Can Good Content Still Reach Fans at “Facebook Zero?”

Social media managers have been talking about the “Reachpocalypse” for nearly a year now. fbcarmenOver the past months, Facebook has tweaked their algorithm time and time again to get us to the current state of affairs – Facebook Zero.

Facebook Zero is the result of Facebook making it harder and harder for brands to achieve any organic reach at all on newsfeed. If you want to play for eyeballs, you have to pay.  For the Facebook user in me, who has her Facebook news feed curated like the Smithsonian, I see less “junk” in my feed, so I see the benefit. For the social media manager in me, it’s taken all the fun out of Facebook.

During the earlier part of my career, part of what I thrived on was seeing how many fans we could get and how many would engage with the content I created. Only just a few years ago, I increased organic engagement 30% quarter over quarter for more than a year. What a rush it was to play with the content, tweak it, create graphics and get those shares.

For a while now, it’s been hard to feel that content high. What was killing it before is now merely a “meh” in the content-verse. For the past six months, it’s been like pulling teeth to get even the tiniest organic reach on any content. Companies startedgiving up on Facebook completely as early as last year, because Facebook played the old “bait-and-switch” — encouraging them at first to spend mega bucks and mega time to grow an organic fan base that is now unreachable unless you spent more.

In my social media heart, I moved on as well. The strategy was to still post Facebook content, but as an extended version of content created for other channels. Twitter became my favorite channel, because while their algorithm has changed some, good content could still get me that reach “high.”

Then, something happened. There was an organizational change and a new mandate to “take some risks” with social content. That put some of the fun back in “fundamentals” and I took a new look. Then, something like a magical kitten riding a rainbow unicorn happened. Our reach on Facebook increased by 4-5X. It wasn’t a fluke, because the reach has maintained the increase for a few weeks now.

I will say the reach is nowhere near where it would’ve been a year ago, but it was an interesting mini case-study. Can good content combat against the chains that is Facebook Zero? Yes — and no. It’s probably more important than ever, and we did see an increase in organic reach. However, a paid strategy is still in order to make the content investment worthwhile. I’m wagering that the content that showed organic reach will kill it with a paid boost, as it has in the past.

It’s just that now, I’m feeling a little bit of my Facebook groove coming back. 🙂

Originally posted to LinkedIn by Carmen Collins (CLAS ’94)

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