In my neverending quest to find “Ninja” methods to increase Facebook organic reach, I thought of something I haven’t seen many report about.
So here goes…
All I keep finding are rants about organic reach being lower and people going on and on about this rumor.
But is it really a rumor? Or is it fact?
This question was asked on Quora and the only real answers given were related to improperly targeted boosted posts, which may have resulted in lower organic reach afterwards.
The thought process here is when a Facebook ad is poorly targeted, or just crappy, users may hide that ad or the page in general. Which results in what Facebook calls “Negative Feedback.”
Once this happens, posts from that page will be shown less to that user and possibly other followers of that page.
Negative feedback causing a drop in organic reach makes complete sense when that occurs.
But what if you don’t have any negative feedback on an ad? Will organic reach on the following post be higher or lower?
I needed to find out.
Ok.. So I’m not the guy on the lab that usually writes about Paid experiments –that’s why we have Jason How!
That being said I have spent over $9000 on ads and those ads have over 6 million impressions, so I’m not a complete idiot when it comes to Facebook Ads!
I’ve run over 550 campaigns, making lots of mistakes and have lots of successes along the way.
In case you’ve never used the Boost button it’s the blue button below every post on your Facebook business page:
After you click it you get a ton of options — such as your objective, targeting, how much to spend, how long to run.
Based of my experience with Facebook Ads and watching the performance of my Pages, I have my own thoughts on how this test will play out.
Hypothesis: Facebook Posts following a Boosted Post will have higher Organic Reach than post not following a Boosted Post.
My thought process here is that due to an increased level of engagement on the previous post more people will see the next post. They may not interact with it, but should at least see it.
Josh Parkinson, CEO at Post Planner, went into detail about how posts after an engaging post get more reach. While his strategy is not in regards to boosted posts the theory IMHO should still be valid.
He calls it “Chumming the Waters.”
Get engagement on a post so that the next post is ranked higher in the Newsfeed based on Facebook’s algorithm.
Worth testing, don’t you think?
I used my local bounce house business’ Facebook page for this test since the majority of the ad spend in the screenshot above were conducted on this page.
It’s a local business that I own and operate renting out bounce houses, water slides, etc.
The page has around 5,500 Likes and I’ve been actively building it for over 4 years now.
I’m not a user of Power Editor or Facebook Ads Manager (which is now being consolidated into 1 tool). I prefer to keep things simple by doing all of my ads on the page itself — either on desktop or mobile.
It’s simpler that way and I don’t have to get bogged down in Facebook’s ad system. Plus my ad spend is roughly $150-200 per month and I’m not gathering leads or pushing users to squeeze pages. So I don’t need a lot of complicated tasks to set up.
I just want exposure of the post with engagement that hopefully that turns into rentals.
For many small businesses selling a local product or service, this is all that is needed. Those of you into generating leads and gathering email addresses will need to read some of Jason’s posts!!
For me the “Boost Post” button is all I need!
The bounce house business is very seasonal, with the majority of the revenue happening between May through August. Water slides are our most expensive units to rent and the bulk of our business.
Starting in the Spring, I typically will boost 3-4 posts per week for $10-20 just to gain new Likes and show back up in the Newsfeed of my followers. Once September hits, the ad spend typically slows down along with the demand for water slides. (Although in Texas we stay hot enough for water slides until November sometimes!)
For this test I decided I wanted to boost 10 posts for $10 each and then measure the organic reach of the post immediately after it. I intentionally made sure to boost a post then the next post wouldn’t be boosted.
I did this every other day, with each day only getting 1 post — either boosted or not boosted.
But before I could gather that data, I needed to establish a “baseline” of what organic reach was on the page.
To get this baseline, I posted 14 posts over 11 days without boosting at all.
*All of the posts for this test are pictures of the inflatables.
When testing the baseline (and for the boosted/non-boosted test), I used photos similar in fashion to the ones below:
I won’t post all 34 examples from the test as that would be overkill! You get the gist.
Another caveat to add here is I waited about 6 weeks before gathering any of this data (baseline/boosted/non-boosted). Why? I wanted to ensure that every drop of Reach I could get had happened on these posts and the numbers were not skewed one bit.
The average reach of the 10 boosted posts was 1517, about 98% higher than the baseline non-boosted posts. Not bad for just $10 bucks per boost!
After each of these boosted posts, I posted a picture without boosting, waiting 24 hours after the boosted post.
Those 10 non-boosted posts had an average organic reach of 924. This equates to a 20.86% increase in organic reach over the baseline after the previous post was Boosted!
You can grab access to my spreadsheet with the data at the end of this post!
Remember I stated earlier: Hypothesis: Posts following a boosted post will have higher organic reach.
This was 100% true based on the data from this test: Posts after a boosted post had a 20.86% higher organic reach than the average organic reach of the page.
Results like this are why I’ve always tried to alternate my boosted posts instead of boosting back-to-back. If the next post after a boost is going to have great reach than normal don’t spend the money on the boost for that post.
Sure it won’t be as high as the boosted post, but any chance I can get to get FREE Reach I’m going after it!
Keep in mind as always that your results could be different — especially if you poorly target your boosted posts.
For this test I boosted my posts to a targeted group:
As you can see this was targeted at people who Like my page and their friends of any age and that lived in a certain area (all within about a 30 mile radius).
That’s important to note as my customer base for this business is hyper local. Your target might be broader.
*I also only posted photos for the Boosts as well as the Non-Boosted posts. This is the main type of post on my page that have engagement.
If you were to test by posting links or videos, or a mixture of, your results may vary.
*One question that often comes up when I conduct these tests is “What if a post had more engagement than others, thus throwing off the Reach?”
For the 10 posts that were not boosted after the Boosted Posts there was one that got 10 Likes, while the average was 2.8. The Reach on it was also about 400 higher than the average.
If we remove that post the average Reach is 876 for the remaining 9 posts, with Likes averaging 2.8. The baseline posts you recall had an average Reach of 764 and averaged 1.79 Likes.
So even by removing that highest performing posts, the posts after the Boost still were quite higher on average than the baseline. Thus also proving my hypothesis.
Bottom line: by inserting a Non-Boosted post after a Boosted post you will have the potential of having higher (and free) Organic Reach!
I’d love to see you test this and share your results in the comments!