Lets start off by defining what Facebook organic reach is - "the total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution." This is totally different than paid reach, which is "the total number of unique people who were shown your post as a result of ads." Facebook marketing has changed a lot over the years thanks to competition. Being Facebook is the world's largest social media network, space on someone's news feed comes at a premium, and the days of being able to rake in engagement over everything you post are long gone.
Now a very small percentage of what you post will actually be seen by your followers in their feeds thanks to the algorithms Facebook uses to determine what is shown. According to TechCrunch, factors Facebook takes into account for their algorithm include the type of post, when it was posted, and how well the post performed. Even though Facebook is betting against you (lets face it, they have a business to run and don't like free promotion), there are some steps you can take to expand your organic reach, which include:
Post Quality Content
Does the phrase "quality over quantity" ring a bell? That mantra holds true with Facebook. According to Facebook, "Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300." Your goal is to get your post displayed in one of those very precious spots. And how do you achieve that? By posting quality content. Facebook has made it clear their goals are always aimed at showing high quality content and removing spam from the news feed. Posting a high quantity of content offering no value is NOT going to help you expand your organic reach.
Posting a variety of content is key. While people go nuts over "transparent posts" (content showing the human behind the brand as this helps them relate to your company on a personable level), mix in images, videos, competitions, polls, promotions, etc. Remember visual content is key with social media. In fact, if your content contains pictures, your followers are 44% more likely to interact with it. Also keep in mind the 80/20 rule. What does that mean? 80% of the content you post should be content your followers actually find useful, while the other 20% can be self-promotional. Think of Facebook like a TV station. If there are non-stop commercials, you're going to lose interest real fast.
Use Organic Post Targeting
Many do not realize that targeting on Facebook is not limited to paid ads. Facebook organic post targeting helps you get your posts in front of the right audience. This enables you to target a post down to a specific demographic in hopes of increasing the engagement you get on the post by showing it to the people most interested in that specific kind of content. One thing to note when using organic post targeting is these settings only apply to the news feed. Anyone who directly visits your Facebook page itself will still be able to see the post. The targeting feature has become much more useful with the decrease in organic reach.
Here is a blog post we wrote on how to setup and use Facebook organic post targeting: https://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/115001084883-How-To-Use-Facebook-Preferred-Audience-Targeting-For-Organic-Posts
Post Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that is not time sensitive, content that is going to be just as relevant in a week or two as it is the day you post it. Basically content that never gets old and is useful to your followers. By recycling evergreen content, ie posting it time and time again, it reaches a new audience each time it gets posted. Think about it this way...if you post something at 9 am, but some of your followers aren't checking their feed until the evening, the chances of them seeing that content are slim to none.
But by recycling that content and posting it at different times, you are exposing it to different subsets of your followers. And then your followers are going to keep liking and commenting on that content, and because of all of that engagement, the aforementioned algorithm Facebook uses will keep the content in your followers news feeds for extended periods of times, thus expanding your organic reach.
Curious what kind of content makes good evergreen content? Below are some suggestions from HubSpot. While they are directly talking about blog posts, you can easily take the same kind of content from your blog or website and use it to develop Facebook posts, while driving traffic back to your blog or website at the same time.
Be Strategic About Your Posting Times
There is no perfect answer when it comes to when to post on Facebook (or any social media network for that matter). If you Google "best times to post on Facebook", you are going to get so many conflicting opinions from so many studies your head will be spinning! Just looking at these few comparisons as an example:
The best way to be strategic about your posting times is to determine YOUR optimal times. There are a few ways to determine this. One way is to use Facebook Insights to see when your fans are online, and then tailor your posting times around those times.
Or you can use a social media management platform, such as Social Report, to determine when you get the most engagement out of the content you post via optimization reports and then tailor your posting times around those times in hopes of expanding your organic reach.
Interact With Your Followers
You put a tremendous amount of work into trying to grow your follower base up, so why would you leave them hanging when they're asking you questions? No matter how busy you are, find time to interact with your followers on a daily basis. Answer questions, join in on the conversation, provide feedback, participate in discussions, and most importantly, show that your business has a human running it! Followers who take the time to comment on your page are 100% loyal to you and when you take the time to respond, it demonstrates to them how much you value them and their opinion.
When you don't respond, it gives them the feeling they aren't worth your time and they will share that feeling with their friends and family, which surely won't help you with expanding your organic reach on Facebook, or any other social media platform for that matter. Remember, people turn to their friends and family when they are looking for recommendations on who to do business with, so you want to give your followers a reason to give your business a GLOWING recommendation by interacting with them on a daily basis and showing them just how cool you are! Neil Patel says it best: "Commenting improves engagement, and engagement improves reach."