Little Things is No More!
When I first heard about Facebook’s newsfeed changes, I thought the move would eventually punish non-profits and positive publisher brands that do create meaningful content. However, non-profits have so many people supporting them outside of social media platforms. They have donors, beneficiaries, constituents, political lobbyists, activists, community members and more who are invested in the organization’s survival. This is not the case for small feel-good publishers such as LittleThings. They have weathered quite a few Facebook changes already, but this one could not be endured. Since January’s changes, their organic reach dropped by 75%! On Feb 27th, they told their employees that the show was over.
Once a Facebook darling, LittleThings now looks like a case study for platform overreliance.
In General, Social Sharing is Down
Sharing was already heading south, especially on Facebook. This is partially because Facebook has been slowly limiting organic reach for the past few years, and also because the volume of content has increased dramatically. Just check out this excerpt from Forbes:
An analysis of the stats of 100 million posts published in 2017 by BuzzSumo has revealed that social sharing has halved since 2015. Most content, the authors of the report conclude, sees very few shares and generates no backlinks at all. Getting 62 shares will now put your post in the top ten percent.
“If you’re sticking with your content approach from three years ago, it’s now 50% less effective,” BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson warns.
Part of the decline in social sharing is the sheer quantity of content out there – a phenomenon known as ‘content shock’. Different estimates have the amount of available content doubling every year or two, and there are only so many eyeballs, and shares, to go around.
Social sharing of content, particularly on Facebook, has plummeted – and content marketers are being warned that they need to find new strategies.
Beyond Vanity Numbers
With the close of LittleThings and the overall decline of organic reach and shares, what is a non-profit/small biz marketer suppose to do? We have to get beyond the vanity numbers (which can include fake followers) and go from thinking “How many?” to “Who’s there?” I’m currently working on an in-depth audience audit for the non-profit I’m placed at. I don’t just want to know if we are getting more likes and more fans, but who these people are. Are they donors, beneficiaries, family members of beneficiaries, brands, strangers, community members, etc? When we know our audience, it is easier to develop a content/marketing strategy across many avenues, platforms, spaces, and more. If you’re tethered to one platform or one outlet, you may risk the future of your organization to a 3rd party you can’t control.