The changing numbers of organic Facebook reach is impacting many a small business marketing metric. Here’s why.

Many organisations choose to have a Facebook page as a part of their marketing mix. It makes sense to do so in many cases – once you have ascertained this is where your target market are likely to be found, of course! It’s free to set up a page, mostly fun to maintain and offers a way to build a community, start some wonderful conversations and have a mechanism for instant polling and feedback. It’s important, however, to have a handle on the measurements you use to gauge success.

It can be as simply defined as the number of likes but it’s useful to also look at things like reach – how many eyeballs are seeing your posts, engagement – how much response you’re getting in terms of likes, comments and shares, and so on.

If Facebook reach has been one of your measurements, you may have seen a drop in the past 12 months and not through any fault of your own. This article outlines some of the latest data that discusses the falling number of organic (ie unpaid) reach of Facebook posts. Between February 2012 and March 2014 the numbers have almost halved.

The reason is that Facebook are encouraging the use of their paid service to boost the reach of more of your posts, so in order to make sure you do that, they are reducing the organic reach. Think of it as Facebook’s version of AdWords.

Whether we agree with Facebook’s business model is by the by – this is the way it now is. So for organisations planning to use or already using Facebook as a marketing tool, a line in the budget needs to be added as it is no longer as effective as it once was without having to spend any money.

This is not the only form of advertising available through Facebook so it pays to put thought into what you’re trying to achieve and then decided which advertising tool is most likely to help you successfully reach your goals.

As usual, if you need help just give me a shout.