How Facebook’s Organic Reach Policy May Make It Harder to Reach Your Audience

facebook organic reachCommunicators use Facebook to reach an unduplicated audience of people who are genuinely interested in what they share. Facebook "Likes" are one of the more powerful tools that a brand can use to reach its targets, as those Likes indicate a real, opted-in interest. When a brand pushes out a post on the social network, it wants to reach as many of those interested users as possible, preferably without paying for it.

Two years ago, Facebook explained that brand posts organically reach about 16% of a brand's audience. For communications professionals without budgets, this is a great way to reach a decent chunk of people without dipping into their wallets.

But it looks like Facebook's organic reach policy is changing.

According to Valleywag, "a source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy" says that the social network is currently cutting organic page reach down from around 16% to 1-2%.

For communications pros that have spent time and resources building a fan base on Facebook, this is terrible news. Reaching that audience in meaningful numbers would require a budget, potentially taking communications power out of the hands of PR teams and putting it into the hands of marketers.

For Facebook, cutting down organic reach seems to make sense for the bottom line. But through continued use of penny-pinching policies like putting a squeeze on organic reach, the social networking giant runs the risk of alienating the users and brands that power its business.

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene