Bad news guys: the organic reach that you’ve worked so hard to maintain is gradually declining due to Facebook’s new algorithm. Social@Ogilvy reports that organic reach has dropped from 16% in 2012 to 6% in February of this year.
For Facebook, engagement has always been crucial and this now plays a role with what users see on their News Feed. If a user interacts more with your page, the more likely it is that they see what you post.
Sure its premise sounds promising at first but the problem is you do not get as much people as you want because this algorithm is restricting your page to only be seen by a couple of people.
But exactly how does this whole thing work? Read on to find out.
Competition for space
According to Facebook’s Brian Bolan, competition for space in a user’s News Feed is causing the organic reach to drop. Facebook claims that they implemented this new algorithm not because they want more businesses to ‘pay to play’ or buy more ads to attract more consumers, although, predictably, your reach does go up if you buy more ads.
Possible stories vs. relevant stories
Bolan further stated in his blog post that “on average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook,” and that instead of “showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them.”
This means that out of the 1,500 possible stories that could appear on an average user’s News Feed, only about 300 stories would appear, and they appear in order – from the stories with the most relevance to the user to the stories with the least relevance to the user.
Factors affecting relevance
“To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person,” adds Bolan. Facebook, of course, remains ambiguous to what these “thousands of factors” are, and perhaps would forever be silent about it.
All we know is that whatever these factors may be, they are all currently affecting the way that stories show up in our News Feeds and that they now dictate the fate of small businesses – whether they would invest in more ads to get a wider reach, or just stick with the old-fashioned (and sadly, defunct) way of free Facebook marketing.