A year ago, there was an uproar on the sudden drop in Facebook page organic reach. Soon after, there were speculations that it was deliberate and meant to force us to boost posts. So, despite the having Facebook page likes, why did the organic reach drop?
Could it be true that Facebook wants us to spend on advertising to widen our reach?
Common sense dictates that it is in the best interest of companies to maximize their income. But I have no doubt in my mind that the drop in organic reach has anything to do with profits.
For Facebook to grow as large as it is, they cannot be lacking in foresight. Rather than focus on short-term gain, what they want is a stable long-term gain. In other words, forcing us to boost posts is going to backfire in the long run.
So, what is it with the sudden drop and disappointing low organic reach then?
Demystifying the Terrible Facebook Page Organic Reach
Instagram and Twitter are among the top social networks in the world, and they have one thing in common. People use both networks for sharing, rather than connecting.
Facebook, on the other hand, is more about connecting and communicating with people.
1. Great User Experience
As the number of users increased and for a variety of reasons, so did the useless or nonsense posts in the news feeds.
Remember how it was in the earlier days when your timeline shows the most recent posts?
I think it is fair to say that given a choice, you would rather see interesting posts in your timeline, right?
Facebook knows that and that is why they keep on improving the user experience. So, instead of showing recent posts, our timeline defaults to the top posts from our friends. Posts that we tend to ignore does not show up as much as they did in the past.
Because we see more of the interesting posts, there is a tendency for us to linger longer. From a business perspective, the longer we linger is better for the company.
So, how does Facebook determine which posts to show less of, and which ones to show more of in our feeds?
2. Communication and Engagements
Let us say I posted a new status update.
Even if we are friends for a while, but if we are not even communicating, then that post might not appear on your feeds.
If no one bothers to engage, such as liking, sharing, or commenting, then Facebook takes note of that. Because it appears to be irrelevant, then it gets buried by other more interesting posts.
But when someone likes or reacts to my update, then it starts to rank higher. In other words, the post appears closer to the top of friend’s timeline.
Liking and reacting is an engagement, and that is a form of connecting and communicating.
Unfortunately, a lot of people tap on the like icon without reading the update at all. Facebook realizes this and so, while it still matters, they do not give it much value.
Commenting is different, though. Once there are comments, then that post gets a boost in visibility. In other words, Facebook sees commenting as a higher form of engagement. As such, it bumps up the post to appear higher in the top posts.
Going further, the best form of engagement is sharing a post. Facebook interprets the act of sharing as a result of a positive reaction to a post.
Just because a lot of people commented or shared a post, it does not mean it will appear in the timeline of all friends. But it will still have a much wider Facebook page organic reach than posts with no engagements.
3. The Same Thing Happens to Facebook Page Posts
In a previous post on promoting blogs in Facebook groups, I alluded to the drops in the relevance of posts. So, you will want to read about that.
On Facebook page, we often post links to our latest blog articles. The idea is that the update will appear in the timeline of those who liked out page. As mentioned at the start of this post, Facebook page organic reach since last year dropped a lot.
For example, I have a thousand page likes. But my organic reach would be around 20. In my other page with almost 2 thousand page likes, a post would have a reach of only 50.
So, what is happening to the relevancy of status updates is also the same with Facebook page posts.
4. Likers, Commenters, and Sharers Increase Facebook Page Organic Reach
Without engagements, the typical organic reach on my page is around 20, give or take a few more or fewer people.
Would having some likes increase the organic reach?
As you can see from the image above, even with 17 people liking that post, the organic reach is a measly 74. Compared to an average of 20, it is still a small improvement.
But what happens when someone else shares a post?
In this example, there were only 13 people who liked the post. But because there is one person who shared, the organic reach increased to more than 200 people.
Looking at the above image, you could see that the likes do not matter all that much. But when there are commenters and sharers, the organic reach increases a lot.
Increasing Facebook Page Organic Reach
For bloggers, it is important to increase the organic reach. The more people our posts reaches, then the more likely some may land on our blogs.
How could we widen our organic reach then?
The first option is to boost posts. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve in doing so. In my experience, I had to use the desktop version of Facebook to tinker with the audience settings. The mobile version of Facebook does not allow much customization.
Choosing the target audience is important as we do not want to spend for the wrong crowd. It was not until I got down to choosing specific devices used that I was able to target the right audience.
Boosting a post gives you the best results, but it comes at a cost.
Another option that is common for bloggers is to collaborate with others. There are a lot of Facebook groups which have like-for-like exchange activities. But seeing how likes do not translate to a much wider better organic reach, this is also not the best way.
A better option is to collaborate with individual bloggers. But this might be troublesome as not everyone is willing to share posts.
So, is there another way to increase organic reach other than collaborating?
Notice how in thinking about increasing organic reach, all we think about are ourselves?
Do you want to know how I plan to increase organic reach without spending and asking or collaborating?
I will share posts that I like on my page and tag the bloggers to let them be aware. But no, there is no expectation of returning the favor at all.