For TV marketers, followers on social media is a fluctuating asset. For sure they’re valuable but depending on how a platform algorithm is tweaked at any given time, how many of your fans are actually seeing your content can vary wildly, forcing a reevaluation of marketing strategy and focus of social media outreach.
What organic reach is for TV Pages is one of the many questions the new and expansive ListenFirst State of Social TV 2019 report covers, informing entertainment and media marketers on the latest best practices in leveraging social media for audience engagement. Here are the report’s key findings around organic reach on Facebook and Instagram:
Organic Reach For TV Pages On Facebook Is Down But Rebounding
In a study of 2K+ TV pages, organic reach on Facebook for TV content dropped significantly after the platform’s January 2018 announcement that it was deemphasizing businesses and publishers content in the News Feed in favor of user posted content. Around those changes, TV Page reach bottomed out at 3.66% by November 2018 from a high of 7.85% at the start of the year.
Despite reach being low, the ratio of fans engaging with TV content outpaced reach, which means the fans TV Pages were reaching were more likely to engage. However, since December organic reach has been back on the rise, up to 5.86% in March 2019. Basically this shows that while it took some time, TV marketers are successfully learning how to navigate changes to News Feed algorithm.
One adjustment TV marketers can make around the tweaked algorithm is to renew focus on branded content. Organic reach for branded content on Facebook is significantly higher than all other content published by TV Pages, ending at 11.5% in Q1 2019 reach compared to 5.15% for all other content posted by TV pages. This makes sense, given the level of investment made behind branded content, which boosts organic reach.
Organic Instagram Reach Going Down, But Stories Picking Up Slack
Examining the Instagram performance of 1500+ TV pages on the platform, ListenFirst found that the organic reach of TV pages on Instagram has somewhat decreased of late, going from 27.85% in January 2018 to 23.78% in March 2019. This may be attributed to an increase in brands on Instagram vying for follower attention, as well as a shift to Instagram Stories, the platform’s only up for 24 hours alternative to Snapchat.
As TV brands have begun seeing results around their Instagram Stories, they’ve embraced the new communication tool with increasing frequency. The amount of TV Pages posting Instagram Stories increased by 74% comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2018 , with the volume of TV Pages posting stories increasing by 156% in the same time period.
While that’s a net positive, it’s also possible that the popularity of Instagram Stories is cannibalizing the real estate on Instagram and resulting in TV page content appearing less frequently in the organic feed. In January 2019, Facebook self reported that 500 million people are using Instagram Stories daily, which is about half of Instagram’s active users. TV Pages that are not already investing in Instagram Stories should pivot and experiment with the feature, as it appears both users and Instagram are putting an increased emphasis on it.
Facebook and Instagram will always remain in a push/pull relationship with brands and marketers. On one hand they want to sell as many ads as possible; on the other hand if they devalue organic reach too much, brands will get fed up and take both their owned and paid content elsewhere. While there have been some bumps in the road for TV Pages on both Facebook and Instagram, there’s still significant organic value around those platforms, especially around posting branded content and around leveraging Instagram Stories.