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What's Your Facebook Marketing Strategy in the Pay to Play Era?

By William Peacock, Esq. on March 20, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Organic reach" will be slashed to 1 or 2 percent, Valleywag reported. CNET confirmed with the tech giant that the organic reach of Facebook Pages will "decline over time."

This sounds important, especially for law firms that maintain active Facebook brand pages, but what does it mean for your firm's online marketing strategy? If your firm uses a business page, Facebook is inching closer to "pay to play," where the only way for your page's updates to display in users' News Feeds will be to pay for advertising.

The Reports

Valleywag quoted an anonymous source that is reportedly familiar with Facebook's practices. The leaky source said that Facebook is quietly going to its largest brands and warning them that organic News Feed reach will decline to nearly nothing. "Organic," by the way, is the tech industry's term de jour for natural or unpaid traffic. The same label applies to non-sponsored Google search results.

Of course, if these brands want to continue receiving traffic from their Facebook Pages, the solution is simple: pay for advertising. A company spokesperson addressed Valleywag's report in a statement to CNET:

"We have not given a specific reach number that Pages should expect to see because organic reach will vary by Page and by post. Like many mediums, if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising."

CNET notes that, "[t]o some, the warning will sound as if Facebook is fessing up to holding Page updates hostage in exchange for ransom in the form of more paid advertisements."

Um, yeah -- that's exactly what they're doing.

Revise Your Strategy

The easiest thing to do, obviously, is to pay for advertising. But if pay-to-play violates your principles, or your bottom line, there are other marketing strategies you can take.

Obviously, we're big fans of Twitter, but targeting potential clients might not be as easy on that platform. A better alternative might be to start a blog, and put all of your firm's updates on that platform.

And, of course, there's always the possibility of using a personal profile instead of a business profile. Of course, friend requests are far more difficult to achieve with potential clients than simple "Likes," and we can't even imagine the possible ethics issues.

What's your response to the hostage crisis News Feed algorithm tweak? Tell us on (you guessed it) Facebook.

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