Facebook Reach is Dead but it is an Opportunity for Social Media

As much as I don’t like it, Facebook is the leading platform according to many people in the social media industry, whatever company you work for. And it’s not completely wrong: it does have the most engaged users whatever field you work on.

However, for a few month now, we’ve seen continuous decline in our Facebook Reach.

So I guess social media people like me should be reviewing our strategy. Or maybe come back to the basics? Here are a few points that will hopefully help you find a social media strategy that actually works, even with a lower Facebook Reach.


Facebook Reach Doesn’t Reflect Success or Failure

If you’ve read this post that far, I assume you are part of these people who noticed a real drop in your Facebook Reach.

But let’s stop a minute and consider Facebook Reach for what it really is: “the number of unique people who received impressions of a Page post”.

Note: Impressions are the number of times a post from your Page is displayed.

So, on its own, this metric doesn’t tell much. Imagine saying “one million people will see my ad” without ensuring they noticed and understood it. Not to mention verifying if they took an action afterwards. So does Reach completely reflect your goal? Certainly not. So let’s step back once more.

You need to analyse a bit deeper than just Reach. Looking at engagement is a good start but you could also monitor leads and so on. And these metrics may well be at the same level as they used to be… So by now, I hope we agree that Facebook’s plummeting Reach is not a disaster. But more than that, I think this is an opportunity.


Facebook’s plummeting Reach: an Opportunity for Social Media to Grow

I’m sure that you already met at least one person (say your boss) who saw social media, and particularly Facebook, like a source of quick and cheap awareness.

Well, Facebook’s Reach now being very close to zero is the opportunity to tell them that magic wands creating awareness for free aren’t real.

Companies have to pay for awareness and on Facebook, that’s called Social Media Advertising. And even if it’s cheaper than some other options, it still costs quite a lot of money.

So that situation leaves you with a page we used to consider only for its organic Reach… and now you can dedicate it to much more than Reach and make it really social.

Indeed, if you are to use Social Media Advertising, you need a regular page so let’s use its organic Reach anyway. And this time, you’ll be able to associate other metrics than just Reach.


An Example on How to Switch to a Real Social Media Strategy

However, turning your social media accounts back into something social will need your company’s culture to change. And that may well be what was missing: is your company ready to inform, entertain, exchange and so on? This is something not all companies can, want or know how to do.

For example, let’s say you work for a luxury brand… something like designer glasses. Awareness is not your goal since you leave that to Social Media Advertising. But image and reputation? That works for organic social media. So what image do you want to have? Who are you targeting? Let’s say for the sake of this example that it all revolves around the hipster community.

Then, you can share basically anything that relates to your community! Whether it is music, shows or restaurants… you can do anything that will show how you fit into this community, its customs, beliefs, etc.:

  • Organize private concerts in your shop and nurture playlists on Spotify.
  • Invite a Zen master over to share his knowledge and write a blog post on Tumblr.
  • Talk about that South African photo exhibition happening near your shop and share a few pictures with Snapchat or Instagram.

Possibilities are endless… And do you know why this will work? Because it’s not (only) about your products but how people actually relate to them: you both are part of the same community and similar people want to hang out together. They want to hear the latest sound that’ll make them feel cool. They are interested by that photo exhibition and so on. The question is: are you part of this community or not? Do you emotionally relate to it?


Conclusion: Facebook Reach is an Opportunity to go back to Real PR

Obviously, all these imply having a real PR strategy already in place because social media alone will mainly lead to Customer Relationship Management (after sales, lead generation, etc.) but won’t be able to generate real PR success on its own.

So the bottom line is: if you’re worried about Facebook Reach, it might show your PR strategy is not complete. But I might be completely wrong… so share your thoughts in the comments or talk to me on Twitter or LinkedIn!

Remi Kerhoas

I'm a PR guy who got into social media thanks to the human power it conveys. Bringing companies a warmer and closer voice helps people and that makes me feel good! I worked with companies such as Dassault Systemes, Orange Business Services, Archos... And on my spare time I become a funk bass player. You can contact me at http://about.me/remikerhoas