Facebook Explore Feed – Organic Reach is Dead

Posted on October 23, 2017 under Facebook Post Boosting How-Tos

FB Organic Reach Decline - the Final Nail in the Coffin

Organic Reach of Facebook posts published by Facebook pages has been steadily declining for a couple of years now. This week’s sweeping change – the addition of a separate Explore Feed and segregation of all organically delivered Page Posts into this new feed – seems to be the final nail in the coffin.

This is, of course, understandable from Facebook’s point of view: they are a business, and they want to maximize the profit that their advertising model can bring. Organic reach, which for Facebook Pages is essentially free advertising, was driven down over the years, from 100+ percent of Page Fans, all the way down to and it seems to have culminated in this change.

Boosterberg Facebook Explore Feed
Facebook has rolled out Explore Feed across the board for all users in 5 countries so far, and according to a spokesperson, a large-scale usability test is being conducted. Nevertheless, it's better to be prepared, because similar changes will probably follow worldwide.

What does it mean for Facebook Page Owners

  • When viewing their normal Facebook Feed, users will no longer see any of your Page posts, it does not matter if they are your page fans or not
  • If users switch to the Explore Feed, they may see your Page posts there, similarly to how they saw them before in the main feed – but in addition to seeing the posts of Facebook pages that they liked, they will also see posts from other similar Pages that Facebook algorithm think they might like
  • If you want to show your Page posts inside the regular Facebook Feed, you will have to use paid promotion and boost your posts – these boosted posts (ads) can be seen in the regular feed, same as before.

Facebook Post Performance after this change

Nobody can predict what exactly will happen to the actual post-performance. An educated guess would be that organic reach of your Page Posts will go down to the level of irrelevance, and a big drop in numbers (up to 90%) is already visible on big publishing house Facebook Pages.

It is possible that Facebook will put more effort into motivating users to browse the Explore Feed which would help bolster organic Reach of Page Posts, but for the foreseeable future, promoting posts seems the only feasible way to guarantee that your posts will get to the users you want.

How does it impact my Boosterberg campaigns?

If you are boosting all your posts regularly, whether using Boosterberg or not, nothing really changes for you – your posts will be visible in the normal default Facebook Feed, same as before. If you used to analyze the organic performance of your posts though, you need to prepare for a change: your performance success thresholds will change for sure, and maybe you will find that this approach of analyzing organic data is no longer viable at all, if the organic reach drops below statistically usable numbers.

If this is the case, you can use Boosterberg to create this simple extension of your campaigns that will provide you with reliable data:

  1. Set up a separate “Prospecting” ad set with the exact same ad set settings as your usual ad set, but with a very low budget and daily budget spend, that will generate a level playing field.
  2. Set this ad set to boost every new post, with a stop condition that will deactivate after a short time (depending on your content – if it’s news, it can be just a couple of hours, if it’s content that will be relevant even in a couple of days, it can be 24 hours), option to boost multiple posts at a time set to ON.
  3. If you are using reach as a performance indicator, don’t forget to change the “Reach” boosting condition from “Organic” to “Total”, so that Boosterberg takes also paid reach (gained from our prospecting ad set) into account.
How to cope with the Explore Feed effect, when you can't count on organic results: Create 2 parallel ad sets, one for prospecting, one for the actual performance-optimized campaign.

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