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This Quick Work-Around Will Fool Facebook’s Algorithm and Expand Organic Reach

Community managers kicked off 2014 with a big problem: driving organic Reach on Facebook. A tweak to the Facebook algorithm in December drastically cut Reach for brand pages; in some cases brand posts only reach 3% of Facebook fans.  These are dark days for Facebook marketers, but there could be a light at the end of this figurative tunnel.

There’s a simple posting strategy that appears to deliver expanded organic Reach and solid Engagement: Add more than one photo to Facebook media posts. Here’s an example of a multiple media post:

Wendys-multiple-media-facebook-post

Ignite Community Managers tested this strategy with two brands and both saw organic Reach more than triple. With this work-around, current organic reach is almost as high as it was back in those golden days of early 2013. As an added benefit, Engagement does not appear to suffer. In the past, text only posts were utilized to increase Reach at the loss of Engagement. Multiple photo posting seems to boost Reach and Engagement.

Brand A normally reaches 300-500 fans per post.  With a multi-photo approach, they organically reached 3,446 fans.

Insights-expanded-reach-facebook

An average media post for Brand B reaches 150 fans.  A post with two photos achieved an organic Reach of 535 fans.

insights-expanded-reach-facebook2

Is this a long-term magic fix? Probably not. Facebook regularly tweaks its algorithm and another twist is surely on the way. But for the time being, multiple media posting can be an easy way to boost organic Reach.

Happy Facebook games & may reach be ever in your favor. Have you tested another work-around for Facebook to expand organic reach?

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21 Comments
  • Robert Nava
    Posted at 18:36h, 13 January

    Good post Christy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Madalyn Sklar
    Posted at 23:30h, 13 January

    Thank you for sharing this Christy. I’m going to test this and see what numbers I get. Such a simple idea! I haven’t posted multiple photos into a post since the algorithm change. You rock!

  • MelissaM
    Posted at 10:05h, 14 January

    Oddly enough I did 2 multi-photo posts last week, after not doing them for several months. The engagement was *significantly* less than a regular post. We average reach of about 300K-600K per post (topping out around 1.2 mil). We saw a reach of 60K on one and 25K on the next. Doesn’t seem to work for us.

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 11:04h, 14 January

    Thanks Robert. I hope this word-around delivers for you.

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 11:05h, 14 January

    I can’t wait to hear how this works for you. Just hope Facebook doesn’t do anymore tweaking to make this go away. Fingers crossed!

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 11:06h, 14 January

    I’m sorry this didn’t work for you, Melissa. It’s definitely a test-and-learn at this point.

  • Mikey Ames
    Posted at 12:25h, 14 January

    Didn’t work for me either as I tried it this morning on a page that has 2.5 million likes. Average reach of a photo is 900k within a few hours. This approach yielded half of that. Suggested it to another page admin of 1.7 million and they had the same result.

  • Thea Neal
    Posted at 13:26h, 14 January

    Dang, 2.5 million likes and you’re still getting 900k reach after the algorithm change?

    My jealousy is oozing out of every pore.

  • Mikey Ames
    Posted at 15:21h, 14 January

    Strangely, we didn’t really feel the effects of the algorithm change until LAST week. We skated thru December with record reach and daily likes. Then our reach dropped off a cliff about 10 days ago. Anyone else have that timing?

  • Chris Everett
    Posted at 16:35h, 16 January

    I wonder how long before they update their algorithm to eradicate this workaround.

  • Chloe Partikas
    Posted at 06:35h, 17 January

    Thank you for sharing ! 🙂

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 16:57h, 17 January

    alasts forever in Facebook-land.

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 16:57h, 17 January

    Mikey- We’ve experimented since this post and we’ve seen a variety of results. It works on most brands, but if you use this technique twice in one week, you’ll see a drop off in the second post’s reach. It’s definitely a test-and-learn and we would love to hear any techniques that are working for others.

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 16:57h, 17 January

    Hope it works for you! We’re actively testing it with a variety of brands.

  • Mikey Ames
    Posted at 17:11h, 17 January

    Did you see any success correlation based on the size of the pages?

  • Sylvie St-Amand
    Posted at 10:04h, 18 January

    I’ve been doing this for a while and it does work for us – we have a small page, maybe that has an impact on the results of this tactic (or not). Hard to say with Facebook. Multiple photos & albums do boost the reach significantly, also generating a major boost in clicks. What I also do is ‘tweak’ the post (changing the album cover, adding a comment, tagging a sponsor, etc) in the following hours. That works really well. A recent post generated 5,5K clics and 1,2K reach for a fan base of 630. Still working on the likes and comments for these type of posts, which could be better. I have found that Organic Reach for non-fans is amazing as well with this method.

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 14:12h, 18 January

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sylvie St-Amand
    Posted at 18:13h, 20 January

    My pleasure. If you do get other feedback, I’d be curious to see other people’s experiences with any of these. 🙂

  • Christy Buckland
    Posted at 10:04h, 21 January

    We’ve tested on pages large and small and seen comparable results.

  • Chris Everett
    Posted at 17:04h, 23 January

    We also tested this out and you’re absolutely correct – it works! A significant increase in views.

  • Kris de Leon
    Posted at 17:32h, 10 March

    This is so true! I wondered why my post that had two images had more reach, even though it got less likes and comments compared to other posts.

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