RIP organic. Now we live and die by the algorithm.

Organic reach on Facebook has been trending toward zero for some time now. This is nothing new to anyone in our space. But today we’re closer to zero than ever. The shutdown of publisher LittleThings proves the new social axiom: live and die by the algorithm.

The LittleThings tale gives cause for pause. With twelve million Facebook fans, you’d think LittleThings would have some serious value. But potential buyers abandoned them at the 11th hour because of changes to Facebook’s algorithms, changes which annihilated 75% (!!!) of LittleThings’ organic and influencer traffic. Readers of my recent pieces will know our new reality with algorithms adjusting to prioritize content that creates engagement between friends and family.

Never Miss a Story

Get the latest news and insights once a month from GCI Canada.

What does this all mean? First, paid is essential, not only for brands but for influencer marketing campaigns as well. Pay-to-play takes on a whole different meaning today. Second, the days of always-on may be fewer than many imagined. Third, check your data. LittleThings saw a reduction in organic of 75% overnight. What is your data saying?

The fun has no end! What we can count on now is that when we think we’ve figured it out, we now know that algorithmic changes can turn worlds upside down. Relevancy on social is impermanent. Experimentation, adaptation, paid and measurement are the new foundations to build social strategy upon.