Over a year ago, Facebook revealed its intent to change the way organic reach is being calculated for Pages’ posts. The social media giant shared its plans to change the organic reach metric and only count impressions based on the number of times it appears on a person’s screen. Simply put, the company revealed in November 2016 about shifting to viewable impressions for organic posts, the same way it does for sponsored posts.
The algorithm change that was proposed by Facebook last year would result in a substantial drop in organic reach of posts. This decline cannot just be attributed to the change in algorithm alone. The volume of content published on the website is huge enough to make visibility highly competitive. Moreover, it is company’s deliberate attempt only to show content that is relevant to the user.
Fast forward one year, Facebook is already in its trial phase and experimenting with removal of non-promoted posts out of its news feed. This new system is being tried out in six countries, and they have already noted a drastic drop in organic reach. While the big companies may sail through this full-size change, the smaller ones that rely on Facebook and other social media channels for promotion will struggle to stay afloat.
Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm – How Does It Work?
The news feed algorithm was first introduced in 2006. The posts were displayed on a feed based on a ranking system that was obtained by evaluating several parameters. This basic algorithm became more and more sophisticated over the years and started factoring the time it was posted and the people interacting with it. However, this algorithm was also ditched by Facebook in 2011 for a more complicated system that incorporated machine learning.
Today, it is this algorithm that displays the feed and decides the ranking of your posts. The current system takes user preference into account and displays feed based on your interaction with the posts. At the same time, for marketers, Facebook ranks live videos and fresh video content higher in the news feed. Facebook’s objective is to finally reach an algorithm that delivers news feed with content matching user needs individually.
Tackling Decreasing Organic Reach
Now that you know how Facebook works at the backend, it is now time to consider how to deal with the decline in organic page reach.
Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your game in the face of ever-changing Facebook strategies:
- Marketers have to post their content more wisely. Rather than using untargeted publishing, choose intelligently and publish selectively, geared towards the right target audience. The idea is to generate engagement and interaction from each post.
- Encourage your followers to engage with your posts so that they can see more of them on their feed. This could be as simple as a call to action in the end or requesting your readers to like and comment/share each post.
- Don’t underestimate the power of high-quality video content. Videos on Facebook gain much more attention and credence by the algorithm, giving you instant access to more eyeballs as opposed to paying for sponsored content.
- Use Facebook Live whenever possible. The more you broadcast, the more organic reach you will gain. Keep your followers involved in whatever you are doing by sharing live videos of the process.
- Create valuable content on channels that you own completely, such as websites and blogs. Facebook should be secondary means to promote your content outside of your network of organic followers.
The way things are progressing with Facebook and other social media channels, it is only a matter of time when organic reach will be practically zero. It is better to start honing your advertising skills while you can still enjoy the best of both worlds!