A drug dealer wants to make as much money as possible. Even if it means squeezing even the last penny out of a drug addict’s pocket. Once an addict gets hooked on something, and there is only one dealer around, he will raise his prices. Why? Because he can. Does he give a shit about his customer? Not really… 

And this is exactly what Facebook did (and still does) to businesses from all over the world. Yes, everybody knows that Facebook is a great tool to reach your fans. It’s also probably one of the *best* ways to reach your audience.

Everything seemed to be alright back in October 2013. A Facebook page with 1m likes reached (with no advertising) around 40k people with every post on its timeline. That’s 4%. Smaller pages with, let’s say, 25k likes could reach around 3000 people (12%).

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Fan Pages got screwed

We already knew that the organic reach of Facebook posts would drop over time, but we didn’t know how much it would be. Sure, if people subscribe to more Facebook pages the competition will grow and reduce the organic reach. That would acceptable, since that’s just the way the market evolves.

Fast forward to March 2014. According to a recent study by Ogilvy, over the past 4-5 months Facebook cut the organic reach of Branded pages IN HALF. Not 10%, not 20%… HALF!

half the reach

Like a drug dealer, Facebook first hooked businesses on success in social media. Hooked on this drug, businesses can’t live without it.

So, for example, if your business relies on an organic reach of 10k per post, now you only get 5k. And to make up for the dropped reach and go back to 10k you need to PAY!

“Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero…” – EAME managing director Marshall Manson

Can we do anything about it? No. Unfortunately for Brands (and maybe even for the fans), there is no other Facebook. The social network knows it can raise the prices. If there is one thing that could kill Facebook – this is it. The moment businesses don’t see enough value for their money, they will stop advertising.

Just deal with it?

A recent article in the Marketing Week tells marketers just to deal with it.

“If marketers want success on Facebook, sorry, but you have to pay. This shouldn’t come as a shock or a disappointment.”

I beg to differ. Why should there be a difference between the ranking algorithm for Brands and the algorithm for personal profiles? When I like seeing certain content from a certain friend (or page), I see more of it. If I don’t like it and don’t interact with it – I don’t.

In my personal opinion, Facebook shouldn’t decide what is right for us and what is not. Let the people decide what the like! Isn’t that the whole purpose of social networks…?