5 tips to optimize your organic reach on Facebook (2018 algorithm)

In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family and groups.” This update affecting News Feeds is meant to encourage more personal interactions between users. The Facebook founder cites “as the changes roll out over the next few months, businesses will most likely see a significant decrease in organic reach.”

The reason for this change is simple. Facebook wants users to spend more time on the platform by giving them a more pleasant experience. Businesses now have to be more creative and spend more ad dollars to get in front of a prospect’s eyeballs.

Is it time to say goodbye to organic reach? Is Facebook now pay-to-play like television/billboards/radio and print?

There’s no denying that organic reach has decreased over the last 2 months. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone. At the agency, we’ve managed to get content in front of target audiences and keep our engagement rates up by using these 5 simple tips.

1. Encourage your audience to select the “See First” option in their News Feed preferences.

This is one of the easiest “asks” you can do right now. If you’re truly providing value to your followers, getting them to take this action shouldn’t be an issue.

See picture below for an example of what we did with our agency Page.

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2. Post content that spark conversations.

The main reason why businesses are seeing a decrease in reach is because they tend to create push content aimed at getting quick short-term sales. You want to design content that provides value and prompts the community to participate.

Great ways to do this include: asking for their opinion, teaching them something, posting something funny or motivational, posting content that is culturally relevant.

3. Avoid engagement “bait” techniques.

Facebook says “Using engagement-bait to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”

Scrap any wording that literally tells people to comment, like, share or tag a friend.

4. Leverage attention on all social platforms.

When it comes to social media, it’s rarely a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

Make sure you’re cross-promoting to grow your audience on all social platforms as well as your email list. This will give you more control over your reach without being at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithm.

5. Double down on ads

Let’s be real. Facebook’s ad platform is still incredibly underpriced for what it does. Hyper-Targeting and custom audiences done properly allow you to optimize your ad dollars and reach individuals that actually resonate with your product.

If you’re not already promoting on Facebook, start now. Ad prices will only go up as the space gets more crowded. (more on the technicalities of Facebook Ads in an upcoming article.)

Facebook changes have happened before and they will continue to happen as the platform evolves. The only constant is change. As marketers and business owners, we have to stay on the cutting edge to find out the best ways to communicate our message.

On that note, there’s no reason to fear an algorithm change if your ethos is to give more value than you take. Good content is and will always be the foundation of your social media success.