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Facebook Algorithms, Organic Reach, and Why It’s Time to Boost Your Posts

At least once a month, almost like clockwork, word runs around the internet that Facebook has updated its algorithm. The perennial message behind all these changes is simple:

Organic reach for Business Pages is dropping. Again.

Facebook itself gives a clear explanation as to why this is happening:

There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it.

On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log on to Facebook.

For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.

Of those thousands of stories, Facebook chooses the stories it thinks users will find most interesting, so those users will in turn spend more time on the site.

This model works great for Facebook – it’s just a little rougher for those of us on the business end of things who are trying to get our own messages out.


How low has organic reach gotten?

Because page and post quality vary dramatically and the algorithm changes all the time, it’s difficult to say exactly what level of organic reach a page should be expecting.

Recent studies put average organic reach at roughly 6.51%, falling lower as pages get larger.

Furthermore, the average engagement rate for an individual post is now down to roughly 0.84% on pages with fewer than 2,000 likes.

For a page with 1,000 likes, that breaks down like this:

  • 1000 x 6.51% = 65.1 post reach

A business can expect roughly 65 people to see any individual post.

  • 65 x 0.84% = 0.546 engagement per post

A business can expect one reaction, comment or share on every other post.


Is it worth being on Facebook with that kind of reach?

Yes, it is. Organic reach for businesses has declined, but your audience is still there.

56% of seniors 65+ have a Facebook account, with 15-20 million logging on at least once a month.

Among adult children, 63% have an account, and there are 35-40 million monthly active users.

That’s an enormous audience. And of course, Facebook offers you the ability to talk with your audience, listen to what they have to say to you, and engage with them in a way you can’t through direct mail, traditional media, or even a PPC digital campaign.

Besides, you’re on Facebook whether you’re actively managing a page or not.

Don’t believe me?

Search your business name: Even if you’ve never set up a proper business page, you’ve probably got a places page with check-ins, comments, maybe even reviews.

It’s in your best interest to take control and make sure you’re driving the conversation yourself.


How do I contend with such low organic reach?

There are three main ways to handle low reach. The first is simply phrased, but difficult to execute (without a smart strategy, planning, testing and regular monitoring): Create REALLY GOOD content.

The content that makes you smile, laugh, tap your feet and want to hug someone. The content that goes viral. Good luck. (We can help you!)

The second way to combat low reach is to build a very devoted community, no matter the size.

If you post good content often enough, engage with the people who comment on your posts, and use analytics to help you figure out the content that resonates most strongly with your audience, it’s possible to build the type of community that shares your posts, comments frequently, talks to each other as much as they talk to you, and gives you a much greater reach than you’d enjoy without their energy.

Even better, your online community is likely to turn into a word-of-mouth brand advocate for you when talking to friends and neighbors — and that kind of marketing is the most valuable and effective you could ask for.

Finally, there’s a simple, inexpensive and reliable way to combat low reach any time you want to: Pay Facebook to show your post to more people.

It’s called a Boosted Post. This can cost as little as $1 (though we’d recommend spending more like $10-$20/post to drive more engagement).

This tactic spreads your message quickly and effectively, and even better, allows for a high degree of targeting, so you know your message will be sent to exactly the people you want to see it.

So let’s say you have a post that’s getting a lot of likes, and you want to make sure that 2,065 people in your target audience see it, instead of only 65. Boost the post, and you may very well reach that goal.

Not sure which posts you should boost, who your audience should be, or exactly how much you should be spending?

GlynnDevins is happy to help you, or happy to manage the entire process on your behalf.

Facebook is an effective, engaging tool that allows you to get your message online easily and inexpensively to reach a very targeted audience.

If social isn’t already in your marketing plan, consider adding it in 2017, and don’t forget to include some extra money to boost those posts.

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