The Shrinking Organic Reach Phenomenon

Man standing on downward moving graph

What’s Happening Behind the Scenes with Algorithms and “Bait” Posting.

If you feel like your “organic reach” on Facebook is shrinking, you aren’t the only one. According to Buzzsumo.com, the average number of engagements was down 20% in the first six months of 2017 with images and link posts taking the biggest hit. Facebook adjusted its algorithm and has sought to eliminate “spammy” posts since the 2016 election.

Facebook itself acknowledges that organic reach is becoming more difficult. With an average of 1,500 stories that can appear in a person’s newsfeed, they suggest that there is more content competing for the same space. Many brands and companies are jumping on board with social media, and this also increases the competition for space. Facebook also intentionally demotes low-quality content and clickbait headlines. “Engagement bait” that tries to get people to tag their friends or asks them to share with friends is also taking a hit. This was a fast and easy way to increase organic reach for many companies, but it turns out that users aren’t that fond of it. And let’s not forget that Facebook also introduced paid promotions and advertising and has been trying to get more business for their own bottom line instead of giving it away for free.

So what’s a company to do? At Riley & You, we have been helping our clients navigate the waves of change in several ways.

Quality Over Quantity

We typically haven’t used “engagement bait” strategies because they don’t represent our clients well. With all of our social media content, we strive for quality and relevance over gimmicks and quick results. Our goal is to share content that IS engaging, not content that begs for engagement. At the end of the day, people still like, share, comment and post content that they love and find worth sharing. It doesn’t matter how often you post if the posts don’t contain quality content that people want to share.

More Video

We’ve encouraged our clients to post more videos. The research shows that video content had the smallest drop in engagement in 2017. Currently, videos garner twice as much engagement as images and links, and Facebook users are watching 8 billion videos per day. With today’s smartphone technology and a bit of sound and lighting gear, you can even create your own videos. This article from Hubspot.com has some great tips for creating your own content.

Diversify

Now more than ever you need to have both organic reach and paid advertising. The days when you could get engagement for free are gone. But you also don’t have to dump your entire advertising budget into paid ads either. At Riley & You, we can help you navigate and balance both so that they work together to maximize your brand’s exposure. For example, we use organic posts to help determine the types of content that your audience likes, and then we create paid advertising content that is modeled after it.

Nothing ever stays the same in social media. This is why you need the experts who track the trends to help guide your social media strategy. We have the knowledge and experience you need to get the results that will help your company grow. Even if everyone else’s organic reach is shrinking, we can help you find ways to keep your audience of customers and potential clients engaged in your brand.

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