Is Facebook Organic Reach Really Dead?

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Facebook organic marketing isn’t dead, but it certainly isn’t as easy as it once was to get eyes on your marketing content.

There are over 2.74 billion Facebook users active on the platform every month. If you want your school to access this market, you will need the right organic Facebook marketing strategy. When done using the right tactics, Facebook organic marketing is still an excellent way to increase awareness of your school.

What Is Facebook Organic Marketing?

In marketing terms, what we are really talking about is Facebook organic reach. Organic reach is the measure of people who see your content on a social platform when you publish it without paying for people to view it.

Over time, Facebook has made it harder for people to see the content you publish on your page. There are two reasons for this: 1.) changes in the Facebook algorithm, and 2.) a dramatic increase in the amount of content being uploaded to Facebook every day. These two factors are working together to make it harder for schools – and all brands, really – to get their content seen by their target market.

Does Facebook Organic Reach Matter?

Some marketers believe that Facebook organic reach is dead. And it is true that organic reach is in decline across all social media platforms, especially Facebook. But it can still play an important role in your overall marketing mix.

At this point you might be wondering: “Can’t I just run Facebook Ads and get the same results?”

The thing to remember here is that Facebook Ads are a great way to reach prospective parents who have never heard of your school before. They are a good way to introduce people to your school, but organic content will help you build trust with them.

Think of your Facebook marketing strategy like a magazine. Facebook Ads are the glossy cover designed to catch people’s eye and entice them to look through the magazine. Organic content are the stories, images, graphics and articles inside the magazine that convince people to actually want to purchase the publication.

Both tactics are important for your overall Facebook strategy success.

Here are 6 actionable strategies to improve your Facebook organic reach to help your school build and maintain a strong Facebook presence.

  1. Publish quality content

The Facebook newsfeed is highly competitive and getting more so each day. Smartphones have made it easy to share and consume content, increasing the demand and supply of quality content. For this reason, it is critical that independent schools share the best quality content possible.

So what does “quality content” mean?

According to Facebook, good content engages, educates or excites your readers. Hopefully, it does all of these!

Most schools have an abundance of images and short videos they can post, which is great! Just do your best to include a variety of content types in your content strategy and remember to include some calls-to-action (like linking to your website) to encourage prospective parents to learn more about your school.

If you want to learn more about creating quality content, take a look at this article 9 Top Content Marketing Trends for Schools in 2021.

  1. Follow Facebook’s Community Standards

Facebook removes content from the platform, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are common sense – they’re bullying, hateful or otherwise hurtful content. Sometimes the reasons don’t seem like they are common sense – at least to the person publishing the content.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Facebook’s Community Standards just to make sure you know what is acceptable and what isn’t. Facebook, as a private entity, has the right to set whatever standards for published content it wants. If it finds objectionable content, it may send you a warning or may remove your account altogether.

  1. Optimize for Facebook’s algorithm

Facebook uses an algorithm to rank posts in the news feed. Understanding the criteria Facebook uses to rank posts can help you show up in more peoples’ feeds.

For a better understanding of how to make the Facebook algorithm work for your school, take a look at this post: Understanding the Facebook Algorithm in 2021 and How to Make It Work for Your School

  1. Share video content

Video content receives more engagement and is shared more often than other types of social media content. Facebook loves videos because users love videos. Luckily, creating video content is easier than ever with video creation tools like Vyond, Animoto, Videoscribe and Adobe Spark.

Read more: How to Make Good Marketing Videos Even If You’re Camera Shy

  1. Cultivate loyal fans

Loyal fans are people who love your school and advocate for it across social media. These people, often parents, will share, comment and interact with your posts. This interaction helps boosts your school within the Facebook algorithm. Once the algorithm recognizes people interact with the content, it is more likely to add it to other people’s feeds.

Facebook Groups are one place you can build momentum for a post. Engagement rates are higher for posts in Groups than on Pages. This type of engagement can help your overall metrics.

Another strategy for cultivating loyal fans is to publish user-generated content. Invite your fans to share organic content they’ve created. User-generated content is more likely to be viewed as authentic by users and builds trust in your school.

  1. Try a variety of content

Don’t just rely on images and short videos (those are great, though!) Experiment with different types of content to see how your audience reacts. Here are a few types of content to try:

  • Facebook Live

Facebook Live receives six times more interactions than Facebook videos. More engagement means more Facebook organic reach. Read more: 10 Reasons Why You Should be Using Facebook Live for Your School Marketing

  • Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories are very popular and have the advantage of directly reaching out to your audience because they are not impacted by the Facebook algorithm. Facebook and Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, so they offer a chance for schools to make fun, experimental content that keeps your school “top-of-mind”.

  • Content curation

Content curation is about publishing related content not created by your school. This helps you network with others and helps your school demonstrate your authority. Independent schools have innovative programs in outdoor education, environmental studies, biblical training, and many more. Try curating content related to specific areas your school specializes in. While the content you curate will not always relate to the specific details of enrolling in your school, it will establish your school’s authority in the areas your brand wants to speak to.

Final Thoughts

Facebook organic reach has been on a downward trend over the past few years, making it easy to be discouraged. However, this can also been seen as a positive development, inspiring schools to create better, more relevant content viewers care about. Ultimately, creating content that engages, inspires and intrigues viewers, will lead to more organic shares. As long as you put in consistent effort, the organic traffic will come.

Have you noticed your Facebook organic reach decreasing? What strategies do you use to improve your reach? Please share in the comments below…

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