If you ask anyone what the largest social network in the world is, they’ll immediately say Facebook. The platform popped onto the scene in 2004 and quickly grew to be everyone’s favorite channel to catch up on news and share with friends and family. But as the network reached monumental numbers (they tout well over 1 billion users) something started to change. What once was a straight-forward site of positivity turned into an ad heavy daily habit, riddled with the occasional angst, a wonky algorithm and a fluctuating demographic. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook can still be an amazing place–two weeks ago it was full of happiness and declarations of universal love, and just yesterday I laughed till I cried at viral videos and film trailers–but those things aside, there’s a shift that has taken place and it is likely affecting your business.

The Facebook Shift
Earlier this year, TechCrunch announced that Facebook growth has slowed and teens are dropping like flies–younger markets stripping Facebook of any ounce of cool. Older users are welcoming the platform, but their embracing it to connect with loved ones, not necessarily brands. If your target demographic is younger, then you may want to reevaluate where you’re investing most of your time on social media. Facebook as a company (they own Whatsapp and Instagram) will continue to prosper, and as they expand into developing countries their numbers will rise again. The bigger problem here may be the impressions on your page.

Where once there were high fives being passed out for thousands of impressions on organic posts, there are now curse words and blank stares. Few celebrities, small businesses and major brands are getting the impressions they deserve without forking over a chunk of their ad budget. Small businesses have already experienced repercussions. We’ve asked ourselves why this is happening too many times to count. Those who’ve been established and have an effective strategy in place are still seeing strong numbers, but newbies and those who have gone rogue on their page are struggling. Facebook’s algorithm change has acted as a big screw you to the little guys and those who don’t have the most engaged users.

So what does this mean for you? It means, organic posts are dropping in importance on news feeds and paid placements are reigning supreme. Even if you’re target demographic is there, they may not be seeing you. So it’s more important than ever to be inventive. The greatest way to reach your audience is by not being overly promotional. It also means don’t beat yourself up. There are tons of platforms out there and you shouldn’t be frustrated that your account isn’t growing like it once was. Find the right social media platform for you, and run with it.

We still advice our clients to be active on the channel. Facebook is undoubtedly the place to reach the most people if you’re doing it right, and it can tell your brand and personal story, while also acting as an easy communication tool where other platforms can’t compete. But it’s important to be aware of the evolving community and decide whether you’re going to invest the time and money to reach the masses.

Have you experienced a shift in your Facebook impressions or growth? Would love to hear how this has affected you.