Organic Reach

There are fundamentally two ways to reach an audience — organic and paid. On Facebook, organic reach is the number, or the proportion of people a marketer can reach for free by posting to the company’s Page. And paid reach is what the marketer pays for.

When marketers post messages on their Fan Page, only a fraction of those messages reach their fans and that fraction is getting smaller. According to various studies, Facebook’s organic reach plunged — to as low as 2% in 2016 and it continues to decline.

The reasons for the decline were outlined by Brian Boland, Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, in June 2014. He said that more and more content was being created and shared every day, and that for the average person, there were 1,500 stories that could appear in her news feed each time she logged onto Facebook. So rather than show all possible content, Facebook’s news feed shows each person the content that is most relevant.

What is “most relevant” is determined by the logic of Facebook’s machine learning algorithm that decides what gets filtered. Naturally, marketers are keen to get a sense of the logic that controls the algorithm so that they can craft content that has greater likelihood of reaching their fans.

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