Facebook: Content Publisher or Community?

Organic engagement on Facebook has been in a steady decline since EdgeRank began to shift the way users see posts from others (especially brands).

The decline has led many to believe that Facebook is driving brands toward paid reach on purpose by at first giving them a free and open platform and then slowly disrupting the flow of content. Theory as it may be its still quite glaring that content marketing has become quite the challenge for the platform.

A discussion (found here) between Robert Rose and Jay Baer of blog Convince & Convert had many important ideas and insights worth noting – such as:

  • Brands have become very reliant to Facebook because of how much they have invested in the platform and do not want to see it as a failure after placing so much effort into their work.
  • Brands will need to increase their efforts in creating content that appeals to their audience but also place great effort in excellent ad creative due to the increase in competition.

Robert goes to question whether Facebook has backed itself into a corner.

Facebook is making big attempts to become the center-point of the Web and as it continues to grow and dominate the social market it will need to find balance in paid and organic engagement otherwise brands will bleed dry trying to reach their community.

All is not lost, though, for brands. Brands and marketers have needed to adapt since the beginning so this is yet another challenge. We have already seen that engagement has increased due in part to auto-play videos and through competitive ad pricing (with the correct targeting) the costs of advertising remains a positive return on investment.

So which is it? Is Facebook a content publisher or community?

Only time may tell though we can conclude it has begun the shift to publisher due to its growing reach and quest for dominance. Brands and marketers that adapt to these changes (while keeping the options open) will continue to succeed in the ever increasing difficulty and challenge of marketing on Facebook.

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