Years ago (well, only a couple of years) businesses could post to Facebook, and have no worries about the message reaching their fans. Facebook, similarly to Twitter and other social media channels, used to have real-time news feeds, meaning all posts would go out immediately to all your followers that were online.
Now, they have created their own tailored news feed, based on what users and their friends interact well with. This has led to an organic reach of less than 0.5% in some cases, meaning your posts are rarely seen by your entire entire fan base.
Why has Facebook done this?
The news that organic reach has declined is hardly new. As The Drum reported in their article back in 2014, Facebook organic reach started its decline in December 2013.
As Facebook began to tailor the experience for its users, so too did it begin to decrease organic reach for business pages.
The reason for this? We’ll let Facebook explain.
When asked if organic reach was dropping because they wanted to make more money from businesses, Facebook replied:
“No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.”
Facebook have given two reasons as to why organic reach has decreased.
- More content is being shown, and more pages are being liked, meaning users simply cannot keep up with the amount of content that would appear in their news feed.
- Rather than showing users all available content, Facebook shows them posts that they are likely to interact with, improving their experience.
Both reasons make sense, but hide the fact that Facebook is making more money from businesses that want to reach all of their followers.
Should I just give up on Facebook then?
By no means are we suggesting that you give up on Facebook. It is still the largest social network, with the largest potential audience, and a great way to keep your fans up to date on the goings on in your business.
But, you should use other options alongside it. For real-time feeds, there are a host of other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Google+. For content sharing, there are sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, and Blogger. There are a wide variety of options available that can all support your usage of Facebook.
What you shouldn’t do is use Facebook as your sole digital marketing route.
There are also a few tricks/tips that you can use to improve your organic reach.
What can I do to improve my organic reach?
When we look at our own organic reach on Facebook, we find that the “0.5% organic reach” figure that is regularly quoted does not apply. We regularly reach more than our follower count, and have never seen a post reach only 0.5% of our followers.
Here are some tips on increasing your Facebook organic reach…
Post original, engaging content
The Facebook algorithm favours content that people engage with. Although content shared to our Facebook page is initially only shared to 0.5% of our followers, likes and shares on that content increases its outreach.
The key is to find the type of content that your followers relate to and engage with. It will then be pushed out to more followers, and their friends too.
Showing behind the scenes pictures and videos of your team and products is a great way to engage with your followers. It creates a sense of community amongst users, as they feel like a part of what you’re doing.
Have a conversation
Another great way to promote engagement is to encourage conversations. Ask your followers questions, prompt them to share their views on a subject, and ask them to share their relevant content, pictures, and videos.
Once followers start interacting with your content, you’ll see an immediate increase in organic reach.
Use rich content
It is a widely acknowledged fact that posts containing pictures, videos, and other rich media content receive more engagement. Showing your followers what you’ve been doing, rather than just telling them, will lead to more engagement.
And, as we’ve established, engagement leads to better outreach.
Post at off-peak times
This sounds a little counter-productive, but can actually increase the number of views your content gets. Posting at off-peak times means that there is less competition for your posts, making it more likely for your followers to see it.
Facebook’s algorithm means that if those users interact with the content, it is more likely to be shown to other followers later in the day.
Ask your followers for help
There are ways around Facebook’s algorithm. If your followers complain that they are not seeing all your posts, there is actually something they can do about it.
On your business page, there is an option for followers to receive notifications when you post updates, and another option for all posts from your business to be put to the top of their news feed. Encourage your followers to use one of these options, and they’ll never miss a post again.