Reachegeddon: The Crash & Burn of Organic Reach
You worked hard, spent time and money and built your brand on Facebook and even acquired many page likes on Facebook. As you get more and more likes on Facebook, you automatically assume that all of those people are seeing your content, so you are ecstatic! Yes, your Facebook audience is growing! Sorry to burst your bubble, but before you get too excited, check your Insights to see how people are responding to your page. Even though you have likes on your page and posts, you may not be reaching all of your followers, or even more than half of your followers. It is becoming harder and harder for your posts to reach the audience you want without having to pay for it. But why?
Alas, as more and more people join Facebook (the 50+ age demographic is the fastest growing group right now), the amount of content on Facebook increases as well. The amount of content on Facebook has a dramatic effect on the frequency of your posts being shown.
As the digital age continues to expand, there are more posts every day, more page likes, and a wider variety of posts for users to see. However, Facebook has a fixed amount of space on a person’s timeline, so although there are more posts, they still see the same amount of content.
Quality Ranking for Content:
With the possibility for users to see thousands upon thousands of posts in their News Feeds, Facebook utilizes an algorithm to show the “top” content so users only see a few hundred posts a day. Since the creation of the News Feed, the algorithm for what appears first has changed. Facebook previously used Edgerank, where content was ranked based on how recent the post was made, the type of post, and its relationship to the user. As Facebook evolved, the posts that appeared in Newsfeeds became more and more personal based on changes in their algorithm.
Today, Facebook focuses more and more on what users want to see in their News Feeds by incorporating thousands of factors. The company uses your likes, posts, and comments to determine how close you are to another user; they even incorporate how often you communicate with them through Messenger or click through their photos. The company also takes into factor what types of posts you typically react to, so if you watch more videos, they will appear on your News Feed more frequently. Everything is all about how you interact with the content, and it is constantly changing.
The focus on meaningful content helps users see more of what they would actually be interested in, but it may have an impact on your company’s posts if you are not necessarily in their “top” posts.
The Dreaded Facebook Zero:
With more pages than ever on Facebook, users can interact with ALL of the brands, companies, and services that they would like to. Whether it be their local hair salon, their favorite clothing brand, or even a celebrity, a user is just a “like” away from receiving a new flow of information to their News Feed. However, as people like more pages on Facebook, the organic reach of a company goes down, as they fight to reach the top spots of users’ News Feeds.
A study from Ogilvy in 2014 describes the effect of “Facebook Zero.” In 2012, Facebook restricted the amount of organic reach a page could get to a mere 16 percent. So if your page has 1,000 likes, only 160 people were even seeing your post. Fast forward to February 2014, where Facebook pages’ organic reach hit an all time low of six percent. For pages with more than half a million likes, their organic reach could hit as low as two percent.
With the continual decline in organic reach, some fear that some day it will reach the dreaded “Facebook Zero,” meaning that there will be no organic reach. The loss of reach on Facebook means that maybe some day it could reach Facebook’s other asset, Instagram. This year, Instagram changed its algorithm to show posts in order based on how likely you will be to be interested in them, so very similar to what Facebook did in the past. Since then, organic reach on Instagram has gone down as well.
Well, Now What Can I Do?
To stand out in a crowd of 42 million Facebook pages, it is time to use this information to your advantage. There are different ways to try and reach a larger audience on Facebook.
Attract Your Audience:
Create content that interests your followers. If your followers are more apt to interact with your content, read your articles, or watch your videos, then your posts may appear higher on their News Feeds. You content should be interesting and visually appealing.
Be sure that you are posting at the right time of day. According to Microsoft, the best days to post are Thursday and Friday, specifically at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The optimal time throughout the day is between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Track Your Success:
If you aren’t already, use Facebook Insights to measure how your followers are engaging with your content. Insights offers different metrics to show your performance. For your page, you can implement Page Post Metrics to see how many people your post reached and how many people actually clicked on it. You can even track how many people saw your post or page organically or through paid reach.
Pay, Pay, Pay:
As organic reach continues to diminish, it may be time for you to open your purse and use Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising helps you reach the right audience for your posts; you can target based on location, age, interests, and even more. You can even track your ads’ success with Ad Manager for Facebook.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Social Fire Media offers social media advertising services, so seek help from the professionals! We can help your business grow through social media advertising, so you do not have to worry about it.