Zuckerberg says Facebook organic reach is for users, not for marketers

For marketers complaining about Facebook killing their organic reach, don’t expect things to get better anytime soon.

At a townhall-style meeting yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened himself up to questions from employees, reporters and the general technorati that had arrived for the event at Facebook’s HQ at Menlo Park. Early on in the session, Zuckerberg was asked a question that has since become the number one complaint for Facebook Page managers everywhere. He response wasn’t quite encouraging:

There’s this inherent conflict in the system though, which is are we trying to optimize news feed to give each person, all of you guys, the best experience when you’re reading? Or are we trying to help businesses just reach as many people as possible?

And in every decision that we make, we optimize for the first, for making it so that the people who we serve, who use Facebook, and who are reading News Feed get the very best experience that they can. And that means that if a business is sharing content that’s going to be useful for them, then we’ll show that. But that means if the business is sharing content that isn’t going to be useful for them, we may not show that.

Zuckerberg’s message was clear, Facebook is for the users first, and marketers second. However, he still placed the responsibility of engagement solely on Page managers and marketers, saying that good content would always be rewarded:

As the products continue to develop, there’s going to be more people sharing more things and we’re going to try to continue doing our best in showing the best that we can, knowing that there is no way that a person will take the time to go through every one of the 1,500 things that are shared with them every single day.There are a lot of pages that are doing quite successfully; their organic reach is growing quite a bit because they are delivering content to people that they really want.

So if you are a business owner and you’re thinking about how to use your free page on Facebook, I would just focus on trying to publish really good content that’s going to be compelling to your customers and the people who are following you.

In theory, sure, but right now all we know is that videos get higher placement than images, which get higher placement than text. Other than that, what constitutes as “good content” is anybody’s guess.

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