Facebook & Organic Reach
Jacob Reeleder | Content Coordinator
Blue Moth Creative Inc.
March 1st, 2018

Do you remember the first days of Facebook? Back when it was about trying to figure out who was single, checking out what your extended family was up to, or keeping not-at-all-creepy tabs on the comings and goings of your “friends”. Those were the days of innocence, before we realized the power of social media marketing.

In those golden times, Facebook gave all users above 90% organic reach. In simple terms, this means that when you posted there was a 90% chance that someone who had already liked your page or followed you would see the content you published. On a social level, this meant that you had to be really careful about the content of the photos that you posted and watch that your friends didn’t tag you in any embarrassing pictures. For businesses however, this created a huge opportunity for free self-promotion of not only their business branding, but also their products and services to people who had already liked their business pages, and were therefore more likely to share those promotions with their Facebook friends. Another huge gain for businesses was the deeper insight into their sales demographics through organic research into their followers’ needs, wants and desires. It was a huge win for businesses. But alas, it was never meant to stay this way.

Since going public, Facebook has been on a mission to drop organic reach down to 1%. Facebook claims this is due to the large amount of information being generated. This means that if you post something to your page, about 1% of the people who have previously liked your page will be able to see your content on their feed. Of course, you can still get that beautiful 90% reach – you just have to pay to boost your post. As a result of this, publishers and small businesses are pointing an angry finger at Facebook. But should they?

We can all agree that Facebook giving something for free, and then being like, “Whoa! Hold on a minute. Why don’t we make people pay for this? Let’s totally do that instead.” is a super annoying move. But should it have even been free in the first place?

Think about it. Paying to boost your posts is paying to reach an audience that you know, (thanks to data collecting and ridiculously complex algorithms), is interested in your product. Facebook does not just boost to people who have liked your page, but also to people who have liked pages similar to your page. Facebook essentially allows publishers to have cheap access to extremely targeted audiences using the onboard system of Facebook Ads to market directly to them.

Ten years ago, a company would pay thousands to put up a giant billboard, with the hopes that 5% of the people who saw that billboard would take a look at their website or store, all the while praying that 5% of that 5% would buy something. The cost of TV commercials was even higher, with a similar turnover rate. Now, you can pay a few hundred through Facebook and know for certain that 98% of the audience who sees what you’ve published is already interested in your product.

Providing a service for free and then making people pay after they are hooked into the platform is a cold move, for sure. But, the product still works amazingly well and as far as advertising is concerned, it’s a huge bargain. Can you really blame Facebook for charging? As they say, “if you do something well, find a way to get paid for it”.

If you want to read an opposing opinion, click the button below to check out a very informed rant about why Facebook’s move in this direction is a bad decision. Which side of the debate do you fall on?

Jacob Reeleder is a writer, teacher, and social media expert, as well as Content Coordinator at Blue Moth Creative.

Read the Opposing Article at TheChive.com