The days of creating content, scheduling a handful of organic Facebook posts about it and waiting for the traffic to come pouring in are, sadly, long gone.
Changes to the Facebook Algorithm have had a massive impact on the reach of organic posts. A recent study discovered that organic reach dropped from 5.4% per post to a meagre 1.2% between 2015 and 2018 - a decrease of 450% in just three years. Organic engagement also took a major hit over the same period:
- Video content: from 2.3% in 2017 to 0.9% in 2018
- Non-video content: from 1.4% in 2017 to 0.6% in 2018
This is crucial, because the latest Facebook update prioritizes posts that generate the most engagement.
In short, if you want to boost your organic reach as part of your Facebook marketing plan, you need to publish the sort of content that your audience want to consume and interact with.
1. Choose multi-part video series over long-form blogs
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Facebook’s latest round of algorithmic tweaks is that if a tactic is easy, it probably won’t yield results - even if it did in the recent past.
Linking to daily blog posts doesn’t do it anymore. With hundreds of thousands of posts, comments and shares occurring every second of every day, you simply won’t cut through the noise.
However, Facebook does love video. As the stats above demonstrate, videos still generate more engagement than non-video content - and engagement will ultimately create more reach.
Rather than using organic posts to promote regular articles, consider breaking down longer-form content into multi-part video series. That way, you’re not repeatedly amplifying the same resource multiple times and you’ve got a much better chance of generating some serious engagement.
2. Work live video into your content mix
If video is the king of Facebook content, live video is the jewel in the crown.
Live video is so effective because it creates a community around the comment section, allowing your audience to share the same viewing experience - at the same time - and add their own thoughts to the conversation.
The results are clear to see. Indeed, Facebook recently revealed that live videos generate six times more interactions than regular video content. And more interactions means more organic reach.
3. Dramatically reduce your posting frequency
To counteract plummeting organic reach, many marketers have started posting more frequently as part of their social media strategy. After all, the more you post, the more likely people will see your content, right?
Actually, no. Counterintuitive as it may seem, posting less often could actually help you generate greater organic reach.
Buffer, the social media tool, put this theory to the test on its own Facebook feed, reducing its posting volume from five times a day down to a solitary post. In the process, engagement doubled and organic reach trebled.
The key takeaway here is that you need to put as much - if not more - effort into a single post than you used to put into five posts. Focus solely on your strongest, most visually compelling content and take the time to get your messaging spot on.
4. Engage with every comment you receive
Extreme as it may sound, one of the best ways to increase engagement - and, in turn, organic reach - is to respond to every single post you receive on your Facebook Page.
It might seem like a huge investment in time, but it’s much more effective than writing and publishing dozens of posts that don’t generate any interactions.
Take the time to craft thoughtful, helpful replies to each and every comment. It’ll help to further your conversations and encourage more people to engage in future.
5. Ditch the engagement bait
“Like if you’re a Mermaid, Love if you’re a Unicorn!”
“Tag a friend who looks like a bagel!”
In the past, posts like this have been an extremely effective - if cringe-inducing - way to coax your audience into interacting. But this so-called “engagement bait” is exactly the sort of content that Facebook is trying to crack down on.
These posts push users into artificially inflating your engagement metrics without adding any value. Rather than helping you generate more organic reach, this sort of manipulative activity could actually see Facebook limit your reach going forward. It may have worked for you in the past, but it won’t anymore.