Facebook’s Organic Search Power (Slightly) Declines: Should Marketers be worried?

By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook’s organic reach has been declining in recent months, and it’s got every social media marketer’s frantic attention. Although it’s only a 1-2% drop, a trend like this can naturally cause slight panic especially to those who invest so much on the social networking giant.

According to Social Media Today, if you have 1,000 Facebook likes on your business page, only about 10-20 of those fans will even see your posts.

This decline in organic search is not at all recent, however. It’s been a downhill pattern in the last few years, but the trend has become more significant – and as a result more alarming – starting around October of 2013. According to this study, the drop was from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February 2014.

There’s a logical reason to this decline as offered by TechCrunch.com: The roughly 50% decline in reach over the past year matches the 50% increase in Page Likes per typical Facebook user over the same time period. As people Like more Pages, the organic reach of each drops.

But all Pages and people are not treated equally because Facebook’s goal is to show people the most engaging posts out of all the ones they could see each day. This puts Facebook in the very tough position of choosing what content gets shown and what doesn’t.

So what can Facebook marketers do?

Here are some tips from OnlineMarketingInstitute.com:

1. Visual bullet points. Visual bullet points gain a lot of engagement, and EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm, determines what articles show up on a user’s newsfeed.

2. Opt-in emails. Another method to get around the fall in Facebook’s organic reach is to use opt-in emails. This is useful because your conversion rate from opt-in emails will be high.

3. Offers. Everyone’s a sucker for a great deal. Like what marketing consultant Jon Loomer says in his article about Facebook offers, an irresistible offer will get your fans to follow your page more closely.

4. Retargeting. Since the number of people you’re able to reach on Facebook will fall, you have to ensure that your audience is made up of highly targeted fans who have a higher chance of conversion. Closely evaluate your page’s fans to see if your audienceis made up of “fake” fans or fans who are genuinely interested in your product or service.