7 February 2018

Is Organic Reach on Facebook Impossible?

 

Facebook has gone back to its roots. The most recent change to its algorithm means you’ll see more content from your family and friends and fewer posts from businesses and media, like viral videos and ‘fake news’. While this is great for everyday users who are tired of tackling a cluttered News Feed, it’s arguably a death warrant for organic reach on the platform for brands and publishers.

The decline of organic reach

Organic reach on Facebook has been in decline for some time now. Gone are the days when it was easy to reach a large audience simply by posting content. As soon as Facebook started monetising the site, it became more and more apparent that if you wanted to be seen, you had to pay for it.

Constant changes to the way Facebook shows content to its users means that even if you have your fair share of fans, a very small amount will actually see what you post on a daily basis. It’s easy to see why many believe the latest update is the nail in the coffin for organic reach, especially for small businesses.

Time to boost your posts

So, what can you do if interaction on your posts is non-existent? It’s time to reach for your wallet. To get your content in front of more eyes, you need to ‘boost’ it. Facebook calls this ‘the easiest way to reach more people’ because, quite simply, they want it to be.

Boosting a post allows you to choose which audience you want to target, this could be those who have already liked your page or you can choose to reach people who haven’t, ensuring your content is seen by fresh eyes. Then, you choose the budget you would like to put behind the post, which will give you an estimated reach, as well as the duration of your promotion.

Facebook is more successful than ever

Facebook is still the most popular social networking site in the world, with over 2 billion active users across the globe. While those that joined the site a decade ago might believe it’s had its day, they’d be surprised to learn it’s actually still growing.

The company just revealed that it made over $40 billion in revenue in 2017, compared to $26 billion in 2016 – undoubtedly, the need to pay to be seen will have played a factor in this. With such impressive numbers, it would be foolish to count Facebook out of your marketing strategy. But, you may need to rethink your approach.

Hone your social media strategy

While it may seem beneficial to boost every post you put out, this may be counterintuitive. Not only will this put a huge dent in your budget, if you even have one big enough in the first place, it may dilute the effectiveness of your reach. Rather than spamming as many News Feeds as possible with your content, take the time to plan your social media strategy and the best way to execute each campaign.

Facebook browser

It’s also crucial to vary what content you put out and work on improving the quality of it, as Facebook’s algorithm purposely demotes what it deems to be poor quality content. This might mean saying goodbye to beloved clickbait articles in favour of original videos and thought pieces.

Organic reach still exists

In fact, some believe that one way to get around the curb on organic reach is to create better quality content and entice people to interact with one another. You’ve probably seen posts on Facebook that encourage you to tag a friend – the more people that are tagged, the more people that will see your content, and potentially their friends, too.

Tagging is a great way to encourage organic interaction with your content that will, in turn, improve your visibility. Facebook also tends to favour video content over regular status updates, so creating good quality videos – even live videos – is likely to help your organic performance as well.

Don’t give up just yet

Facebook is adamant that the latest update will not hinder businesses. In fact, they claim users will spend less time scrolling past low quality content and more time engaging with content they like. Arguably, if your content creates meaningful, organic interactions then you won’t have to pay a penny to boost your posts.

Of course, it takes time to craft compelling content, so there is no harm putting some sort of budget behind your Facebook strategy. Organic reach isn’t quite dead just yet, but it certainly takes time, creativity and investment to earn interaction on the biggest social site in the world.

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