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Facebook dumps reach and what this means for your Social Media Strategy

Facebook recently announced a big change in how Facebook works.

They have gotten rid of something known as "reach" which tracks how many people view a particular post.

So for example lets say you sell kitty litter and on your Facebook business page you regularly post photos of cats and kittens in an effort to get more people to see your product.

Every time you go back and view an old posting, you will see a statistic beneath it showing how many people have viewed your posting, along with the Likes, Reactions and so forth.

This is probably connected to the fact that "reach" has been declining on Facebook in recent years anyway. The average user's number of daily posts is also down, from 4.5 posts per day in June 2016 down to 1.3 in April 2017. The downward trend has become a big thing since August 2016.

So people are posting on Facebook less often than years ago, and Facebook has become "flooded" with brands competing for reach.

Meanwhile some people are doing a "Facebook Purge" in an effort to limit the amount of time they waste on Facebook.

And some people, like two people I went to university with, are going one step further and deleting their Facebook accounts entirely. Their reasoning? They have a baby and don't have the extra time to be wasting time on Facebook when they should be spending that time with their baby.

So could that explain Facebook's decline in recent years in daily posts? People are getting older, having kids and just have less time to waste on Facebook? Maybe so. Maybe so.

Another Big Change

Facebook is de-emphasizing business pages / advertising and putting more emphasis on the posts of friends and family.

"But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other. […] Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. […] you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. […] you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media." - Mark Zuckerberg.

So people will end up seeing less of your kitty litter / cat photos, and also less of business pages and advertising in general.

But how will Facebook make money off of this?

Well, now your business page posts won't show up in people's feeds for free any more. Instead people will have to PAY if they want to promote a post and get additional clicks / attention.

Which means reach isn't so much gone as they are changing the focus to people paying for clicks.

Which means more profit for Facebook in the long run. More people paying for advertising, no more free advertising.

And for regular Facebook users, it means (or should mean) less looking at advertising.

Coupled with Facebook's continual growth in popularity, this means they should expect more income in the future as there are more and more people to advertise to via Facebook - if you are willing to pay for it.

Special Note

Facebook doesn't even make most of their money off of advertising. That is really a side gig for them. Facebook's real revenue stream is from selling off personal data to advertisers can use to create more sophisticated advertising campaigns. That is where the real money is.

This is why when you sign up for Facebook your email account later sees a rise in spam. People are buying your personal data, learn about your interests, and then send you spam on topics they think you might buy.

So what does this all mean for Advertisers?

Making a Facebook page for your business now is basically useless unless you are also willing to spend money advertising your Facebook page.

Facebook has effectively killed "organic reach" on their website. The only way you will reach potential customers with your posts is if you pay for it.

That means your Social Media Strategy needs to have advertising money behind it, otherwise you are just wasting your time.

Money + Advertising = Reaching Potential Customers

No Money + Posting for Free = Zero Customers

This is a win-win for Facebook.

It allows them to appear to crack down on businesses so that people who enjoy Facebook will be able to enjoy it for seeing their friends and family more.

And it allows them to increase their advertising revenue by forcing businesses to pay up instead of trying to get free advertising.

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