Facebook organic reach refers to how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.
Organic reach has been declining for years and it’s a common misperception that Facebook is doing this to make more money. While it’s true they need to make money (like all businesses), the decline in organic reach can be attributed to more complex issues faced when exponential growth occurs.
Why is Facebook organic reach declining?
There are two main reasons.
The first reason involves a simple fact: More and more content is being created and shared every day.
You’ve probably felt this change yourself. There’s now far more content being created and shared than there is time to absorb it. Mark Schaefer talked about this in his book The Content Code.
On average, there are 1,500 “stories” (posts) that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they visit Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Pages they’ve liked, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.
As a result, competition in the News Feed is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in the News Feed.
In addition to the growth in content, people are also liking more Pages. Pages liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year. With each new Page like, competition in the News Feed increases even further.
The second reason involves how the News Feed works. Rather than showing people all possible content, the News Feed is designed to show each user the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they visit, their News Feed displays approximately 300.
To choose which stories to show, the News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person. This is what’s known as the Facebook News Feed algorithm.
The Facebook algorithm roller coaster.
I was asked by a potential client this week to help them create an “organic strategy” to market their business on Facebook. I thought it was an important topic to discuss here on my blog since there really is no such thing as organic reach anymore. Each social media channel has its own algorithms and since the introduction of Facebook ads, organic reach has all but evaporated.
Social media is a pay-to-play environment now.
As many of my readers know, 10% of Kruse Control profits go to animal welfare. The catalyst for my cause is Hanaeleh Horse Rescue, for which I volunteer my time on the Board, do all the marketing and go out every weekend to help with the horsies. We have a lively Facebook page >>here<< of over 60,000 fans.
As a volunteer-run non-profit, we have very little budget to spend on Facebook ads so I’ve become quite creative over the last 4-5 years doing with what we have in order to grow our community of like-minded horse lovers and advocates.
It’s amazing to see what you can do with entertaining, informative content when you have zero budget to work with. The Page is my bellwether that lets me know when Facebook shifts their algorithms.
Regarding content, we are a horse rescue so we have that going for us, which many small businesses don’t. Who doesn’t love horses, right? Our organic reach is always above the average because people like horses and we provide awesome content to keep them engaged.
Up until a few months ago, we were still getting about 20-30% organic reach. But, in the last few months I’ve seen it drop to 10% and in some cases even lower.
Can businesses succeed on Facebook with decreased organic reach?
Currently, according to optimistic data, an average Facebook post reaches around 5% of page fans. However, there are other stats available claiming that the average organic reach of a Facebook post can be as low as 2%. So if your Facebook page has 1,000 fans, your new post will be seen by 20-50 people on average.
Facebook ads solve the problem of declining organic reach.
Here are four fantastic ways to leverage Facebook ads to reach more people and engage more customers.
1. Create Brand Awareness
Reach people more likely to pay attention to your ads and increase awareness for your brand.
2. Increase Engagement and/or Page Likes
Get more people to see and engage with your post or Page. Engagement can include comments, shares, likes, event responses and offer claims.
3. Lead Generation
Collect lead information from people interested in your business.
4. Increase Conversions
Get people to take valuable actions on your website or app, such as adding payment info or making a purchase. Use the Facebook pixel or app events to track and measure conversions.
It’s important to note that…
If you don’t have a Facebook ads strategy, as part of your social media strategy, you will not get the traction you’re looking for. Without a solid strategy and Facebook ads to promote your content, many of your entertaining and intriguing content will never see the light of day.
Now that you know Facebook ads solve the problem of declining organic reach, commit to taking the next step of putting them into action.