Contrary to a number of recent reports, most brands are seeing their organic reach rates rise on Facebook.
That’s according to new data from social analytics startup Shareablee, which found that among 150 brands, total organic reach grew 11% between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.
The problem is that other reports have focused too heavily on Post-level reach -- which has indeed declined 27% over the past quarter -- according to Tania Yuki, founder and CEO of Shareablee.
What these reports have failed to consider is the resulting increase in engagement rates, which have actually increased 65% over the past quarter.
As such, these reports are creating “undue alarm” among brands and agencies, Yuki told Social Media & Marketing Daily, on Tuesday.
“People are engaging more, in response to fewer messages,” Yuki explains in the new report. “Activating more people relevantly leads to greater total organic reach, which [in] turn allows the influencer effect of your most loyal, engaged fans to grow."
The broad perception that Facebook is curtailing brands’ ability to reach their followers (without paying a premium) appears to have already taken root.
In fact: “Over the past few weeks, I have personally spoken to at least thirty brand marketers … who are seriously contemplating pulling back their efforts from Facebook,” according to Yuki. “Some have been informed that Facebook is becoming a paid-only channel (even though promoted posts currently account for less than 10% of all brand content).”
And it’s no wonder why. Reports from a number of research firms and agencies have suggested that brands can no longer rely on Facebook to deliver their messages.
A recent report from Forrester, for example, suggested that brands should diversify their social media strategies because, among other reasons, “recent studies report that the average branded Facebook post reaches just 6% of a brand’s fans.”
Yet for those brands still intent on reaching consumers on Facebook, frequency remains key, according to Yuki.
“Brands must … resist reacting to the disappointment of lower post reach by stepping down on frequency, and keep relevant content coming if they want to maintain the audiences they have built up on Facebook,” Yuki explained.
Furthermore -- “Posting less frequently -- as some suggest -- does not result in those fewer posts reaching more people, even if those fewer posts are higher performing,” Yuki warned. “It is just too difficult to achieve momentum.”