Organic Reach is one of the most immediately appealing ways to reach customers–by relying on algorithms and individual searches, it costs the business nothing. And the idea of customers simply stumbling upon your page, without the sometime off-putting facet of self-promotion.
It’s also in decline, especially on Facebook.
As of the beginning of this calendar year, Facebook is trying to prioritize personal posts in news feeds. Jellyfish, a digital marketing agency, estimates that organic reach on Facebook was hovering around a mere 2 percent for European clients.
So is this the demise of organic reach on Facebook?
Not if you understand how to optimize and work with Facebook algorithm.
Facebook Algorithm: Separating Fact from Fiction
There was a viral rumor circulating about Facebook algorithm last year: users worried that their posts would only be able to reach, or be viewed by 26 friends. While the rumor focused on personal use, it had potential serious implications for any businesses, especially in terms of organic reach.
Luckily it was just that: a rumor.
The new 2018 Facebook Algorithm
But things have changed. This calendar year, Facebook introduced a new algorithm prioritizing personal posts in feeds. A public Facebook news feed webinar broke down the new algorithm into four concepts:
- Inventory (content available)
- Overall Score
For one, how signals are involved in organic reach. Previously, signals had been used to process what would be shown to searchers, focusing on aspects such as story type, time spent by other users, and type of content. Now, signals will prioritize active engagement, focusing more on engagement by others, such as shares, likes and comments, especially by family and friends.
All of which lines up with Mark Zuckerberg’s overall new vision to appease users complaining of being inundated with too many advertisements.
What does this mean in terms of how businesses should approach organic reach? First of all, organic reach is already challenging on a platform where a user can see up to 1,500 stories on average when they open up Facebook.
The key is understanding the new focus of Facebook algorithm: meaningful interactions. According to the new standards, meaningful interactions, which will be prioritized in news feeds, consist of:
- Replies to comments on shared videos or articles
- Pages posted via messenger
- Responding to live videos
- Page posts shared
In this way, organic reach will have to be more situated towards content that others are likely to share with loved ones. It may change the tone, style, and overall approach that some businesses use when hoping to see an increase in their overall page analytics.
Is there any good news for businesses still counting on organic reach? According to some analysts, yes. While there are some changes to the way Facebook algorithm operates, those changes may not be as substantial as it would first appear–if you know how to play by the ‘,meaningful interaction rules’.
A study published by Marketing Drive found that does not harm, in particular, promotions in the form of videos, as these tend to attract engagement activities such as sharing and a commenting. Memes also still tend to attract engagement that follows along the lines of prioritized meaningful interaction.
What does Facebook have to say about its new algorithm?
Quite a lot, as you can imagine. In general, spokesman have reiterated that the goal is not to produce more revenue by pushing businesses to invest in paid vs organic outreach. Instead, they insist the focus is to create a better experience for Facebook users overall, including steps to also cut back on spam.
Brian Boland, of the Facebook Business division, insists that:
- There’s an average increase of 50% recall when posts have social context and fans see that a friend’s like or comment
- Interaction can provide insight to who is invested in your business
- Fans can help “give your business credibility”
With this in mind: know your audience, and how your company is already doing in terms of organic reach. Simple comprehensive Facebook analytics for you (and competitors) will give you insight where to focus your energy when it comes to creating content that could fit the mold of “meaningful interaction”.