This comes as no real surprise for marketers who use Facebook to promote products, offers or brands, but if you’re not willing to pay up you’re probably not going to show up with as many likes or engagement as you had hoped for:
On Facebook, Sharing Can Come at a Cost – NYTimes.com: “To my surprise, I saw a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a link I posted, which had 130 likes and 30 reshares in just a few hours. It seems as if Facebook is not only promoting my links on news feeds when I pay for them, but also possibly suppressing the ones I do not pay for.”
Hunter Walk also has a few good theories as to why engagement stats on Facebook seem to be dipping including better spam fighting, effects of ad models and the impact of mobile UX.
Having been on the organic and paid side of Facebook marketing, I’ll stick with the pay-to-play theory for now.