Facebook users exceeded 2 billion people for the first time in Q217. That is nearly 1/3 of the Earth’s population. And daily usage by these users has not slowed as 66% of users continue to login everyday.
On a recent earnings call, Facebook’s CEO outlined that there are 1 billion monthly users on Groups, up 75 million since Q316. 500 million users are on Events, up from 450 million in Q316.
Advertisers have followed suit. Facebook now has 2.5 million advertisers and 50 million businesses Pages up from 5 million since last quarter. Plus Users are leaving billions of comments on these pages, making Messenger the new way for people communicate and complain to businesses.
Although it has slowed slightly to 45% in Q217, year-on-year revenue growth has continued to outpace the equivalent user growth of 17%.
Facebook needs to get more ad space and has even issued investor guidance that revenue growth is slowing as it was running out of space to show ads.
It creates space by showing less organic messages.
This fact will become increasingly relevant to your pharmacy, especially if you have grown an organic audience on Facebook that you wish to target.
If you’re still depending on Facebook fans for organic traffic to your content, you’ve probably started to notice this decline.
After all, Facebook is a business with a profit motive.
As advertising numbers and revenue increase, Facebook has more incentive to push paid for advertising into the slots being vacated by the reduction in organic traffic.
Facebook has been very open about the fact and has been guiding marketing agencies since 2013 about this change. Facebook has told marketers that organic reach will be declining and that they will need to buy ads to replace it.
Even if you have already built up a great organic following on Facebook, reaching those existing fans is going to be more difficult than ever. By some estimates as little as 5% of posts will appear in a followers news feed.
The Deputy Editor of the Chicago Tribune completed a great analysis on the impact of Facebook changes on their organic post reach. His analysis was that their organic reach declined by 50% over a 15 month period to April 2017.
The negative is that you will not reach as many users organically. So free reach is over.
However, this may not be as bad as one might first think. Free reach might have looked good in the numbers. But if your pharmacy was not reaching new target customers or upselling to existing ones, it was of little benefit.
So the positive is that Facebook now enables you to precisely target patients using demographics, interests, behaviors, connections and remarketing.
You can match a target audience with content specific to them. If that content is relevant and omnipresent, then you have a direct way to appeal to new patients for your pharmacy.
Refill Assistant specializes in social advertising for community pharmacies.
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