In 2017, Facebook rolled out a new algorithm for users’ News Feeds, which is supposed to boost user experience, but has been problematic for marketers. This algorithm considers the materials that a user engages with (posts, pictures, links) and predicts that user’s likelihood to interact with other posts. The algorithm works by assigning a score to each post that they think is relevant for users, then allowing it to show up on their News Feed based on the score. The bad news for people who market heavily on Facebook? The algorithm severely limits organic reach.
What is organic reach?
Facebook considers organic reach to be the number of Facebook users that you can “reach” for free by posting to a Facebook page. So why is Facebook limiting organic reach? They say there is too much content being published, so using an algorithm is a way to filter out unnecessary content; this makes sure posts are focusing on relevant content for users instead of showing all content that is available.
Create content with a target audience in mind
Unfortunately, there’s not a 100% foolproof way to work around the algorithm. That doesn’t mean that you should completely abandon your Facebook efforts, though. There are still ways to reach users organically. Start by creating content with your target audience in mind. So, instead of creating a post that covers a broad sampling of people, focus on one subset. The more people in that subset that interact, the more times it will show up for users with similar interests and demographics, which can draw more users to your page.
Videos are making a bigger impact
Users scroll through text-heavy posts without stopping, but an engaging video is much more likely to get a visitor to stop and watch. Use great visuals and have a good storyline, and that will encourage users and visitors to share the video. But don’t stop there! Go live. Users like to feel privileged to a behind-the-scenes look at a process or event, so plan for live videos that make them feel like they’re a part of the action. Show them how something is made, or give them a tour of your facility. If you can, allow users to ask questions and interact while you’re streaming so that they can feel personally connected with your page (which in turn, makes them more likely to share your posts).
Target your ideal persona with paid ads
Finally, expect that you’re going to need to pay to reach a wider Facebook audience. It’s predicted that organic reach on Facebook will eventually reach 0%, so it’s important to be proactive. Don’t just fork out money aimlessly, though; have your target audience in mind and plan your ads around them.
Even though organic reach on Facebook has been on a steady decline, there are ways to work around the new algorithm in 2018 and prepare yourself so that you can still use Facebook as a marketing tool. Include calls to action, which can be as simple as “Like and share this post!” at the end of your posts, nail down a specific audience and tailor your posts and ads to them, and bring your posts to life by including audience-specific videos. Working to organically reach an audience on Facebook doesn’t have to be a lost cause, but be sure to plan ahead before throwing time and money into posts that won’t reach the audience that you’re aiming for.