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The REAL Cost of Facebook Paid Reach

Despite Facebook’s increasing revenue (this week’s half-hour outage “only” cost the company $500,000), many in marketing are a bit bearish on the company’s futures in terms of its true value in dollars, cents and eyeballs.

The primary complaint, of course, concerns the demonstrable decline of organic reach. Facebook finally addressed the issue after six months of complaints, but product marketing leader Brian Boland’s response pleased exactly no one that we know.

Facebook still claims that its primary goal is to improve user experience, not profit margin…but new data from our friends at digital agency Flightpath indicates otherwise.

It’s not just organic: the agency’s clients noted a recent decline in the reach of their paid posts, and Flightpath turned the data into an infographic.

Facebook paid reach

As you can see, the price of pay-to-play has more than doubled over just six months.

We can’t be sure if all agency clients have seen the same trends, but we’re very curious. Those numbers are scarier than two dozen smiling Zuckerbergs staring us down.

Facebook (Finally) Explains What Happened to Your Organic Reach

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We’re all aware that our beloved Facebook has gone through some…changes this year.

You may recall a certain blogger’s attempts to explain the new “problem with Facebook” in a clip that went viral way back in January, but the company’s own ad product marketing leader Brian Boland finally addressed the issue in a post that went live yesterday.

So what happened to that organic reach? Let’s review…

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Facebook Exec Rants About The Media, Says Things We’ve Heard Before

haduckMike Haduck, a product manager for ads at Facebook, vented all kinds of frustrations about the media in a mega rant — where else — on Facebook.

He goes off on everything from A to Z: CNN is “the network of kidnapped white girls”; newspapers are “are ghosts in a shell”; the three big papers – The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post – “seem incapable of breaking real, meaningful news at Internet speed”; “[e]vening newscasts are jokes” as is Meet the Press. Most media is terrible according to Haduck.

Once he’s vomited all of his complaints and his gut is empty, he ends with this: “It’s hard to tell who’s to blame. But someone should fix this shit.”

Nothing that Haduck says here hasn’t been said before, either specifically or in general. What’s interesting, however, is that he doesn’t seem to see (or at least to highlight) the ways in which media has benefited from social media sites. Like the one he works for.

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Tips on Pitching and Media Relations from Facebook’s Media Coach Bill McGowan

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Bill McGowan has held many titles throughout his career: journalist, “A Current Affair” reporter, author, founder and CEO of Clarity Media Group.

His most recent role is media coach for executives, celebrities and artists ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Eli Manning to Thomas Keller and Tim Gunn. He’s also worked with major firms to help PR professionals hone the art of the pitch.

Two of his most recent clients’ names might ring a bell: Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

In McGowan’s latest book Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time, he draws on decades of experience working both in front of and behind the camera to offer tips and tools on how to deliver a message efficiently and confidently.

We recently spoke to Bill to learn how that experience applies to PR.

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Facebook’s New Algorithm Is Smarter Than You

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WHERE ARE THE PUPPIEZ?!?

We’ve all seen the fruits of our Facebook labors decline precipitously in recent months–and yesterday the company made clear in an online statement that it will no longer tolerate desperate attempts at increasing reach.

In other words, tone down that CTA or your posts will be deader than last week’s meme.

In particular, the company wants to actively punish the purveyors of three types of posts:

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Dublin Airport to Everyone: ‘It’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s’

tumblr_m4rr0sHhQ81qdscjdo1_1280So today is officially St. Patrick’s Day, or the Western world’s favorite excuse to get a bit toxic (along with New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Graduation Day, President’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, etc. etc.).

What a great time for social media engagement, right?! Last week Dublin Airport—which is somehow not among the top Facebook pages in Ireland—took the opportunity to remind everyone that Mac, Dennis and Charlie got it right: the correct nickname for St. Patrick is St. Paddy, NOT St. Patty.

This is not a new debate, BTW.

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STUDY: Which Social Networks Inspire the Greatest Brand Dependence?

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Given the unrelenting flood of new “next big thing” networks, you may be forgiven for answering the headline’s question with “none of ‘em.”

But a study presented at this year’s SXSW says otherwise.

The research, performed by United Talent Agency’s UTA Brand Studio and digital survey provider uSamp, includes some interestingly specific findings.

The first big surprise? Twitter didn’t score in the top five in any age group.

More after the jump.

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Facebook’s Gun Control Move: PR Win?

You may have heard that Facebook responded to pressure from gun control advocacy groups by moving to crack down on illegal gun sales facilitated by its network. Here’s last night’s report from CBS New York:

Whether one see this as a big victory, an insignificant step or a stinging defeat depends—surprise, surprise—on politics.

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Facebook’s New Ad Campaign: ‘We’re Still Relevant!’

Someone at Facebook read all your headlines. The company knows that you’re not as excited by your friends’ political rants as you once were and that you really don’t get the new algorithm (just like you didn’t get the need for a “news feed” back in 2006).

In response to this perceived decline, Facebook released a set of ads created by Weiden + Kennedy and designed to remind you of its own usefulness in terms of that whole “interacting with friends/co-workers/elementary school classmates” thing over the past month or so.

Here’s one:

And a couple more after the jump.

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STUDY: 68% of Social Media Users Ignore the Brands They Follow

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“Connect” is the key word here

Stack another study on the pile questioning Facebook’s promotional value. This one, from content management provider Kentico, reveals that even though users like and continue to follow their favorite brands on the ‘book and other social networks, they generally ignore these brands’ messages.

These findings aren’t particularly surprising—they’re more like the latest in a string of confirmations about measuring success on social as our strategies evolve.

More numbers from the survey of 300 random Americans 18 and older after the jump…

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