How to Outsmart the Decline of Facebook Organic Reach

If you’ve been managing a Facebook page for the last couple of years, you may have recently noticed a considerable dip in the number of people viewing and engaging with your posts. Don’t be alarmed; it’s not just you. Facebook has done this on purpose to prioritize certain content, but there are ways you can outsmart the latest Algorithm change. Here’s what you need to know.

Declining Organic Reach Timeline

2007: Fan Pages were launched. You could create a page, post to it whenever and however many times you wanted in order to collect fans and grow your following.

2011: Facebook abandons original algorithm format for one much more complex, utilizing machine learning.

2012: Page managers began learning that only about 16% of their fans were seeing the content they were posting in their Newsfeeds.

March 2014: Organic reach for the average Facebook page had declined all the way to 6.5%.

So if you do the math, a page that has 1,000 fans means only 65 of them are seeing your posts in their Newsfeeds.

Early 2016: Facebook adjusts the algorithm to further prioritize friend and family content over brands, while releasing a blog post to warn pages that their organic reach could anticipate a dip.

July 2016: Facebook adjusted its Newsfeed Algorithm, resulting in now an average of only 3-5% organic reach on each post.

Facebook tells us to expect one day the average organic reach will in fact reach 0%, so supplementing your organic posts with paid advertising now is a safe bet.

The less people that see your posts inevitably results in less comments, likes and shares, which make it even that more difficult to turn your Facebook efforts into conversions and leads.

So Why Would Facebook Do This?

According to Facebook, there are simply too many pages posting too much content.

With over 60 million brands marketing on Facebook, they want to make sure only the best and most relevant content is being seen. This means connecting people to the stories they want to be connected to.

Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland, says “We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in Newsfeed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.”

How Does the Algorithm Work?

The current algorithm strongly adapts to user preferences. The less you interact with a specific page’s posts and content, the less their content will appear in your newsfeed overtime. It also ranks specific content higher. For example, native and live videos are most highly prioritized, especially those with the highest completion rates and longest engagement durations.

With thousands of other triggers deciphering what’s really important on a specific newsfeed, the end goal is to customize each user experience to their interests and needs.

All in all, there are four ways Facebook is now ranking content:

  1. By who posted it
  2. By how people engaged with it
  3. By what kind of post it is
  4. By when it was posted


How to Work Around the Latest Algorithm Change

There are two things you have to understand:

  1. How newsfeed ranks content
  2. Where FB is heading as a business


It’s plain and simple; you have to really know your audience. Newsfeed knows what people wants to see. So your page needs to post quality content that your home buyers wants to see and engage with. The more engagement a post gets, the more it AND your page’s featured posts will be seen in a newsfeed.

Here’s how you can do that:

Practice Less is More. Your organic reach drops with each additional posts, especially more than 3 times a day, so be selective. Target posts to specific audiences who are more likely to take interest in that specific post.

Avoid Click Bait. FB tracks the amount of time people sending reading and watching videos – decreases visibility if people bounce or scroll past it

Remind Fans of How to See Your Content. Going to the left-hand sidebar to “Pages” is another way to view all the content posted by a user’s liked pages, even if they aren’t showing up in their NewsFeed. After all, they opted to follow your page, so just because they aren’t seeing your content, doesn’t mean they don’t want to.

Super fans can also update their notification settings in the “Following” tab in order to see your content first.

Share Engaging Video Content. Facebook is becoming more and more like a video platform and algorithm factors this in. A recent study showed that native Facebook videos have a 186% Prioritizes and are shared 1000% more often, so don’t just make sure your videos are engaging through good captions, animations and visuals, but make the extra step of publishing your videos specifically for the Facebook platform.

And don’t forget to use Facebook Live! Remember that users spend 3x more time watching these broadcasts than any other videos.

Target Specific Audiences. Try using preferred audience tracking to optimize who will see your content in order to increase engagement rates. You can track the behaviors of your site visitors from Facebook ads by making sure audience optimization for posts is turned on in Settings. Additionally, the next time you post, click the tiny target button, and choose interests relevant to your content. Lastly, there try creating custom and lookalike audiences based on your current database.

Use Facebook as a Paid Ad Platform. If you haven’t been already, use your targeted audiences to share quality content you’ve created from your blog, website pages, etc. through paid ads. These will help amplify their reach to the right people, while preparing you for the inevitable days of 0% organic reach.

What’s to Come in Facebook Advertising 

Builders can expect things to continue to change, so you can’t let your online marketing ever get complacent for too long. It’s important to continue to evolve your efforts with the changing algorithm to make sure the content you’re working hard to produce is being seen by your buyers. You now know some ways to do this, but if you really want to get the ball rolling and get your content on Facebook’s good side, contact us to make it happen for you.


By Nicolette Miller –
Online Content Strategist

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