on Google+ train yet, so you may need to take upon this opportunity as soon as possible.
Quoted source: theguardian.com
Why Social Media Is Not Free – Video
Myth or fact that social media is free. According to AMA Marketing channel, it’s a dangerous line of thinking.
More about Costs of Social Marketing
Social Media Is Free, Social Media Marketing Is Not
Perhaps it’s a way to get in the door, as social media marketing once started, ideally needs to go on, quarter after quarter unlike conventional campaigns that may have a start-stop time frame. That said, it’s important to realise there are several elements that upfront add to the cost of going ‘social’. While profile creation is free on most social networking sites, there are certainly associated costs that brands need to incur. Read more
Is It Time To Forget Free Social Media Marketing?
When I joined Facebook and Twitter in 2008 the key attraction was that you could gain attention and market on social media for free. There was little social media advertising available and it was usually not an easy task and not self service. Brands started building tribes, followers and likes. Brands focused on growing “likes” on Facebook. Read more