The era of Facebook likes equaling free wall space is about to officially go away. Posts from businesses will no longer appear on the walls of users that have liked your page—unless you have payed for that privilege. In a report from Will Oremus with Slate, declining organic reach along with over-crowded user feeds has Facebook looking for significant ways to ensure users stay happy and using. Branded messaging from advertisers and promotional clutter is low-hanging fruit.
“Brands are going to have to be more strategic in their use of Facebook, and think carefully about the content they are creating, when they post, and how they promote that post across Facebook’s network,” says Ewan Spence with Forbes.
The shift from free to premium is in motion, and this brief summary from Mashable is a great glimpse at how small changes to algorithms on the back-end have already been steadily decreasing organic reach.
The days of Facebook being the default, free channel are coming to an end. Great content will still be shared, liked, and passed along, but it might require a bit more thinking and paying upfront. For venues that have worked hard for those 50,000+ likes, figuring out how to stay in front of that audience is going to require some fresh thinking … and funding.