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Organic reach: Is this the end?

Is Facebook marketing still effective?


For the past couple of years, Facebook (as well as other social media sites) has been encouraging brands to make use of well timed posts and content to attract fans and viewers. This approach, however, as outlined in our recent post, has been proving ineffective of late. Is this the end of organic reach?

Firstly, let’s look at the term itself. Facebook’s own site defines organic reach as such:

“Organic reach is the total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution. Paid reach is the total number of unique people who were shown your post as a result of ads.”

In short, organic reach refers to any free content that draws viewers, such as an interesting Facebook status update or witty tweet. According to Social@Ogilvy, organic reach through Facebook has plummeted by 49%, with the average number of fans being reached as low as 6%. Predictions are equally dire for the future of other social media sites. Pie chart illustrating organic reach

Alternatives to organic reach


Although success through organic reach is no longer a guarantee, social media can still be a potent way to reach and engage clients. emphasises that brands need to grow along with social media, starting with their own perceptions:

“Just as brands had to evolve from their early thinking of the Internet as “free,” they’re going to have to do the same thing for social. Marketing on social isn’t going away. It remains an incredibly powerful platform. But it’s evolving, and brands have to evolve, too.”

Their list of pointers for brands trying to adapt can be read here:

Our view:

Our in house marketing expert, Carey Botha, feels that brands need to become more creative and diverse in their social media strategy:

“In addition to relying on paid posts and adverts; brands need to engage with their followers and other related key influences. This needs to happen across all social media platforms- ideally each one should each have a specific strategy in place.”



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