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Facing 'Facebook Zero'

Business pages on Facebook can expect organic reach to decline even further this year with zero organic reach likely in the long run, according to Social@Ogilvy’s managing director Marshall Manson (pictured).

Named by the Holmes Report as the Best Digital Consultancy in the World for 2013, Social@Ogilvy delivers a host of social marketing campaigns, many of which are award winning, on behalf of a range of household brands including Unilever, BP, Ford and Nestle and Manson will share some of the agency’s insights when he takes to the stage at AM’s Digital Dealer Conference.

Taking place at The Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire, on September 4, Digital Dealer explores the constantly evolving digital landscape and some of the technologies which drive the modern dealership.

With social media remaining high on marketing agendas, Manson will draw on analysis undertaken both by Social@Ogilvy and wider research to highlight future social trends with particular emphasis on Facebook.

The platform has already slashed organic growth for business pages and Social@Ogilvy’s own analysis in February this year suggests organic reach is around 6% (2% for large pages with 500,000 plus likes), down about 49% compared to October last year when it was at the 12% mark.

“The obvious question for many businesses is whether Facebook will become just another paid for platform,” said Manson.

“Unfortunately, it’s inevitable, in order to reach and engage with existing fans, brands will have to pay up. However, it could well be a worthwhile investment.”

Manson highlights research from ComScore which showed Facebook fans of one retailer were 27% more likely to buy a product than those from a control group following a paid-for campaign.

“But that is the experience of one retailer and one campaign,” added Manson.

“We do know Facebook fans are more likely to be advocates of a brand, engage and share content so from that perspective, investing money to ensure you reach them, especially those active brand advocates, could pay dividends.

Businesses do need to experiment but they also need to measure to ensure they fully understand what works. Marketing managers also need to remember people will react differently to different messages. If the content is interesting, your community will share and recommendation is just as powerful even if the original content was sponsored.

“Previously brands were using ‘owned’ to fuel ‘earned’ and they will have to use ‘paid’ to achieve the same goal but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.

“Content will continue to be the most important component.

"As brands and businesses shift their focus to budget and achieving more bang for their buck, we should start to see more compelling content appearing which will undoubtedly prove more positive and effective for those who consume it and in terms of results for the brands.

“Marketing managers will also need to address the issue of not over-committing to one social platform and ensure their marketing enjoys a healthy mix.

"Of course, it’s not just Facebook where these principles need to be applied but across the entire social spectrum. Maximising content and redirecting traffic back to your website where data can be captured and engagement then becomes part of a business’ CRM strategy is the way forward.”

> AM Digital Dealer Conference tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, to book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133 or email or visit

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