With social media algorithms changing so often, marketers and business owners can have a hard time nailing down the best way to boost their organic reach. Nowadays, paid advertisement is really the only way you can be confident that your content will be seen and shared. However, paying for ads on social media isn’t in the budget for every business, or that budget may be rather small. This means you’ll need to step up your game and have a solid understanding of the algorithms for Facebook and Instagram if you want to improve your organic reach.
Facebook’s algorithm works to serve its viewers—its goal is to show you content that you’re most likely to enjoy or positively interact with. These posts aren’t chronological, and each time you refresh your Feed, you’ll see different content. According to Facebook, the purpose of this algorithm is to “show you stories that are meaningful and informative.” So, the people who see your posts are those who are more likely to interact with it, but that’s not the only key component to boosting organic reach. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
- Create diverse content. If you’re constantly posting the same things, or using the same format, followers will lose interest in your content. Give your followers a pop quiz about something in your industry, and maybe even hold a contest once a month to go along with it. In addition, mix up the visuals. Don’t just rely on stock photos—viewers want to see your personality shine through your posts. Videos are an excellent way to do this.
- Publish accurate content. Facebook negatively ranks posts that spread incorrect information, so only put truthful content out there. Anything that looks spammy or exaggerated will only frustrate people, so don’t try using clickbait as a tactic. If you continue to show followers that type of content, they’ll stop interacting with your posts and your account.
- Engage with followers. Facebook’s algorithm positively ranks posts that people have interacted with, so when someone comments on a post, reply to them. This makes them more likely to interact with your content in the future, which shows the algorithm that your content should be served more often to that person. You can encourage followers to do this by posting a question and asking them to reply in the comments.
Because Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta, there are a handful of crossover features on the platforms. Instagram also shows content to people who interact with your posts often, along with its relevancy. These are some best practices for improving your organic reach on Instagram:
- Timeliness of posting. Although your Feed won’t consist of posts in chronological order, newer posts will still have priority over older posts. After scrolling through Instagram for a while, the Feed will “end,” stopping after the user has seen all the new posts from accounts they often interact with from the past three days. The message appears as “You’re all caught up,” and users have to click “view older posts” to see something that was posted more than three days ago. It’s a best practice to post three times a week, like MWF, so that if someone goes on Instagram on Wednesday, they could see your post for both that day and from Monday.
- Utilizing Reels. While Facebook allows you to post Reels as well, this feature started on Instagram. The algorithm serves viewers content that they’re likely to be entertained by, taking into account all the videos they’ve watched all the way through before. According to Facebook, Reels is the fastest-growing form of content on both Instagram and Facebook. Unlike regular posts and Stories, Reels are shown to more than just your followers, and it’s an excellent tool to reach new people organically.
- Posting to your Stories. You can post your Stories to Facebook as well, but if your target audience is a bit younger, they’ll likely get more views on Instagram. The feature also started on Instagram, and the ability to post Stories on Facebook is a relatively newer feature compared to when Instagram Stories launched. Stories are a great source of engagement as you can include stickers for followers to interact with, and they’re the perfect place for some behind-the-scenes videos or everyday happenings in the business.
The main takeaway for improving organic reach on Facebook and Instagram is to create content that your followers will interact with. If they see something they like, they might share it to their Instagram Story or their Facebook Feed. This gets more eyes on your content and the potential for new followers.
If you have any questions about improving your organic reach and how to get users to interact with your content, get in touch with That’s My Idea Marketing. We’re Your Marketing Department for Hire.