There’s no doubt there has been a drop in how many of your Facebook fans view or interact with your Facebook posts. This decline in Facebook’s organic reach is due to two main reasons.
Firstly, there’s so much content being published, that making your posts visible on your fan’s News Feed is challenging.
Secondly, Facebook deliberately tries to present its users with content that is most relevant to them, rather than just randomly showing all the content available.
Don’t worry it isn’t all bad news; there are certain things you can do to ensure your organic posts reach more people. To counteract these changes, you need to be more selective about what you publish, the times you publish and investing in the odd post boost.
But before we delve into how to improve a post’s organic reach, let’s take a look at how Facebook decides what content gets shown these days.
What is Facebook’s organic reach?
Put simply; it is how many people your post will reach for free on Facebook. Anyone can create a Page for their company or organisation, start collecting fans, and post unlimited messages, but do not think all of your fanbase will see those messages. It becomes quickly apparent that you will only reach a small fraction fans, with organic reach being as low as 2%. Meaning a Page with 10,000 fans could expect just 200 of them to see the post.
Facebook recently adjusted its algorithm again, this time to prioritise content published by friends and family. Therefore leaving reach even lower than the estimated 2% in some cases.
As a result of this change, fewer people will see your Page’s organic posts, which in turn means fewer clicks, comments, likes and shares. And fewer interactions means fewer conversions, leads, and customers. So why has Facebook decided to reduce visibility for organic posts?
Competition for a place on people’s News Feed is simply too high. There’s too much content, and Facebook is attempting to present only the best content, which is most relevant to their users.
However, many people think Facebook’s motives are not so clean cut, believing the rationale for the drop in organic reach is geared towards making people spend more on adverts.
There is no mistaking that Facebook has evolved into a paid marketing platform. Businesses are realising now that they’re expected to pay for ads to reach new Fans – even existing Fans who liked the Page to see posts. Essentially charging you to get Fans and then charging you again to speak with them.
Officially Facebook states their goal is to provide the best experience for the people that use the service. Understandably, Facebook does not want Page owners with lots of Likes flooding the News Feed with posts. Let’s face it that would be a terrible user experience (UX).
Nowadays, Facebook for businesses is a way to make paid advertising more effective, you should assume organic reach will eventually be a big fat zero, and the only way to reach your target audience is to compliment your organic efforts with paid advertising.
Additionally, we can expect things to keep changing, possibly for the better. Regarding innovation, Facebook has never stood still, so no one can stick with their current working formula forever.
That being said, it helps to know how Facebook currently decides what organic content gets shown in people’s News Feed. So let’s take a look at how the News Feed algorithm operates.
Originally, the algorithm was pretty basic; values were placed on the various formats available. So, posts that were text only were, for example, worth only one point, whereas, one with a link attached may be worth 2, an image 3, and so on. They would then multiply the point value by the interactions the post received, a ranking was then generated, determining the order in which the posts were shown.
Fast forward to today, and we see a machine learning-based algorithm that adapts to individual user preferences. So, for example, if you rarely interact with videos on your timeline then over time you will get shown fewer posts with video content. Conversely, if you associate mainly with posts that contain a link, then you will be presented with more linked posts.
Obviously, the algorithm is much more complicated and uses thousands of factors, ranging from identifying trigger words such as ‘congratulations’ to indicate a major event, to whether you’ve clicked a link in a post before you liked it, affirming the quality of the post. The goal here is for Facebook to closely match News Feed content to the needs, interests and wants of the individual.
Improving your organic reach.
Now that you understand how Facebook displays organic content let’s look at some tips for improving your Page’s organic reach.
1) Selectivity works.
As always less is more, stop the random and too frequent publishing and start being selective. The goal is always to encourage as much interaction as possible from your posts. Each post published to your brand Page should be written for your target audience this will improve overall interaction as they are likely to find it more interesting and relevant to them.
2) Inform your community.
Tell them they can see more posts from your page or others they’ve liked if they go to Pages Feed on the left sidebar of their News Feed and they can update their notification settings from your Page.
3) Add a reminder to “Please Like and share” at the end of your posts.
4) Engage your Fans with video.
Videos on Facebook are engaging visitors to your Page to stop and watch much more than images or text only posts. The best performing videos have captions or animations, as videos are muted by default.
Native Facebook videos, (uploaded directly to Facebook) have been shown to have an almost two times engagement rate and are shared ten times more than videos shared from the likes of YouTube or Vimeo. Taking the time to publish directly from the promotional platform you’re using, simply gets better results.
5) Facebook Live.
For anyone concerned about their organic reach, Facebook Live is the answer. Users spend 3X more time watching live broadcasts than traditional videos. It is ideal for sharing behind-the-scenes content, just remember to broadcast for several minutes at least, as this will help your video surface on News Feeds.
6) Spend more time with your owned assets.
Since change is the only constant with Facebook, your best bet long term is to focus on your website and blog, after all these are your digital channels. Making an effort to create great content, write compelling blog posts and long-form content such as ebooks, or videos, share those assets to Facebook for further reach. These assets will continue to garner visitors and customers for years after creation.
7) Start paying-to-play on Facebook.
If you are going to invest your hard-earned money and want to successfully advertise on Facebook, you will need to focus on targeting. Try to think like your customers when building an audience of fans, and advertise the original content you’ve created, your blog articles, ebooks, etc. Organic reach will only get you so far, so you might as well hone your paid strategy now.
8) Go above and beyond.
Facebook’s targeting capabilities are incredible; you can effectively reach your ideal buyer persona based on demographics, interests and more. Additionally, there are lots of features to help you maximise the effectiveness of your campaigns, including:
- Conversion Tracking: The ability to track the actions of site visitors after viewing your Facebook ad.
- Custom Audiences: Use an email list to target your Facebook ads.
- Lookalike Audiences: Target people with similar interests to your existing customers.
- Audience Insights: Monitor insights to learn more about your current Facebook audience to target ads better.
- Website Custom Audiences: You can use your site visitors as an audience to target on Facebook.
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