ETA - I'm making changes to this page as and when new information comes to light -Jackie
This week there has been a flurry of activity following a recent Facebook update.
Facebook Explore Feed is coming, and there have been articles ahoy over the last 48 hours predicting this is the end of organic reach and we should all be worried about it.
Is it something to worry about? Will organic reach really be extinct in the coming months? Is Facebook going to become a 100% pay to play platform? What does this mean for us who are running small businesses (especially those in the first year who may be on a shoestring?) Should we all just give up now? Or......is this panic riddled hearsay?
As with anything to do with social media, we have to accept that they evolve constantly. Sometimes in our favour, sometimes seemingly against it. And yes it can be frustrating, as you feel you've only just "got" the platform figured out and "Oh look, here comes another update."
I like to reframe challenges in my head. I don't actually use that word. Seriously, I don't. I think of every change as an opportunity.
So with my uber positive head on, I went out into the world wide web and connected with my peers to discover if the latest update, the Facebook Explore Feed, is the beginning of the end for organic reach......or is it all just propaganda?
What is Facebook Explore Feed?
Soon our mobile Facebook app will have a little rocket icon at the bottom. This is the explore feed.
Facebook has felt for some time that the newsfeed isn't really showing you new news. It's just showing you updates from your current pool of likes (friends, groups, pages and ads). And for most of us, that pool isn't changing that often. So the Explore feed is set to fix that.
It will be personalised for each user, based upon the groups and pages you currently like plus content that is currently popular amongst your peer group on Facebook.
In a statement from Facebook themselves
“We are beginning to roll out a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, automatically customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them,” the Facebook spokesperson said.
“We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven’t connected with yet.”
NEW INFO - Increasingly there are articles popping up left right and centre that are stating that in certain countries a trial is taking place where the newsfeed omits posts from pages. These articles are stating that for some Facebook biz pages their organic reach dropped by two thirds overnight.
However Facebook have yet to confirm this is going to be rolled out globally. They have told tech site Engadget
"People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages. We have no current plans to roll this out globally."
More updates and confirmation of this when I have it.
Want to see it for yourself?
Even if you haven't received the roll out yet on mobile, you can find it on desktop.
Head to this link and have a mooch for yourself. I did it this morning and I actually quite liked it! I found some hilarious content there and did find myself going down the rabbit hole of Facebook mooching which I haven't actually done for a long time.
It's reminiscent of the old news feed - before Facebook started advertising - as currently there are no ads in the explore feed (but as with everything Facebook related that could all change).
It also doesn't just suggest posts, it also suggests events, places to go, groups to join and much more.
How does this impact organic reach?
NEW INFO - It totally depends on whether the trial is rolled out globally. Facebook have two options. To keep the newsfeed as it stands currently or to omit FB page posts from the newsfeed and make this a totally pay to play platform where you occasionally might be found in the explore newsfeed (more likely to happen if your business is super niche and you're creating solid, engaging video content)
I actually few this change as a positive one? Why? Because Facebook is giving us another opportunity for new fans to find us!
If our Facebook pages are directed towards our ideal customers and we are creating visual (read majority of the time video) content that is engaging, exciting and unique that will light our ideal customer up, then it's now become more likely that we will feature in the explore feed and therefore be discovered more.
However, should the newsfeed change and organic reach become non existent that will put a lot of small businesses out of business (who heavily rely on Facebook as a source of leads/sales for free currently) but they could evolve and join the pay to play scheme.
Facebook ads will still trump every other kind of digital advertising for targeting and trackable ROI.
If the newsfeed stays the same, organic reach is definitely still possible albeit it might also take a slight hit initially. I'm regularly reaching over 50% of my page like numbers on both of my pages and my engagement rate is on average 7-10%. In Facebook terms that's pretty good going and I only dabble in ads every now and again - I'm never running them constantly.
So - in a nutshell - embrace this change and don't fear it.
BUT make sure you are always creating content that your ideal customer will love as THAT is the key to any kind of impactful reach, engagement or now being included in the explore feed. That is what the algorithm is looking at so focus on that first and the rest will follow.
And also never ever put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you are building your email lists so you are able to connect with your fans if / should the organic reach changes happen.
Love and creative smooches,
I've often described finding my ideal customer profile my secret sauce for success. Because once I found my niche, my tribe, my peoples, and I worked out what they really desired from my business, everything changed. For the better.
If you're someone who has a small business and is struggling to get traction on social media, you could be guilty of not knowing your own secret sauce. If you're writing posts to "everyone" or believe that your business is for "Mums", you will forever be speaking into the social media black hole. Because not every Mum will love your products and apart from death, taxes and possibly Netflix, nothing is for everyone.
Success comes from when you niche down. It feels counter intuitive but it's been proven time and time again. When you actually limit your audience, when you become a big fish in a small pond, when you speak to less people but the right people, when your business no longer appeals to "everyone" but instead appeals to a smaller number of perfect people, the sales start to flood in.
If you'd like to learn more about how to find your ideal customer and therefore spend LESS TIME on your social media and get MORE SALES with my unique 5 step plan (most people only teach 4 steps and don't know about the final most important step) then click here to read more.