Organic reach is the number of people who see your content on Facebook for free. In recent years, brands have seen their organic reach decrease mainly due to three factors:
- More content: with more than 2.8 billion monthly active users sharing on average 1.55 posts per day, there is a greater flow of content in the same space.
- Change in the News Feed algorithm: Facebook prioritizes content to increase engagement and optimize the user experience.
- Paid advertising: some specialists believe that another reason why organic reach has decreased has to do with the intention to encourage brands to spend more money on paid advertising.
NEWS FEED ALGORITHM
When we talk about the algorithm, we are referring to the programming parameters based on automatic learning that the social network uses to classify the publications that a user sees in his or her feed. The content is not presented chronologically, but rather the software evaluates and organizes the content from most to least relevant, according to the interests of each user.
In January 2021, Facebook released some details about the latest algorithm update, which was aimed at ensuring that organic content is the most interesting and useful for users, with the main focus being more meaningful interaction. By this, it refers to the number of people interacting with the post: number of reactions, comments and shares, prioritizing posts coming from friends or family.
Facebook will reward you for posting content that people interact with. Brands need to gain much more high-value engagement, e.g. comments, reactions and replies to comments. Understanding this system can help you make the most of your organic reach by having your posts appear in more news feeds and more frequently.
BASIC CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CREATING CONTENT
You may have heard some of the following recommendations many times, but it is important to remember and emphasize them because they have an impact on results.
- Valuable content: You can use all the latest techniques on Facebook but if you don’t create high quality posts, you won’t succeed. Valuable content is content that teaches people something, entertains them, inspires them, makes them think or otherwise improves their lives. On the other hand, it’s important to follow the rules: don’t post fake news, misleading information or manipulated videos; don’t bombard your followers with low-quality updates either. Don’t do anything similar to this.}
- Determine when and how often to post: It is possible to improve organic reach by posting when your audience is online. One way to determine the optimal posting time for your company is to analyze your performance data and find the pattern of highest engagement.
- Know your followers: In order to maximize the potential of your content to generate shares, understand the demographics, affinities and behaviors of the people in your audience.
STRATEGIES TO INCREASE YOUR ORGANIC REACH
These are some measures that provide excellent results to increase the organic visibility of your content in the feeds of your community.
- Interact with your audience
The algorithm prioritizes posts from pages that a user has interacted with in the past, so improving interaction is key. Make your audience feel cared for and inspire them to maintain an active dialogue with the brand by asking questions and asking dynamic questions.
- Get your audience to interact with each other in your publications
If a post has sparked a lot of conversation among a user’s friends, the algorithm prioritizes and displays that post again. That means that generating more interesting conversations provides more reach in the form of second chances.
- Encourage the use of reaction buttons
Over the last few years the platform has given more weight to the reaction buttons than the «Like» button, so aim for emotional reactions in your posts: love, affection, laughter, sadness, anger.
- Take advantage of Stories
Because stories are not part of the news feed, they are not driven by the algorithm. In addition, according to Facebook, they are highly effective at generating traffic: 58% of people say they visited a brand’s website after seeing a story.
Facebook also claims that people want the following from brand stories: 52% want stories that are easy to understand; 50% want to see new products; 46% want tips or suggestions.
- Use user-generated content
If you have earned brand loyalty, your fans can provide you with organic content. User-generated content is created by your fans and shared by you.
This content is high-impact because it is genuine and spontaneous, ready to be used and has the potential to build trust in your products, persuading other consumers to try them.
- Exploit the power of video
Statistics show that videos generate more engagement and are shared more frequently. The average engagement rate for a video is 26% compared to the average engagement rate for all posts, which is 18%. Videos are not only good for engagement, they are also good for product education.
Create organic videos to introduce your products and showcase their value. Native videos achieve a higher organic reach rate compared to statuses, links or even photos.
So how do you make the most of the format? Create content that increases engagement, for example, by stirring emotions, expressing understanding of your audience’s needs and offering solutions to their problems. An important aspect is to deliver the most valuable and compelling information in the first 3-5 seconds of the video, to attract viewers.
- Use the «Live» format
Due to the pandemic, during 2020 live video on Facebook increased by 50% in the US . Live video receives more engagement than regular video. One theme that works well in this format is Q&A; this dynamic helps you establish an authentic connection with your audience and give back to your followers. It also allows you to learn more about your community and consequently tailor your future content to deliver maximum value.
- Explore long-form videos with topics of interest to your audience
Viewing time and completion rate are crucial ranking signals for the video because they indicate that the viewer enjoyed the content enough to watch the whole thing. The longer it keeps people engaged the higher the video will be rated by the algorithm and the higher it will appear in the news feed.
Facebook prioritizes the following signals: videos that people search for and return to; videos that have not been reused from other sources, videos that people watch after the 1 minute mark and especially that hold attention for more than 3 minutes.
- Invite participation
Encourage friends, family and colleagues to interact with your company’s content, thereby increasing the number of people who share your posts with their private networks, which naturally increases your organic reach on Facebook.
Add a Facebook page link to your important contact areas, such as your website, your email signature and your other social media accounts. Also, if you have a blog with a following you can add links or embed your Facebook posts in relevant blog content.
- Create a community
You can increase your organic reach by creating a community and building more connections. However, you should be very aware that creating a community requires time, effort and constant engagement with your followers, but this can also provide you with constant and long-term feedback.
- Humanize your presence on the platform
Keep in mind that Facebook is a social platform par excellence, so your brand must have a human essence. Do not limit yourself to promoting products, on the contrary, your social, fun and creative aspect must prevail. Take advantage of this potential to build a community.
If you interact with Facebook users as a human being, personalize your responses and show that you really care about your community, people will feel more connected to your business and more motivated to spread your message.
Despite limited reach, organic content is still an important part of building a strong social media presence. It is a critical way for brands to build communities, gain trust and find followers to help their businesses succeed.