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.
The tricky topic of Facebook’s declining organic reach has been causing headaches and lengthy debates among marketers over the past year. With the recent Facebook updates and the new algorithm, Facebook is encouraging more meaningful interactions and giving users more control over content creation.
Together, we’ll dive into the basics of Facebook organic reach and 10 powerful ways to improve it.
Table of Contents
What is Facebook Organic Reach?
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.
When looking at Facebook Insights (unless you download data to dig deeper) and knowing these Facebook hacks and tricks, you’ll see Post Reach metrics which include organic and paid data as well as Total Reach data. Both include Organic Reach data.
Let’s break down those three terms.
The number of people who had any posts from your Page enter their screen, according to Facebook Insights. It’s merely a measurement of how many people see a particular post. It’s the number of unique users who saw your page post in the news feed or on your page. This can be paid or organic.
The number of people who have seen your post through unpaid distribution. Organic Reach works similarly to ranking on search engines, but Facebook bases what you see on aspects like popularity, post frequency, the likelihood you’ll like a post, and more.
The number of people who had any content from your Page or about your Page entered their screen, according to Facebook Insights. This shows the total number of people who saw a post, including fans and people you don’t know. It’s data with and without ads.
Now that you know what Reach is, you might be wondering – what are Impressions?
Impressions refer to how many times a post was seen including multiple views from the same users.
How does the Facebook News Feed work?
Facebook analyzes posts and leverages programming to organize based on the possibility that the user might interact positively with that post.
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 interactions,” we’re talking about 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.
Some of the key factors Facebook takes into account when ranking posts are:
The number of people interacting with the post
The number of reactions, comments, and shares
Posts coming from friends or family
Why is Facebook organic reach declining?
Organic reach for branded Facebook pages took a major nosedive in 2015, which reached an all-time low of 2%. So, what on earth is Facebook up to, you ask?
According to Neil Patel, here are two reasons why facebook’s organic reach continues to drop:
More Content - More content is being published than there is news feed space — with over 2.8 billion active users per month publishing content every day.
Personalized news feeds - For each user, Facebook prioritizes the most relevant content to increase engagement and optimize user experience, which is tailored to each user’s individual interests.
Many marketers believe that the reason why organic reach is going down is straightforward – Facebook wants to encourage brands to spend more money on paid advertising.
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 Facebook organic reach
1. Publish native Facebook video
If you want to improve your organic reach, you need to start capitalizing on one of the most attractive and easy-to-consume content formats – video. Why?
Native Facebook videos achieve a higher organic reach rate compared to statuses, links, or even photos. So how do you make the most of the format?
Create Facebook content that boosts engagement, 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.
Finally, add captions and Facebook hashtags 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.
PRO TIP: Facebook rewards you with a 10x higher reach for sharing native videos directly to the platform. But if you want to connect users to your YouTube channel (for example to collect data for Google Ads) and are worried your organic reach might drop, try publishing a mix of native videos and YouTube links.
2. Go live
You can also use another video format – Live – to improve your Facebook organic reach. According to Socialbakers (now Emplifi) data, live video has almost doubled the engagement of regular video posts.
Chart time range: July 1-Sept. 30, 2020; Sample: 144,070 Facebook brand pages; Source: Socialbakers data
Live videos have a huge potential to spark conversations. People love tuning in and interacting with videos happening right now. It’s also important to identify the key differences between Facebook Live and pre-recorded videos.
A topic that works well for live videos is the “ask me anything” Q&As. 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.
3. Mix up your post formats
Even though video can shoot up your Facebook organic reach, it shouldn’t be the only content format you’re leveraging on the platform!
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
As far as content topics are concerned, the sky’s the limit.
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!
4. Fine-tune your publishing time
Getting your publishing time right is essential to improving your organic Facebook reach. That’s because posting when your audiences are online increases the visibility and organic reach of your content.
Knowing the best times to post on Facebook will give you that advantage.
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.
PRO TIP: If you want your audience to see your content every time you publish, ask them to turn on their notifications for your posts. It’s a great way to improve your visibility organically!
5. Say goodbye to clickbait
Although using clickbait is tempting, you should avoid it at all costs!
Clickbait 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 clickbait – it’s just not worth the risk.
6. Tap into Facebook Groups
Another great way to boost your Facebook organic reach is leveraging Facebook Groups to retain your customers. According to Facebook, there are more than 400 million people in Facebook groups.
Posting in Facebook 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.
You can increase your Facebook organic reach by creating a Facebook community by providing more connections. Creating a community requires commitment, effort, and constant engagement with your followers — but this can also bring you long-term and consistent engagement.
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.
7. Take advantage of trending topics
Create a strong content strategy by following the trendiest topics on the platform. You can even use Facebook Business’ Hot Topic Tool to see what are the latest trends by category, industry, date, age, gender, and more.
When planned and timed diligently, you can attract more traffic and gain exposure for your brand.
8. Be human
Another tactic that helps to increase your organic reach is humanizing your brand.
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.
9. Target your organic posts
Using organic post targeting can improve your Facebook organic reach.
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 improves your organic reach.
The best way to improve your organic reach is to focus on your SEO strategy. Here are 10 tips to optimize your Facebook’s SEO.
10. Increase engagement
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.
After all, who wouldn’t read an article their best friend just posted on Facebook?
Even though organic Facebook reach is dropping, it’s not dead yet, and there are still are ways to combat the News Feed algorithm. The game surely has changed, but you can play it well and to your advantage using the tips outlined in this article.
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.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.