Due to the ever-changing Facebook News Feed algorithm, many marketers believe the days of organic Facebook reach are over.
But while it might be more difficult for your content to perform well organically, it's surely not impossible - and we're about to prove it.
Read on to discover ten effective ways to beat the algorithm and improve your organic reach!
That's because, due to Facebook's algorithm change, organic reach on the platform took a major nosedive in 2018 - a peak of the trend that started all the way back in 2014.
So, what on earth is Facebook up to, you ask?
With the new algorithm, Facebook is encouraging more “meaningful interactions” which prioritize posts from friends, family, and groups over business pages.
These changes made it clear the platform was no longer prioritizing business content over more meaningful and interactive posts coming from users' direct networks.
What is Facebook Organic Reach?
We hear you, you’re not alone.
First of all, let’s be honest - Reach might be getting just too much hype. In fact, it might be the one metric that marketers stress about way too much.
The thing is, Reach is only one small metric that means very little in the grand scheme of things, as John Loomer says - and I couldn’t agree more.
So, what exactly is Facebook organic Reach?
In a word, organic Reach means the number of unique users who saw your Page post in News Feed or on your Page, not as a result of an ad.
On Facebook, there are many types of Reach. At first glance, that can be confusing.
Impressions refer to how many times a post was seen including multiple views from the same users.
How Does The Facebook News Feed Work Now?
This process is called ranking - the posts you’re likely to interact with get higher ranking scores and show up on your feed as the content you may like. Ranking curates a more “meaningful interaction” with the user, which is the main focus of Facebook's new algorithm.
With the term "meaningful interaction," we're talking thousands of factors. One of them is trigger words, such as "congrats," that signal content important to users that Facebook will prioritize.
In a nutshell, posts in the News Feed aren’t ordered chronologically. Instead, users see what Facebook believes could be most meaningful, exciting, or useful to them.
- The number of people interacting with the post
- The number of reactions, comments, and shares
- Posts coming from friends or family
Why Your Organic Facebook Reach Has Declined
Wondering why that might be the case?
It comes down to two simple reasons: Ads competing for news feed space and Facebook's 2018 News Feed algorithm update.
The thing is, we didn't realize how spoilt we were when Facebook first launched the News Feed in 2006. Back then, posts were valued on a point system, so the News Feed was relatively easy to navigate and outsmart.
Fast forward to today, and the News Feed algorithm has become pickier, evolving in such a way that gives marketers and business owners cold sweats.
- If the content is shared over Facebook Messenger.
- If the content is Liked or commented on.
- If the content receives multiple replies
- "Meaningful interactions" between users.
This information might tempt you to use engagement baits to increase your likes and comments - don't do it, though! Facebook will see right through it, and your post will be demoted!
What's the impact of the declining organic reach?
Why is organic reach declining?
There is something to it - after all, Facebook itself recommended you should assume organic reach will eventually arrive at zero. So, if you really want to reach your target audience on Facebook, you’ll need to supplement your organic efforts with some paid advertising.
Regardless of the reasons behind the algorithm update, though, one thing is certain: the days of chronological feeds and easily attained organic reach are gone.
Is it possible to improve your Facebook organic reach?
All you need to do is know and apply the right tactics.
To combat the News Feed changes, you first and foremost should publish content that's visually attractive and interesting. This type of content will help you start a meaningful conversation with your audience and encourage them to interact, especially in the comments section.
But that's just one tip - there's so much more you can do!
Here are some proven ways to boost your organic Facebook reach:
10 Effective Ways to Boost Your Organic Facebook Reach
Native Facebook videos achieve a higher organic reach rate compared to statuses, links, or even photos. In fact, native videos can help you reach 135% more users organically than images!
Create content that acts as a scroll stopper, for example by being emotionally charged, expressing the understanding of your audiences' needs, and offering solutions to their problems. The trick here is delivering the most valuable, compelling information in the first 3-5 seconds of the video to engage the viewers.
Also, make sure that your videos aren't too preoccupied with your brand and instead focus on your community, with a hyper-focus on your buyer personas.
Finally, add captions to your videos or animations to make them easier to consume.
Following these steps will help you create great videos that are bound to achieve a high reach on Facebook.
You can also use another video format - Live - to improve your Facebook organic reach.
Interestingly, Socialbakers' research found that as much as 80% of brands receive higher organic reach with Facebook Live videos over native videos:
Needless to say, all this data is worth keeping in mind when building a reach-oriented content strategy!
A topic that works particularly well for Live videos is the "ask me anything" Q&A's. This format helps you establish an authentic connection with your audience, and give back to your followers by supporting their needs.
It also allows you to learn more about your community, and tailor your future content accordingly to deliver maximum value.
To unlock the Live format's full potential, you need to experiment with different topics and see what works best for your brand based on engagement.
Plus, make sure to post about any upcoming live streams on Stories, posts, groups, advertising, and emails to build awareness and excitement.
Mixing up your post formats is essential to keeping your feed attractive and your audiences interested. Remember - the more interesting and diverse your content, the higher the chance your followers will share it, which will increase your organic reach.
So what are some of the other post types that work?
- Images without links
- Looped images or videos
- Blog posts
You can post something entertaining, such as a sneak-peek behind-the-scenes of your business, or something that's easy to create, such as a funny meme.
As long as your posts are quality, compelling, and on par with your audience's interests, they are likely to earn you tons of shares and organic reach!
That's because posting when your audiences are online increases the visibility and organic reach of your content.
One way to figure out the optimal posting time for your business is by looking into your performance data and pinpointing a pattern of increased interactions.
For example, if you see your engagement regularly going up on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 pm, it's a hint you should publish at that time.
You can also skip the manual analysis and discover your best publishing times in a click with tools like Socialbakers PrimeTime.
Clickbaits definitely won't help you win more Facebook organic reach - they'll actually do the opposite and get your posts demoted.
Facebook pays enormous attention to post quality. This means that if you publish poor-quality content or questionable links, you'll likely draw the platform's attention, and not in a good way.
That's why, every time you create and post content, stay away from shady practices such as using clickbaits - it's just not worth the risk.
Posting in Groups allows you to share content to people interested in topics related to your business. As a result, you can reach a large user segment that is relevant to your company and therefore more likely to click-through on your posts.
Don't be afraid to set up your own group to bring together like-minded users and enable information sharing. Such a space works great for not only improving your organic Facebook reach, but also boosting your email lists, and strengthening the connection with your audience.
So, along with leveraging subtle tactics your audience might not be aware of, you need to give your followers clear call to actions.
These can include reminding users to turn on notifications for your posts. You can also encourage your followers to like and comment on your content using mini prompts - for example, at the end of your videos or GIFs.
This option enables you to get your posts in front of a selected group of users who are most likely to engage with your content. As a result, your content has a higher chance to earn shares and, as a result, also improve your organic reach.
Not sure how to use Facebook organic post targeting? Check out this guide from Social Media Examiner that explains the process in detail.
If you interact with Facebook users as a human being, personalize your responses, and show that you genuinely care about your community, people will feel more connected to your business and more compelled to spread your message further.
It is also important that you engage your audience in an active dialogue, for example by asking thoughtful questions. This is a great way to initiate interactions which, again, helps to improve your organic Facebook reach.
To maximize the potential of your content to generate shares, learn about your followers. Understand your audience personas' demographics, affinities, and behaviors to be able to tailor your posts accordingly and make them more shareable.
Encourage your employees, friends, and family to engage with your business content. This way, you increase the number of people who share your posts with their private networks - which naturally boosts your Facebook organic reach.
In addition, because your business posts are shared among friends and family members, they're more likely to be consumed.
After all, who wouldn't read an article their best friend just posted on Facebook?
Staying on top of the Facebook algorithm changes and adjusting your strategy accordingly might seem overwhelming. Yet, if you shift the focus away from your brand and think audience-first, you'll be able to create amazing content, get more shares, and skyrocket your organic Facebook reach.
Jeannie’s mission is to inspire others to live their greatest lives by unleashing their true potential through human optimization, mindset, and skyrocketing their business online in creative ways. She’s worked with huge names like Motel One, Nike, Emirates, Music stars, and more to take their online presence from zero to hero with her two agencies.
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