Social Media Savvy: Is Facebook no longer free for businesses? |

Social Media Savvy: Is Facebook no longer free for businesses?

Are Facebook's newer algorithms doing more harm than good for businesses and brands?
Courtesy | iStockphoto

Facebook used to be free. Yet thanks to their continuously changing algorithms, businesses are finding it more and more difficult to reach people.

Facebook claims they are making these changes in order to keep people on the social channel. Despite these efforts, some people are getting tired of it and either deleting their account or moving over to something different like Instagram and Pinterest.

Facebook claims there are two main reasons for organic reach decline:

1. More and more content is created every day to the point we now suffer from content overload. Did you know on average every time you log into Facebook you could see up to 1,500 stories in your newsfeed? And if you have a lot of friends and like many brands, 15,000 different stories?

“Social media marketers are continuing to wonder if paid media is the only way to go on Facebook in order to reach their fans.”

2. Facebook is managing content overload by only showing you the news you care about (according to Facebook’s algorithms) thus narrowing the number of news in your newsfeed to only about 300. To keep your interest, they are showing you updates from people you care most about and less from brands you like.

Social media marketers are continuing to wonder if paid media is the only way to go on Facebook in order to reach their fans.

Some argue that organic reach is not dead, yet brands are reaching on average only 7 percent of their fans (Source: Locowise) and less than 1 percent are actually engaging with brands’ post.


The entire discussion about this falling organic reach can almost always be combined with another discussion: What type of media works best for Facebook? Photos, links, thumbnail images, videos?

And, what are social media marketers supposed to do on Facebook?

In the always-changing Facebook game, my seven recommendations would be:

1. If you have a great photo to share, share the photo.

2. If you are trying to start a discussion, use text.

3. If you have an excellent piece of news to share, share the link.

4. If you are trying to get people to your website, include a link to your website.

5. Focus on your website. It’s your home. You don’t own Facebook. Make sure your website has the latest information on it.

6. Invest in Instagram. Engagement on Instagram is 15 times that of Facebook; 26 percent of online adults are on Instagram. Also, 42 percent of marketers plan to increase their efforts on Instagram. There are 300 million users on Instagram. Facebook owns Instagram so expect to see advertising soon as they are currently in beta for certain brands. But in the meantime, enjoy beautiful image updates from your friends and brands you like.

7. Email marketing is powerful. A good digital strategy is still to use social media for lead generation and convert your leads to customers with email marketing.

Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at This post first appeared on Out&About

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