Anyone who has dabbled in digital marketing would know that there are two different kinds of reach, organic reach and paid reach. Both types of reach allow business owners to make it to their intended audience using different advertisements.
9 Easy Steps on How to Get Better Organic Facebook Reach
Organic Reach: is reach achieved through ads or content that does not require payment; a good example of which would be social media posts.
Paid reach: includes advertisements that require payment of a certain fee for an entity to push ads across a user base.
Organic reach is the reach of choice for business owners working on a budget because of the affordability and the generally positive reception that audiences have on this type of content. The issue with organic reach on Facebook is that its algorithm won’t show content to fans of a business page if the previous content has not gotten engagement (likes, comments, and shares).
This can be very frustrating for business owners just getting started on social media, as well as community manager and firms that are taking over for a previous SMM.
If you want Facebook reach improvement, check out and implement these 8 simple steps.
How to Increase Organic Facebook Reach
1. Post Relevant Long-Lasting Content – When you post content, the only way you can ensure that users will interact with it is if it contains relevant and timely content that people will need for more than just a few days. This means whenever you post content on your Facebook page, you should see to it that the information you publish is something people will be interested in long after it’s been posted. This will make it possible for your publication to last for a long time and produce interaction regardless of how old it is.
2. Don’t Overdo It – With so many brands and business fighting for the top spot in the hearts and minds of their consumers, it is expected that there is a significant volume of content being created and published at any given time. That doesn’t mean however that you should bump up your posting frequency to bring your brand to higher ground. Much like any other facet of business, digital marketing works on the principle that quality is always better than quantity. When your posts are able to make better ratings in terms of interactions and user engagement, Facebook is more likely to push you up the ladder knowing that people like what they get from you. If you post a lot and fail to get significant results, don’t expect to get too much publicity.
3. Take Note of the Time – The hour you choose to post your content plays a role in its effectiveness and reach. When you post at off-peak hours, your content is less likely to compete with others on the site, giving your publication a better chance of wiggling its way into people’s feeds. There are lots of ways you can take advantage of the time when it comes to posting content – make sure you understand the hours to get the best results out of your digital marketing efforts.
4. Clean Up Your Following – Check your followers. Are they in your geo-targeted area or are they in other parts of the world? Do your fans match your target demographic. If they don’t…then you need to clean house. Yes, this will take a long time and will drop your numbers, but what’s the point of having a large following if they don’t engage. If they don’t engage, they won’t convert. If they won’t convert, you won’t make money. Just like a store, you’re better off having a few customers who purchase than tons of people who window shop. Start by adding country and age restrictions. This will be the easiest part. Then, go in and remove anyone who does not match your target audience. This may be the most powerful thing you can do to increase your organic reach.
5. Include Personal and Intimate Content – Even if the content you’re sharing isn’t directly related to social media, details of a personal nature about the people in your business behind the scenes can have a huge impact on reach. For example, you could share the activities from a staff lunch or business trip in order to instill a sense of a personal relationship between you and your fans. Also include photos and videos that highlight your team so fans can connect with them.
6. Start a Group – Monitor the comments made by the members of your group and respond to comments and questions without promoting your service or products. But in order for your group to be successful you must invest the time necessary to encourage discussions and greet new members.
7. Target Your Posts – One way to compensate for the decline in organic reach on Facebook is to target your posts to potential customers based on demographics such as location, gender, age, and education. Be sure to enable targeting from your page settings, and choose one or more categories for targeting your post.
8. Use Links and Videos – Native Facebook videos get significantly more organic reach than any other type of post. With the introduction of videos in 2014, the real growth is in videos, and videos are far more effective at reaching audiences. And as surprising as this may sound, some research suggests that links drive more traffic that images. In fact links generate over 80% more page views than posts with photos and links in the caption.
9. Take Advantage of Facebook Live – Facebook’s latest product is getting way more organic reach than any other type of content being shared to Facebook. Facebook live videos are a surefire way to increase your organic reach (at least for now). Facebook Product Manager Vibhi Kant recently announced that the algorithm would favor Facebook live videos when they were live as opposed to once they have already occurred. So keep in mind that this means constant lives will help your brand out.
Near the beginning of this year, Facebook’s organic reach declined 49 percent from peak levels in October 2013. And for large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent. According to News Feed optimization service Edgerank Checker of 50,000 posts by 1,000 Pages shows organic reach per fan (median) has steadily declined:
Feb 2012 = 16%
Sep 2013 = 12.60%
Nov 2013 = 10.15%
Dec 2013 = 7.83%
Mar 2014 = 6.51%
TechCrunch writer Josh Constine notes that the roughly 50% decline in reach over the past year matches the 50% increase in Page Likes per typical Facebook user over the same time period. As people Like more Pages, the organic reach of each drops.
How Facebook News Feed Algorithm Works
As a result, competition for Facebook news feed and sidebar space is increasing, driving up the price of advertising. According to AdWeek, ad prices are trending up, in part because Facebook has not increased the frequency of ads. Facebook claimed it would keep the ad inventory level at about 5 percent of all posts in the News Feed.
Facebook’s goal to ensure only the most engaging posts and interesting content is displayed has resulted in some Pages and people not being treated equally. And as Constine points out, many brands, local merchants, and public figures that have worked hard to entice people to Like their Page are frustrated about the drop in reach.
“They paid Facebook for ads to get people to Like their Page, because Facebook told them it was a good long-term investment. They built businesses around the reach they got on Facebook, devoting resources to fill Facebook with content that pulls in the attention it monetizes.”
How Facebook Filters The Feed
Facebook filters its feed with a News Feed sorting algorithm, unofficially known as EdgeRank, that analyzes every signal possible to determine the relevance of each post to each person. Roughly 100,000 different indicators of importance are factored in.
Facebook News Feed Director of Product Management, Will Cathcart, told Constine the most powerful determinants of whether a post is shown in the feed are the following:
* How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, clicked) are the post creator’s past posts with everyone.
* How popular is this post with everyone who has already seen it.
* How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with the viewer. Does the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what types have been popular with the viewer in the past?
* How recently was the post published.
Cathcart says that for each user, Facebook assigns a score to each post they could see. It injects some ads, but “for the most part we put them in rank order” he says. It doesn’t matter if a post is from a friend or a Page, Facebook just tries to show people what they want.
In other words, the more successful a post is, and the more popular its creator, the more likely a viewer will see the post. The fact that someone Liked a Page makes little difference, because it’s whether the Page continues to be interesting to a potential viewer of their posts.
A brand’s reach increases for posts that garner numerous likes, comments, shares, and clicks, and decreases if their posts are dull and boring. “And since the natural trend is for reach to shrink as competition grows, Pages have to work harder and harder to stay visible.”
Facebook rewards Pages with engaging content and penalizes the use of click-bait headlines and shallow image macro memes. Constine insists that with funny, and dynamic content that fits targeted audiences, Pages can still get a high volume of free traffic out of Facebook.
A study Constine commissioned from EdgeRank Checker revealed news outlets and others that publish their real product to Facebook, like news articles, tend to see more reach than Pages that merely publish marketing messages for their products.
“You can Like both The New York Times and Oreos, but you can actually read the NYT on News Feed whereas you can’t eat a cookie there. So it makes sense that the NYT would reach a higher percentage of its fans — its posts are more interesting.”
Paying for Ads Only Way to Beat System
Constine concludes the only way to beat the system is to pay for ads. But now Facebook lets Pages instantly copy the content of one of their posts into an ad. It’s still the same pay-for-visibility situation, but it’s as if Facebook is extorting Pages for many in order to communicate with their own fans.
“I used to reach more of my fans, now I reach less, and Facebook wants me to pay for what I used to get for free” is Constine’s characterization despite him believing it’s an unfortunate emergent by-product of the system rather than a malicious choice by Facebook.
Facebook’s Shady Bait and Switch Tactic
Facebook told companies to buy Likes as a long-term investment, when it likely knew that reach to those fans would decline, devaluing the investment. Constine notes that advertisers made calculations comparing the lifetime value of a fan vs the cost to buy them through Facebook ads.
“Without integrating the decline in reach into that math, they might have bought fans at prices they can’t recoup.” It’s a bait and switch tactic potential Facebook advertisers won’t easily forget or overlook.
The “tough break, you’re not that interesting, get over it” attitude exhibited by Facebook’s Director Of Global Communications response to some businesses can’t continue, says Constine. “And [Facebook] should apologize for encouraging brands to buy Likes without warning them about inevitable reach decreases.”
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