Judging by the stream of Social Media posts on the topic, “organic reach” seems to be the holy grail of the online world.

Let’s explore what the term really means.

A look into the dictionary doesn’t help much:

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To explain the term organic reach I will look at each word on its own first:

reach in terms of digital analytics is simply the number of people the content (post, image, video….] was shown to. The difference between reach and the term “impressions” that print media refers to is that in digital media we can actually tell who saw the same content multiple times. Keep in mind that the fact that someone saw your content does not mean they actually noticed it. Let’s hope they did 🙂 but so far there is technically no way to tell. Right now the only indication is the time span a piece of content is displayed. This metric was just introduced into the Facebook algorithm.

For me, reach is one of the most important metrics to look for in all of your digital media efforts. After all, if more people see your content, more have a chance to read it and react to it. Reach doesn’t mean your message was successfully received but it is the first step so to speak.

organic in this context means that the content was shown without a (paid) promotion.

paid vs organic reach from Facebook insights

You might recognize these graphs from your Facebook page insights. The darker areas indicate reach in paid promotions and the lighter is the organic reach.

This is why organic reach is such a hot topic!

Social Media is not free! You can create and maintain a profile on a Social Media network that is generally free and you can broadcast for free. Your time, creativity and expertise are your investment.

Traffic is not guaranteed either. As explained in my article about Algorithms most social networks have followed Facebook’s example and are filtering what we see in order not to overwhelm us.

Facebook is just going through another update of their algorithm, showing us more updates from our friends and fewer updates of the pages we liked. Facebook has been suffering from a decrease of original posts and a lot of users are complaining that they see too few updates from their friends.

For Facebook pages, the update means a further decrease in organic reach.

Read more about this in Facebook’s news release.

What can we do to react to this news?

  • We will likely increase the number of posts we need to promote with ads or boosts
  • We will need to focus even more on consistently creating posts that engage our audience

If you have taken any of my Facebook classes you already know that I am a strong advocate of creating a high number of high-quality posts on a daily basis, focussing on information and entertainment. Facebook’s algorithm update is a good reason to examine your Social Media Strategy and tactics.

You can find more about this in the following related posts:

Quality Content + Conversations + Relationships = ROI

Social Capital or 24 Ways To Help Your Friends Online

Do you want to suggest the next word for the BlueBird Dictionary?

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Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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