How to Increase Facebook Organic Reach: 2023
Facebook organic reach is declining.
When I started in 2016 – my posts on a Facebook business page with a few hundred likes used to get a good exposure.
Fast forward to 2023 – the same Facebook business page now with even double likes cannot bring a decent level of engagement.
So what changed in the last few years? And what now we should be doing to increase the organic reach?
I got curious enough to dig in to find out the answers.
And this article is a result of that.
So let’s get started.
What is Facebook Organic Reach
Organic reach on Facebook refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting to your business page.
Paid reach on Facebook refers to how many people you can reach as a result of paid promotions. It can also help organic reach.
Your post’s reach depends on its engagement rate.
Engagement means how many people like, react, comment, or share your post.
The more engaging a post is, the higher is the reach.
The fact is engagement rate on Facebook is going upward – monthly active users have increased to 2.96 billion in 2022 Q3 from 2.93 billion in 2021 Q2.
Then why is your post’s reach declining? On Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post is down to 5.2% in 2020 from 5.5% at the end of 2019. And it’s further going down. Let’s look at some historical data.
Based on the figures above, that means a Page with 10,000 fans could expect just around 651 of them to see that Page’s posts in their News Feed in Mar 2014.
And for the pages with more than 500k fans, organic reach plummeted to just 2% in 2014. That means posts from a Page with 5,00,000 fans could only reach just 10,000.
Let’s find out the reasons behind this.
Why Facebook Organic Reach is Declining
There are two main reasons:
Reason 1. More Commercial Content Competing for News Feed Space
According to Brian Boland, Facebook VP of Advertising Technology (at that time) – the decline began in 2014.
More and more content is being created and shared every day. As a result, competition in News Feed – the place on Facebook where people view content from their family and friends and business – is increasing, and it’s getting harder for any post to gain exposure in News Feed.
In addition to the growth in content, people also like more Pages. So with each new Page like competition in News Feed increases even further.
Reason 2. Change in Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm
Brands observed even a deeper dip in Facebook’s Organic Reach in the year 2018.
In January 2018, Facebook announced that they would shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation. It means you will see more posts from people you care about than brands.
As a result, marketing content is taking a back seat to content by family and friends – a value that Facebook says it originally had and trying to return to.
The good news is you can still do many things to resist these changes and enjoy the free reach.
Before getting into the highly actionable tips of boosting organic reach on Facebook – let’s explore how Facebook’s news feed algorithm works.
The Facebook algorithm decides which posts people see every time they check their Facebook feed and how these posts will show up.
Facebook’s algorithm isn’t static; its engineers are constantly changing it.
The algorithm uses thousands of data points to make its predictions, a.k.a. ranking signals such as like, react, comment, or share but not limited to this. Since 2006, ranking signals have been added, removed, and importance adjusted, depending on what Facebook thinks users want to see.
Here are some of the important changes.
When Facebook started in 2004, its algorithm was pretty basic.
In 2006, Facebook Newsfeed was introduced.
“Fan Pages” with the Like button were launched in 2007
When 2012 rolled around, Pages managers learned that only a fraction of their Facebook fans (16% on average) saw their Facebook Page posts in their News Feeds.
By 2014 that reach got significantly smaller.
Facebook started downranking the Pages that posted a high volume of overly commercial content. And also gave users the “See First” feature to indicate a Page’s posts to be prioritized in their feed.
Facebook adjusted its News Feed algorithm further to prioritize content from friends and family over business pages. Also, Facebook prioritized the content with a higher amount of time spent.
In the blog post announcing the algorithm change, Facebook Engineering Director Lars Backstrom warned the Pages could anticipate a dip in organic reach – which could leave reach lower than that earlier 2% estimate, in some cases.
Facebook made some of the major changes in the News Feed.
It started giving more advantages to the posts with Reactions (i.e., hearts or the sad face) over classic Likes.
Facebook also added completion rate as a ranking signal. As a result, videos that keep people watching to the end are shown to more people.
Facebook faced its toughest test – a data-privacy crisis that has angered users.
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook algorithm would prioritize “posts that encourage conversations and meaningful interactions.”
Posts from family and friends were given more weightage over posts from brands.
On April 1st, 2019, Facebook announced that users will now be able to see why a certain post is appearing on their News Feed and if their profile lines up with what a specific advertiser is targeting.
Facebook will do this through a “Why am I seeing this?” button at the top right of every post.
Posts from “close friends” (i.e., those who engage with the most, whether by tagging each other or messaging in Messenger) were prioritised in the News Feed.
“High quality and original video” that keep users watching longer than 1-minute prioritized.
Facebook announced that it was helping users understand the algorithm and take control of their data to give the algorithm better feedback.
Facebook made efforts to keep the platform transparent and to protect user privacy as much as possible. However, people have been increasingly concerned about their privacy, and for many, “more relevant ads” does not seem like a worthwhile trade-off.
Facebook also announced that its algorithm will now also evaluate the credibility and quality of news articles to curb misinformation and promote genuine news.
So, where do we go from here?
How the Facebook algorithm works in 2023
Facebook has introduced 4 algorithm News Feed ranking factors
The News Feed ranking factors are divided into four groups: inventory, signals, predictions, and relevancy score.
Inventory is the total number of posts available to show. For example, posts from friends and family, groups you join, and pages you like all together make an example for the total number of posts.
Signals are the only part of the algorithm you can control as a marketer. They’re divided into two categories: passive and active.
Passive signals are non-active metrics like view time, story type, and time posted.
Active signals are actions to promote engagement, including likes, reactions, shares, and comments.
The recent Facebook algorithm changes focus more on meaningful interactions. Therefore, the algorithm attributes more weight to active signals because they drive meaningful interactions, for example: like, react, comment, or share.
Here are the major ranking signals to consider:
Is the post from a person, business, news source or public figure that the user often engages with? (i.e., messages, tags, engages with, follows, etc.)
Interactions between people and pages carry less weight.
How are people who have already seen the post reacting to it? Are they sharing it, commenting on it, ignoring it, liking it or reacting to it?
What types of posts (i.e., video, link, image) do users interact with most? How informative is the post? And how much time users spend on the post?
Newer posts get shown first. When was it posted, and what time is it now?
With the Predictions, Facebook assesses your profile and behaviours to decide what to show you in your Facebook News Feed. Predictions aim to understand your likes and dislikes so that they only show you content you’re likely to engage with.
4. Relevancy score
Facebook gives every post a relevancy score. Relevancy score means how much the content is relevant to a specific user. Needless to say, every user will get a different score for a particular post. Facebook will likely display the posts with the higher scores for a specific user on the feed.
Most of these signals require Facebook to track its users’ behaviour. And that again bumps up the debate of privacy vs personalization.
However, Facebook is making efforts to be transparent with the users about their information. For example, the Access Your Information tool is supposed to help users figure out why they keep seeing specific ads.
Apple’s impact on ads
Apple’s iOS 14 update allows users to opt-in or opt-out from data sharing.
If users elect to opt out of Facebook’s tracking, then Facebook won’t be able to track users behaviour; the change will diminish the effectiveness of the tracking pixel. In addition, this will result in inaccurate reporting for conversions down to ineffective remarketing efforts.
Ineffective remarketing efforts will weaken targeting options. And less targeting options means more wasted spending and less personalization of ad copy.
According to Statista.com, 79.9% of users on Facebook only use the application on their phone compared to 1.7% only using it on computers. Out of that 79.9%, a large portion of users will be using an iOS device with the iOS 14 update.
It’ll be interesting to see where the privacy vs personalization debate goes.
In the meantime, we have a bigger issue of organic reach to tackle.
Let’s see how brands can still take advantage of Facebook organic reach by tweaking their marketing strategies.
Before proceeding further, make sure to check your page organic reach in simple 2 steps.
How to Check Your Facebook Page Organic Reach
Step 1. Head over to the “Insights” tab in the Professional Dashboard area
Click on the “Your Page” tab on the left-hand side of the desktop.
Important options that need your attention here are under ‘Discovery‘:
New Page likes
New Page followers
Step 2. Head over to the next section that is ‘Posts’
Here, you’ll see all of your posts from the last 90 days.
Pay attention to ‘Post reach’ and ‘Engagement’ for every post.
Now, I want you to click on individual posts to get more insights:
Additionally, if you want to look for the posts older than 90 days:
You should head over to:
Professional Dashboard > Platform tools > Meta Business Suite > Posts and stories
As a bonus, you can view all of the insights for all of your posts (reach, engagements, likes and responses, comments, and shares except link clicks) on a single screen.
You will still need to check the individual post insights in the professional dashboard for “Link Clicks.”
Pay close attention to these metrics in the reports:
Number of people who gave negative feedback
Now you have analyzed your page organic reach; finally, the time is to learn tips to improve it.
Here comes the 15 tips that can help you get good traction for your Facebook business page-
15 Tips to Improve Facebook Organic Reach
1. Be more specific about what you publish
As we have understood – how meaningful interaction is important. That means we need to change the way we post.
Always think of specific users your post is about. And only publish selective posts (you think users will likely find them more interesting and relevant) for the targeted users.
This is how you can target each of your posts published on your business page to a specific audience regardless of whether or not it’s sponsored.
2. Control the posting frequency
It’s a million-dollar question how often to post on your Facebook page.
The short answer is, “As often as you can post quality content.”
Maintaining your Facebook page health is important. You have to be active so that it continues to grow and flourish.
Don’t post too much that your posts start creating a nuisance. And don’t post too less that your audience literally forgets about you.
Hubspot analyzed Facebook data from their 13,500+ customers to see if posting more frequently would help businesses reach more people.
They found that pages under 10,000 fans experienced a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day.
That means for each additional post; your organic reach drops drastically.
My suggestion: Stick to 1 post per day or 5 posts per week.
3. Reply to your audience
Don’t just stop after posting on Facebook. An important step after posting is to spend time engaging with your audience.
Reply to their comments and messages because the algorithm prioritizes posts from the Pages that a user interacted with in the past.
Suppose a person has taken out time to talk to your brand. Don’t lose the opportunity. Make them heard, help them find what they’re looking for and make them smile.
4. Get your audience to reply to each other
Post content that encourages conversations amongst your audience.
According to Facebook, if a post has triggered a lot of conversation among a user’s friends, the algorithm applies “action-bumping logic” to push that post to the user again.
The algorithm values content that people want to share and discuss with their friends.
5. Get reactions over like
Reactions carry more weight than likes alone. To trigger reactions from your audience, try to inspire emotion with your content.
If you’re not sure what emotion will find an echo amongst your audience, you can take help from this social media sentiment analysis guide.
6. Post when your audience is online
As we learned above – Recency is a key signal. The newest posts go to the top of the news feed.
Your audience has the best chance of seeing and engaging with your post if it hits the top of their Facebook timeline when they’re online.
According to Coschedule, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1-4 PM.
They even broke it down further according to each weekday:
- 12-1 PM on Saturday and Sunday
- 1-4 PM Thursday and Friday
- 3 PM Wednesday
To get your post in front of the maximum possible people, they have cited 1 PM, 3 PM and 9 AM as the best times.
However, keep in mind that although these times are a fantastic place to start, they may not always be the most productive for your followers.
To get custom recommendations for the best time to post for maximum engagement based on your page followers’ behavior pattern:
Head over to Hootsuite.
Add your Facebook Business Page, then select the Analytics tab > “Best time to publish” option.
And here you will see custom time to post on Facebook based on your own followers:
Disclaimer: Earlier, this information was accessible through Facebook Page Insight. However, Facebook’s new page experience has stopped reporting this data.
7. Bypass the algorithm using Facebook Stories
Strange? Stories aren’t part of the Facebook News Feed algorithm. Hence, algorithm rules don’t really apply to them.
According to Facebook, they’re also effective at driving traffic: 58% of people say they’ve visited a brand’s website for more information after watching a Story.
8. Create Facebook Groups
The benefit of running a Facebook Group business is that, while it does take some care and nutrition, it opens up another channel to connect with your customers, fans and community.
Groups promote community and connections, which is exactly what you need to develop with your audience to drive those all-important meaningful reactions in the news feed.
The Facebook algorithm pushes messages from groups with which users interact the most; therefore, posting valuable conversation starters within your company’s Facebook group is another way to get more eyes on your content.
YouTube Impact Challenge Group does this by doing their live videos within a branded Facebook group to drive post engagement and start conversations amongst group members.
As of 2021, 1.8 billion people use Facebook groups every month.
9. Go live on Facebook
Live video gets 6 times more engagement than regular video; the Facebook algorithm really loves it. Live video is one of the most authentic and intimate ways to connect with your videos.
Facebook shows live videos with many viewers and engagement to users with similar interests and behaviour. This hack makes going live on Facebook a quick way to increase your range organically.
10. Post longer videos
The Facebook algorithm scores videos based on watch time and completion rate, which is why you should prioritize videos people watch till the end.
The longer (longer than 3 minutes) your video helps keep users on Facebook, the more organic reach it will bring. In addition, directly searched videos get an extra boost provided they’re original and posted natively to the platform.
For example, check out my Facebook video on SEO Keyword Research:
11. Get on the favourite list
Every user gets 30 slots for their favourite Facebook pages as another way to let users control what they see on their news feed.
As a brand, you want your page in those 30 slots.
There is a good chance that members of your audience are not familiar with this feature and that their favourite list looks like this:
Let your followers know that they can prioritize your content in their timelines if they want to.
Disclaimer: Asking your users to add you to their favourites list could be a little too close to engagement-baiting. And the Facebook algorithm doesn’t like it. So approach with sensitivity.
12. Broaden your reach with your top defenders
Facebook boosts posts from person to person more than from page to person. So nothing could you do better than asking your employees to post about your brand to get around this.
Your employees have more credibility and authority with the Facebook algorithm than your brand page does. It is because they have greater credibility and authority with their own followers and friends.
Other than asking your employees, you can also share your page posts to your personal Facebook timeline. Remember, the Facebook algorithm pushes posts from person to person.
Hootsuite has a calculator that can tell you the numbers on your employee’s potential reach when sharing your brand’s content to their own circles.
13. Use Hashtags but carefully to drive Facebook organic reach
Buzzsumo analyzed more than 1 billion Facebook posts from over 30 million pages.
And they found posts without hashtags get more interaction than posts with hashtags.
Does that mean we shouldn’t use hashtags on Facebook at all? Not exactly.
There are best ways to use hashtags in your Facebook marketing strategy, and you can see great results.
According to Post Planner, too many hashtags lowers engagement – but can boost interactions if 1-2 hashtags are used.
Posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions
Posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions
Posts with 6 to 10 hashtags averaged 307 interactions
Posts with more than 10 hashtags averaged 188 interactions
So going from 2 to 3 hashtags caused a significant drop in engagement!
Then how to use hashtags on Facebook:
- Hashtags must be written as a single word and no spaces.
- Use hashtags (1 or 2 only) when they make sense and use something relevant that people can filter or find more relevant conversation.
- Use industry-specific hashtags and create your own hashtags unique to your brand and relevant to your audience.
- Use hashtags to make your evergreen content easily findable. Facebook creates a unique URL for each hashtag used. This means you can use them to search for content.
- Use hashtags using trending topics if they’re relevant to your brand.
- Use tools like Hashtagify.me to find other trending hashtags related to your specific tag.
- You can include numbers within a hashtag, but you should not include punctuation and special characters (like $ and %).
In a nutshell, use them with caution. Otherwise, they’ll do more harm than good.
14. Avoid these mistakes
Do not post engagement bait.
Engagement bait is a tactic to create Facebook posts that lure people into interacting through likes, shares, comments, and other actions to artificially boost engagement and get greater reach on News Feed.
People don’t like spammy posts. So Facebook demotes posts that use engagement bait.
React baiting: Asking people to react to the post (includes like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry).
Comment baiting: Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis).
Share baiting: Asking people to share the post with their friends.
Tag baiting: Asking people to tag their friends.
Vote baiting: Asking people to vote using reactions, comments, sharing, or other means of representing a vote.
15. Support organic reach with ad spend
You may be thinking this post was all about how to increase Facebook reach organically. So why I’m talking about Facebook paid reach.
Because paid reach can funnel into your organic reach and extend the life cycle of your posts.
This means it’ll be shown to more people, and users will be able to interact with your content for a longer period.
Here are the steps to implement this strategy effectively:
Step 1. Share your post organically on your page
Organic and paid reach work hand in hand.
This is an effective way to ensure that your ads reach more people at a cheaper cost.
Step 2. Analyze the performance of the posts
Check out how your posts are performing in the “Insights.”
Keep an eye out for important metrics like Reach and Engagement.
Step 3. Boost the best performing posts
After promoting your posts organically, and analyzing the performance data – boost the posts done well with your audience. Of course, you will want to spend money on posts that can bring a better engagement.
Boosting the post will expand your reach even beyond your own audience.
Facebook is a great social media platform.
With a current user base of 2.96 billion and still continuously increasing, it has to be part of your business marketing channel.
More and more content is available for the users, and it can be hard for any algorithm to choose some piece of content to showcase in a limited time.
The biggest challenge over here is rising competition for News Feed space.
Hence, organic reach is hard.
Will it get significantly harder or easier in the future? No one can really tell.
Focus your energy on creating valuable content for your audience that caters to their wants and needs.
And, if you implement the tips discussed in this article can really help boost Facebook organic reach.
So it’s your turn now. What’s your Facebook page’s average organic reach? And what strategies are you using to improve it?
Learn More: How Many People Use Facebook in 2023
Amazing tips. You nailed it @Hemant Sharma. Thanks for sharing.
I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.
Great tips. I wish to grow my business page to 400k or more. I have been reaching for help but no avail. Hope you can help.
Thanks James. I’d be more than glad to help you out. Feel free to drop me a mail with your queries.
Great tips on how to increase facebook page organic reach
It’s definitely getting harder to reach people organically through pages, and clearly there is no magic bullet. But every little bit of information like this helps our understanding. I see a lot of people hashtag “flooding” with every conceivable related hashtag they can think of … more on Instagram than Facebook, but they are certainly related. This is the first post I’ve seen that indicates hashtag flooding may be counter-productive. Thanks for the info.
Glad you like it!
As an update to this, I have seen that the ‘boosted’ metrics no longer show up on the original organic posts.
This is usually key for social proofing, but it seems this no longer is possible to do, is this true?
Hi Nikki. Thanks for the highlight. I think the “Boost Post” option is available separately now. But it definitely doesn’t look the same. I’ll update the post.
Amazing article, very insightful. I’m curious, I’ve also come across a few articles from 2021, one from Hubspot among them, speaking of “Audience Optimization for Posts” settings where you could toggle the page to “prefferred Audience Tracking” to optimize who your posts are shown to…do you know if this is still a thing, because the lay out seems to have changed since those articles were written and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me where the feature has gone.
The result is the only rich can give ads on FB. Poors have no space tl give ads on FB.
Let them post, if no result they will leave automatically
Change this policy, but googal will never do it, they want business, money to run the system. Mind set is purely to make profit
That’s true, mate; Facebook wants its users to run more ads to make more revenue. But the essence of Facebook usage lies in how it connects people to people, not business to people. That leaves us with lots of ways to get traction through organic content.
What an inspiring guide to read on how to grow your Facebook page organically in 2022! Great tips 👍🏻
Amazing to hear that:)
The most helpful article on Increasing organic reach on FB that I have read in months. Thank you for the tangible and actionable tips. I feel like I can apply some of these items today!!
Nice blog. It will be really helpful for me.
Social Media Management Agency
Glad to hear it from you, thanks!
really helpful.. thanks for sharing this..
Glad it helped!