Despite Facebook’s latest updates — organic Facebook reach still exists  

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What is Facebook Organic Reach?

Facebook organic reach is the total number of unique people who see your business’s unsponsored social post on Facebook as search results.

Marc Dane, SEO & Content Manager at WebCreate.io explains that this means, every time your company posts to Facebook without sponsoring it — a small percentage of your followers will see it the post.

This amounts to roughly two-to-four percent of your overall social audience. So why do I argue that organic reach isn’t dead if the number of people who see your brand’s posts is so low?

According to Facebook Business, pages organically reach about 16 percent of their fans on average. This leaves brands with a gap to fill, and it comes in the form of sponsored content to reach a wider audience.

Is Organic Reach Dead?

The good news is, no. Even with the recent release of two updates which aim to ‘fix the news feed’ and de-emphasis commercial content, Facebook has yet to kill organic post reach.

“The twin goals of increasing user engagement and fending off “fake news” and foreign manipulation prompted the company to announce a major change last night. Facebook is going to prioritize content from friends and family and de-emphasize content from brands, businesses and media publishers (so-called “public content,”) Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on his goals for the social media giant in 2018.

Who will the change affect?

Although organic reach isn’t quite nonexistent, Facebook’s updates will likely cause the metrics of some small business pages to decrease. These changes will undoubtedly affect the over 65 million local businesses on Facebook. The social media giant’s goals are to cut out content getting in the way of connecting more personally with friends and family. In a way, it seems that Facebook is returning to its roots of connecting friends, family and even strangers around the world — allowing them to build a network of trusted individuals.

What will be very clear in the end is: Company pages run the risk of a lower reach and referral traffic could decrease. This will be mostly influenced by the quality content and how much interaction it receives. For example: If a post about BitCoin causes friends to interact and to have insightful conversation — it will see less of an effect in lowered page/post metrics.

Brands Must Adjust

Facebook is primarily used for other users’ content and operates around the clock. The social media platform also has over two billion active users worldwide, and the average user spends 53 minutes of his/her day on Facebook, Instagram (also owned by Facebook) or Facebook Messenger.

Consequently, brands must take action to ensure their content is organically seen as frequently as possible, and by the most relevant audience, too. Below, you’ll find four tips to help your brand optimize content to align with Facebook’s latest set of updates.

Produce more relevant content

An important element of building a great brand that customers will eventually grow loyal to is establishing trust. How else to establish trust than to provide only the content your followers need/want?

For starters, gain a deep understanding of who your company’s audience really is, what they are looking for, and how they want the content delivered.

Next, you want to consider reliability.

For instance, if you’re a florist and typically provide deals for Mother’s Day and other important holidays — not offering a deal via social media might be seen as inconsistent and cause followers to go elsewhere and make a purchase.

Another element of consistency has to do with post frequency as well. The more often you post, and the more relevant content is, the stronger your interaction has the potential to be, thus growing brand recognition as well.

Schmooze with Influencers

Another key ingredient to this cocktail of social media success is schmoozing with influencers in your space. Remember, influencers have a following and reach that is likely relevant to your core brand.

It is always a great idea to have influencers on your side when you need them most. In fact, brands often work with influencers in terms of content sponsorship or promotion, overall helping boost your brand’s credibility and authority.

Find the Optimal time to Post

Depending on what service your brand offers — you may or may not already know the most optimal time to post to social media. This means posting during the time where the most followers would not only see your post but be most likely to interact with it as well.

You should be aware of a few elements when considering when to post:

  • Consider who you want to see your post.
  • Once you find a sweet spot — don’t change it up.
  • Test a few different times and see which performs the best.

Lastly, according to CoSchedule — the most optimal days to post are Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. And the best times to post are between 9am, 1pm and 3 pm. As always, I’d encourage you to test a few posts to see if you have your own sweet spot that also performs well.

Use Facebook’s Audience Optimization Tool

There’s actually a tool designed for organic post targeting, so why not use it? Facebook’s Audience Optimization tool is an organic targeting tool that helps posts reach the most relevant audience without restricting its reach.

It allows users to add interest tags, and Facebook then uses these them to deliver content.

When choosing from interest tags, you should be as specific as possible, to attract the most relevant audience and sub-audiences. This means that brands can set parameters that specify who will find the post most appealing or relevant based on age, gender and more

It’s a Wrap

In a way, Facebook seems to be working toward leveling the playing field for all brands to have equal access to increasing Facebook organic reach.

Of course, there’s always the option of subsidizing organic content with paid content to help stir the pot and get users more engaged, or you can run a campaign just for likes and build a strategy on how to best engage new and old followers.

Your brand can also implement a Pay-Per-Click strategy to help offset what it isn’t receiving in organic traffic.

Finally, realizing there’s no perfectly-built model that guides brands on how to engage and interact with their social following is the first step, and will undoubtedly force you to get creative when thinking of ways to engage a Facebook audience.

Marc Dane is the SEO & Content Manager at WebCreate.io – a knowledge hub for small business owners looking to build a presence online. The site offers website builder reviews and comparisons, guides for building a website and resources on related tools, platforms and more.