What is organic reach? Why is everyone raving about Facebook marketing? What is it?
The Internet simultaneously leveled and skewed the playing field for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The digital landscape of the 21st Century is very much like the Wild West of old – pioneers taking huge risks that sometimes pay off in gold. Bandits streak across cyberspace looking to make a quick buck and in between desperation and vast success there’s the rest of us, trying to make our way. The path to success in the digital Wild West is made more complicated by it’s mutable nature. Things are always changing.
A few years ago, Facebook had this thing called Edge Rank. It was an algorithm that measured how likely a Facebook user was to see a particular post. This system has evolved – as it naturally had to – to a much more complex method.
Organic Reach is exactly that, how far your Facebook posts can travel without interference. For example, if you were to post a picture of your delicious dinner – anyone who saw it would be considered organic reach. Keep in mind that if any of your friends see it in their news feed, and “like” it, their friends can now see it too. If any of those friends like it, the viral effect continues – thus the staggering effectiveness of social media marketing – the natural or organic reach of your posts can be limitless. Most of them are quite limited however. As of May 2015, experts suggest that Facebook organic reach is down to 6%. That means, if you have 100 followers or likes, only 6 of them will see any give post.
Why change the newsfeed?
The Facebook news feed is comprised of a comprehensive assessment of – you guessed it – you! Every like, location check in, hobby or interest, educational experience, workplace, relationship or relative you’ve told Facebook about, it being catalogued and assessed – for most people, at any given moment, there are about 1,500 posts to choose from for the feed.
Facebook also takes calculates three additional factors – engagement, weight and decay. Engagement is how people interact with each other and posts. A good example is a friend who doesn’t post very often – or whose posts you don’t comment on, other users are less engaged with that content. Weight is simply a measure of interests – if you’re planning a wedding, odds are Facebook will figure it out and add weight to related articles or posts. It works conversely aw well – if you are a vegetarian, Facebook likely won’t weight articles about a new steak house in town. Decay is a measure of the staying power of the article. You’ve all seen the “red wine shortage,” article making the rounds. That article (which is mostly hype) has a very slow decay.
Limits and Engagement
Right now, you’re wondering why your posts get a few likes, then fizzle out. You shared that kitty that can literally scratch a record, the singing goat video and that one with the baby that just laughs and laughs. You got a few likes – and that content spread even further. But those aren’t the posts you necessarily want to use for your social media marketing.
Your social media marketing posts (SMM) should compel your viewers to take an action – either like, share or comment. Any combination of the three will do, but shares should be liked, comments should be shared. Engagement will expand the limits of your organic reach.