Organic reach on Facebook has dribbled down to an all-time low, which has made life difficult for page owners trying to connect with fans. The rollout of the Explore Feed has also complicated things for those attempting to promote themselves on Facebook. Here we look at how reach a broader swathe of fans, as well as how the Explore Feed can work to your advantage.
Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message
It’s been a well-known fact for a while now that organic reach on Facebook’s News Feed is at an all-time low at 2%. That complicated things for Page owners who were trying to reach fans directly because engagement rates dropped severely as a consequence.
On top of that, Facebook just rolled out a new Explore Feed. The feed is supposed to be in favor of the user. The traditional newsfeed will remain only for updates from your friends and posts from Pages you already follow. The Explore feed will offer users content that it thinks they might find interesting from pages they are not currently following.
Apparently, Facebook is also testing a different Explore Feed in six countries: Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia. There, all posts by pages that are followed by a user are moved from the newsfeed to the Explore Feed. That means that on the traditional News Feed, people in these countries can only find posts by friends and sponsored posts. Posts by Pages the users follow can be found in the Explore Feed.
Because of that, all hell broke loose. Pages suffered from a detrimental drop in organic reach and as follows, engagement. According to last updates, the average number of interactions (likes, comments, shares) on the 60 biggest Slovak media Facebook pages has decreased by half since the test!
Facebook is testing radically different Explore Feed in six countries than in the rest of the world.medium.com
TechCrunch even reports that Facebook caused 60 percent to 80 percent drop in referral traffic to news in these 6 countries.
Josh Constine goes on to stress on the following:
Those months of Facebook drought could be ruinous for some publishers who’ve grown to rely on the social network for referral traffic…
The situation highlights the massive influence Facebook has on the publishing world, the widespread impact its product tests and changes can have and how publishers have left themselves vulnerable by becoming dependent on a platform that has clearly stated that it puts users first.
Facebook has caused a 60 percent to 80 percent drop in referral traffic to news outlets in six countries due to a test…techcrunch.com
How reliant are you on Facebook?
For the rest of the world, where this particular experiment is not taking place, the Explore Feed is not good news either. The Guardian reports that even though the change doesn’t seem to affect paid promotions on the traditional feed, it does affect the so called “native” content, such as Facebook videos, if those are posted by a page and not shared through paid promotion.
In short, if you’re a Page owner and you want to reach your fans with content without spending a s*!tload to promote it, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get any decent engagement.
So, where does that leave you?
We can never be sure what Facebook will do next. It all boils down to the fact that Facebook is unpredictable.
Feeds are congested and organic reach was low anyways. Content is constantly competing for eyeballs and now the launch of the Explore Feed is not doing Page owners a solid either.
Facebook will continue to look for different ways to monetize from the platform and similarly to what’s happening right now, it will most probably won’t be in favor of people trying to reach their fans.
It’s time to realize how dependent you actually are on Facebook and look for alternatives instead. Enter Messenger bots.
Messenger bots are the ideal solution to all of this Facebook nonsense. With these bots you can “beat the feed” and your content doesn’t have to fall victim to algorithms. Reach 100% of your fans! The bot offers open rates as high as 90–95%. Those are insane numbers!
At POP, we’ve seen with some of our users that the Messenger bot can even overtake a Facebook Page in less than a week when it comes to content distribution, tour updates, merch sales, etc.
The Messenger bot is a direct one-to-one communication channel that reaches fans directly. Outbound messaging is so powerful: it offers direct access to your fanbase with open rates above 90%! And your fans are already on Messenger (1.3 Billion people). They don’t need to download anything or login anywhere.
All it takes is to just start messaging them. If you can message your friends, you can message your fans-it’s that simple. The tool to reach your fans directly is already out there so what’s stopping you?