Facebook’s Organic Reach Change… What’s Really Happening?

onThe new year brought extreme changes to Facebook’s algorithm that frightened many brands and marketers on social media. According to many, Facebook’s update allegedly could result in a decline in Facebook’s organic reach for posts made by brands or companies on Facebook.

Don’t you overwhelm yourself, let’s be clear here: This news isn’t really new and nothing is really changing. Facebook has changed their algorithm frequently for years now and we have already seen changes similar to this before.

In November 2017, Facebook announced big changes to Facebook page organic reach reporting. Although the algorithm went into effect on Monday, February 12, the change will be slowly rolling out. However, there will not be an actual drop in engagement of organic messages.

The Real Change With Facebook’s Organic Reach

The real change is the way organic is reported, which will be consistent with how paid reach is reported. This may be confusing for advertisers and marketers. Instead of reporting when an organic post exists within a user’s feed, it will only report when the user actually views and engages with the post. Facebook will report engagement for organic messages as long as they are “viewable impressions”, meaning users have to view your posts to be reported as “reach”.

Due to this change, marketers will see a decline in their organic posts reach. However, they won’t necessarily see a drop in engagement or users viewing a particular post. For example, if you are a brand that regularly gets any engagement from loyal followers, your posts will most likely be viewed by those users. This is the case because either they searched up your Facebook page or they scrolled through their news feed and engaged with it. Even if a follower doesn’t normally engage with your posts, your organic post will still exist on their news feed. The only difference is it won’t be reported if they don’t engage with it.

What Now?

The change in reach will “decline” in numbers, but not necessarily in reality. This change may frighten marketers, but it’s important to be able to adapt to new trends, algorithms, and analytics. For now, Facebook will use metrics that measure “previous organic reach” and “new organic reach” for an easier transition.

This new algorithm also brings to light what matters most: the kind of content marketers should be publishing. Facebook is doing away with the noise to make the users feel connected to the content they see. Facebook has been pushing for more media content, such as videos, gifs, and live stream video. Marketers should not be distracted with the new changes rolling out on Facebook because those changes primarily focus on “reach”. Marketers should instead aim their focus on real engagement, such as likes, comments, shares and reactions, by curating posts with purpose.