Facebook Organic Reach is not (quite) dead
It’s just not what it used to be. This is largely due to the fact that the social media platform now has more content on it than we have time to read. Estimates show that 2.5million pieces of content are shared on facebook every minute, so the helpful techies at Facebook have devised an algorithm that ensures that only the most relevant content appears in each users’ newsfeed.
While facebook says it has the users’ interests at heart, many argue that they want to make more money out of advertisers. Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that if you need to reach a facebook audience, a little bit of advertising can bring great results.\
Is advertising the only way to get reach?
Thankfully no. Facebook commits to showing high quality content (is it timely, relevant, trustworthy?) and all brands can achieve this with a bit of elbow grease. We’ve done it with our clients Heritage Bathrooms, Billy+Margot and Binatone.
But as brands know, there are some messages that you just need to get out there, for example; a new product launch, a competition or a drive to download an app ….whatever it may be, it’s possible that facebook won’t see these as a priority for your audience. That’s where advertising comes in.
When should I advertise?
• When you need followers and fast! It is especially important to advertise if you are a new facebook page and haven’t yet built up your reputation. After all, Facebook doesn’t know if you’re any good yet and if you’re on a deadline for a product launch then advertising is helpful.
• If you are communicating something which is contrary to your normal content. For example, you normally post about dog nutrition, recipes and share dog pictures but now you want to run a competition featuring technology – this will be out of the ordinary and may take some time to get attention organically.
• If you want to be seen by more people. Using fb advertising works for key messages e.g. a product promotion or unmissable offer that you know will attract more than your regular audience – if only they could see it.
But is it still possible to get organic reach?
Of course. Advertising will only provide a delightful spike, but what will your fans be left with once the shiny offer has gone? A brand’s advocates and true followers are those that can really spread the message for you and you need to keep them sweet. This is how you can do it:
• Plan your content – stay true to your brand messages and don’t stray
• Create meaningful, valuable content that people will want to read and share (simple but true!)
• Try not to be a copy cat. We know that certain formulas work e.g. funny pet videos or inspiring quotes. But everyone’s doing them. Make sure you put your brand stamp on them and offer something unique.
• Give people a reason to follow you. What will you give them that others can’t?
From the work we’ve been doing, it’s clear that advertising is a requirement for many facebook pages and it can achieve significant impact. It needn’t be expensive, however, and in our experience brands simply need to use advertising in the same tactical way that they would with other advertising activity – when you need to get something out there.
Most importantly though, as long as your usual content is relevant, true and trustworthy, organic reach has no limits; your die-hard fans will always be proud to share their opinion of you with their friends.