Raise your hand if you DON’T want your Facebook publications to reach the largest amount of people possible without having to spend a dime —sorry Mark, you don’t count—.
So this is what’s known as organic reach; which is the number of individual users who see your content in their newsfeed or by visiting your Facebook page.
And just in case you didn’t know, the reach or organic reach, is currently considered a real headache for the more than 30 million businesses who have a presence on the social network and are seeing a daily drastic decrease in the number of people who view their publications.
But there’s good news: contrarily to what many would have us believe, organic reach is not dead — in fact, it was just taking a little break—. And this means that you’ve still got time to increase your Facebook organic reach on your page without having to invest money in promoting your publications.
If you want to know how to accomplish this, I advise that you invest a few minutes in reading this article because today I’m not only going to share with you how organic reach functions on Facebook but you are also going to learn about the 7 changes you should implement in your content from now on, and they’re proven to work. So, what do you say?
Why is Facebook organic reach not really dead? All truth and nothing but the truth…
A lot of companies are basing their entire social media strategy on Facebook, where they share content daily in order to reach the max amount of people possible and thus to improve your Facebook organic reach.
But long ago when publishing updates was enough for it to appear in users’ newsfeeds and obtain interaction – from a “like” to comments, shares and clicks -, it’s now becoming increasingly difficult to be included among the publications your audience sees.
As a matter of fact, it’s calculated that every day a single user is exposed to an average of 1,500 messages in their newsfeeds. And it’s worth mentioning that this newsfeed is limited, meaning that Facebook doesn’t allow your publication to reach all the users who follow you.
In addition to all this, we should also add that Facebook is a company and as such it needs revenue; revenue which comes from the companies who earn money by promoting their publications and advertisements on the social network:
Facebook is offering significantly less organic reach while on the other hand, paid reach provides more visibility.
In all actuality this is no surprise, since the platform announced a few months ago that for 2016 it would change its algorithm in order to show less publications from business pages in their users’ newsfeed. And it’s apparently been this way for awhile:
According to Ogilvy, since October 2013 the Facebook organic reach of companies on this social network has decreased to a whopping 49%.
It happens that this average reach on the social network depends on the amount of followers a company has:
And although it’s low, if our Facebook organic reach was really dead it would be at 0%, right?
Facebook affirmed that this move is solely intended to punish excessive promotional messages while creating a good experience for users who don’t want to be bombarded by vendors.
Let’s not kid ourselves: do you think that if the companies who pay for these services received the same results as organic publications they’ll continue to pay? You don’t have to be too bright to know that the answer is: Nooooo!
But if at this point you’re thinking that the world’s Facebook organic reach is dying, let me reassure you: it’s not true. This limitation affects the pages that aren’t publishing quality content nor information but rather are using Facebook to directly promote themselves (especially the companies who have more followers).
So, you can make your Facebook organic reach more alive than ever if you just outsmart them! Furthermore, you can do this without having to spend money. Below I’ll show you 7 simple adjustments you should apply to your publications from now on.
7 changes you are or should be implementing to improve your Facebook organic reach
1. Publish regularly…
… But always place quality ahead of quantity.
If you share content on the regular, it’s going to be difficult to improve your Facebook organic reach; but you won’t succeed if you’re harassing your followers every five minutes with new content. Like with everything else, you’ll have to find some middle ground so your audience neither forgets about you nor gets tired of you.
Think about it: if you publish valuable content on a regular basis its more likely for your publications to reach more different users with whom you’ll generate larger interaction and Facebook will give your company page priority for appearing in your followers’ newsfeed — in addition, it will help you in optimizing your content strategy and in finding out what type of publications work best for you —.
Did you forget to update your page for a while? You always have the chance to revive it and improve organic reach by frequently publishing content that’s useful to your audience.
EXTRA TIP! Publish timeless content. The life of a post depends on various factor and one of them is its usefulness and betting on content that won’t go out of style. Therefore, it will be useful for a long period of time and users will keep giving “likes” and by commenting it will appear in newsfeeds once again if one of your followers reacts to it. This is what causes posts to be circulated for longer periods of time.
The brand Johnson & Johnson, specializes in hygiene products for newborns, they publish a lot of timeless updates that are useful to their audience thus extending the life of their posts:
2. Be aware of schedules
If you publish when your competitors are on the site, you’ll more likely obtain a lower Facebook organic reach since there will be a lot of publications fighting to appear in your audience’s newsfeed.
What about publishing while your competition “sleeps”? No doubt, you’ll have a better possibility of catching attention.
Jon Loomer, one of the leading experts in Advanced Facebook Marketing, conducted an experiment in regards to this.
He basically analyzed at what time his fans were online and then programmed his publications for an hour after the “peak hour”. He discovered that “non-peak” or less frequented hours functioned very well and occasionally functioned better.
The explanation is very simple; this is what Jon says: “it’s all about good content with less competition”. This truly works! Judge for yourself:
When Jon Loomer published links during “non-peak” hours, performance was better.
EXTRA TIP! Never publishing during “dead hours” since none of your followers are connected its likely for your posts to be lost in cyber space. A good tip is looking at the statistics on when your followers are connected and choosing the hours in which your competitors aren’t publishing.
3. Publish quality content
We live in the information overload era: everything revolves around content and people don’t have the time to read it all; so they undoubtedly stick with what appears most useful to them and what offers a better quality.
In this regard, Facebook recommends creating quality content instead of posting all the time without paying any attention, since quality content provides your followers with value and causes them to want to read and share your posts, this will help you obtain a better reach.
Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm takes into account the amount of time each user dedicates to a publication and its quality equally, as well as other content metrics such as “likes” or comments; thus the more value your content provides the better the engagement from your audience will be and you’ll have a better chance of your content appearing in users’ newsfeed.
EXTRA TIP! Invoking emotions by creating personalized publications related to your market sector tugs on these “heartstrings” that we all have, and once you win their heart over you’ll also gain their newsfeed.
Additionally, posts which invoke users’ emotion generally achieve better viral ratings.
Nutella does this especially well, don’t you think?
4. Exchange YouTube videos for Facebook videos
Videos are like royalty on Facebook and they work exceptionally well, but if you want to improve your results then say good-bye to YouTube videos and give a warm welcome to Facebook videos; they’re proven to help improve your Facebook organic reach.
One of the reasons behind the increase in reach is that although YouTube videos can be played on Facebook, they don’t start automatically like Facebook videos do. This auto play is truly what helps increase your scope.
Additionally, the percentage of people who view videos on Facebook is increasing while viewing videos on YouTube is decreasing in comparison.
The fashion label Desigual, for example, uses this resource a lot by uploading videos on how to wear and match their clothes. On one occasion they published a video on how to wear a scarf; just image the interactions this generated…
EXTRA TIP! Make sure to take certain aspects into account when uploading your video to Facebook. For example, videos that are short with a maximum length of 2 minutes work best, show some action within the first 2 or 3 seconds, make it professional and choose a good thumbnail.
5. Use the right images
Using the right images can help you increase organic reach on Facebook, and this platform favors the organic reach of publications which contain photos or images with the exact dimensions recommended by the social network.
These images appear completely formatted, thus they are more visual and attractive.
In regards to the measurements, the ideal dimension is 1200×1200 pixels for a complete image and 1200×627 pixels for an image in a post with a link. And Of course, the more attention it catches the more attractive the results will be.
Furthermore, a post with a good image is always more appealing to the audience making it easier for them to be interested in it. But tell that to Starbucks who is a pro at publishing great images on their Fan Page.
EXTRA TIP! Don’t only be significant, but also try to be timely. If there is a current event, you can take advantage by publishing on it in real time and linking your brand to the event. People are already looking the theme up so now it’ll be more easy to catch their attention.
For example, there was a blackout during the Super Bowl in 2013 and Oreo took advantage of this miss-hap with this publication created for the outage which had the caption “Power out? No problem” together with it’s image which said “You can still dunk in the dark” referring to the classic milk + cookie combo that the brand preaches. This ad received more than 15,000 retweets and without meaning to was turned into the best ad included in the Super Bowl… and for free! In this case the strategy was implemented through Twitter but you can always implement a similar one on Facebook.
6. Stay away from the easy click
Surely you’ve read something like this in your newsfeed more than once” “You won’t believe it when you see what happened to this woman for letting her daughter play with an iguana” or “They call this ‘the dangerous fruit’ and once you see the 7 huge sex benefits it has you’ll understand why (you would’ve never imagined number 3 to be possible)”.
You know what I’m talking about, right? So, these types of publications are betting on the easy and massive click to improve their Facebook organic reach at any cost.
As a little piece of advice: don’t do it and get away from this path sooner than later, because until very recently these types of publications used to help increase the engagement and visibility of our content, because Facebook has made some changes to their algorithm in order to punish these types of actions of which it no longer makes sense to abuse.
The best thing you can do is analyze Facebook metrics, look at the statistics in detail and based on their results you should determine what type of content your users prefer and then focus on giving it to them.
EXTRA TIP! Mention influential pages or users. This is a great alternative to the easy click and it’s another good way to improve reach since the social network is already showing in newsfeeds the publications of pages that include some type of mention to another page or person that your users also follow. But don’t abuse this resource by haphazardly recommending other pages or Facebook might consider it as Spam.
7. Add calls to action
Calls to action are also essential for improving organic reach as you directly encourage your users to interact with your content; this is positively taken into account with Facebook’s new algorithm. But in addition to increasing the number of actions, friends of your followers will also see your publications therefore increasing the percentage of users reached.
In fact, if you want to know how to create irresistible calls to action, then in this article you’ll find 10 tips you should keep in mind and 8 practical examples to implement 😉
EXTRA TIP! Create irresistible publications that aid in justifying this call to action, for example: publications that invoke nostalgia, that request tagging of users you know, those which have interesting questions or include a challenge. All these details that promote interaction will help you to increase your organic reach and will create more chances of going viral.
Furthermore, you can always combine this with the rest of the tips you’ve learned so that your publications will be more effective, just like FitnessBlender did since they often ask their audience various questions and then convert this into a video; here’s an example of a video they made on the reasons for exercising:
At this point, I only want to say that the next time you read or hear about organic reach being dead on Facebook, remember that while they’re crying about the supposed death —at least for this moment— that’s not going to happen, you can be enjoying a much high organic reach just by implementing these actions.
And now that you’ve got a better grasp on the realm of organic reach, what do you see in store for the future concerning everyone’s Facebook organic reach? Were these 7 steps for increasing organic reach of any help to you? Leave us your comments!
Ah! And don’t forget to share this post on Facebook as well as other networks: every click on “share” won’t save the lives of precious little kitties but maybe by doing so you’ll be able to help a lot of small and medium sized companies improve their organic reach, which certainly isn’t a bad deal for them!