Why Organic Facebook Isn't Dead (And What Works) (Dorien Morin-van Dam)

Dorien Morin-van Dam


“You’ve got to pay to play.”

If I hear that phrase one more time, I might gag.

Seriously. I am an organic specialist. Organic social media posts get traction on all platforms, including on Facebook.

However, if your “organic strategy” is just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what will stick, I recommend you stop doing that. Instead, review your business’s vision and mission statements, set social media goals, and create a plan. Then take action and implement that plan with tactics and tools.

Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who say "Facebook is dead.” Instead, put in time, effort, some elbow grease, lots of creative content and start engaging! You can do this.

Here are 5 ways organic Facebook is alive—and kicking, may I add!

Where and how to get traction on Facebook

As stated above, starting with a plan and attainable goals is important. Next is knowing where to get traction on Facebook. Traction means moving the dial, i.e. seeing growth. Growth in your community, audience numbers, reach, engagement, clicks etc.

Want to move the dial? Start here!

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups—soon to be called “communities”—have been a growing area of interest to Meta. You know Facebook is serious about a new feature when they put a Super Bowl ad behind that feature!

How can you get seen on Facebook? One of the best ways to communicate on Facebook is within communities.

Facebook groups are easy to find (just search!) and easy to join and navigate. There is a group for everyone about just about everything!

Facebook groups are also great for businesses.

Groups are a place to:

  • Nurture and retain customers
  • Convert new customers
  • Delight customers
  • Grow an audience
  • Offer special perks
  • Converse with your customers about future products or services
  • Receive feedback on a new product or service
  • Find product testers
  • Select brand ambassadors
  • Network
  • Listen and learn from your customers
  • Teach, train, coach—you name it!

I highly recommend you begin your foray into communities by joining several existing groups in your niche first, before starting your own. Once you are ready, create a strategy for your group before launching it!

Social Media Pulse is a perfect example of a successful, thriving and growing community!

2. Personal profiles

Let me be clear: Facebook profiles are for personal relationships.

But…networking does happen between humans, right?

Using your profile in groups, answer FAQs and become that expert people go to for advice. Build your reputation as a giver, an expert, and an awesome human being who happens to own a business!

While you can’t promote yourself using only your profile, there is no rule in Facebook’s Terms of Service against sharing Facebook page posts to a profile. Use that technique to share your best content and get more eyeballs on it!

3. Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a great way to get in front of a group of people. If you are a podcaster or live streamer, you can use your Facebook page and profile as two of the syndicated locations for your show.

Going live not just on your Facebook page or personal profile for weekly shows, but also in your group, will allow you to reach even more people. Using Facebook Live in your group to a limited audience can be a webinar or teaching opportunity, or a way to network with your growing community.

Consistency is key here. You build up an audience for a show by picking a time and day and sticking to it! Train people to look for and engage with you while going live! Offer value and fun!

4. Stories

Want to get traction on Facebook? Create and share stories.

For your convenience, Instagram offers to automatically share your Instagram stories to Facebook. As an alternative, you can create Facebook-specific stories right within the Facebook platform.

While these stories disappear after 24 hours, they serve a purpose: you and your Facebook page get noticed in the feed. People are likely to interact with your page story if you are showing behind-the-scenes footage not shown on your page.

Stories can also lead to one-on-one conversations in Messenger.

5. Messenger

Are you seeing the trend here?

Using all Facebook’s features together is really the key to using organic to your advantage.

Facebook Messenger is another place where organic shines.

If you are already using Messenger for one-on-one conversations, that is a great start. When your stories go live, the conversation and reactions are routed to Messenger where you can continue the conversation.

Use Messenger for group notifications as well. I am in chats with podcasters, clients, friends, colleagues, conference friends, blog collaborators and more!

If you need a quick response, Messenger is a great way to reach out for both personal as well as business use!

Organic Facebook is alive!

I won’t be abandoning Facebook for a long, long time. I love using Facebook to stay in touch with friends and colleagues from all over the world—but more importantly, I can use Facebook to help grow my business, too!

I encourage you to look beyond broadcasting to your page, and start using all of the above mentioned features together to give your business an organic boost!


Organic social media isn’t dead

Curious about organic reach on other platforms?

I’ve got you covered.

Check out these other articles in this series!

Organic Instagram isn’t Dead
Organic LinkedIn isn’t Dead
Organic Pinterest Isn’t Dead


Dorien Morin-van Dam @dorien
Organic Social Media Specialist | International Keynote Speaker | Certified Agile Marketer | Community Manager | Content Marketer #StrategyTalks :studio_microphone:

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Could NOT agree MORE! Organic Reach, Engagement & Growth are alive & well on Facebook.

Across the board on the brands we manage on Facebook, we see a 22% Organic Reach & 28% Engagement Rate. These brands range from locally owned/focused businesses all the way up to International franchises. This encompasses 42 individual Facebook Pages.

One of the major complaints I see/hear from many in this space is, “the algorithm hates me and my content”. When that’s just not the case. Blaming something you perhaps don’t understand is just an easy scapegoat response for poor planning & understanding.

The algorithm (in simple terms) is nothing more than a mathematical equation that feeds off data points. The more your content feeds it data points, eg. Shares, Comments, etc., the more it shows it to more people.

Without knowing this, it’s too easy for people to just blame the platform or the algorithm without really understanding how either work to their advantage.

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Ooh, Eddie brought receipts! Love it! :heart:
Also, organic remains the best possible research of what will work well as an ad. If you’re not taking your organic strategy seriously, you’re just throwing money at the wall to see what sticks.

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Hahaha! I mean if you can’t back up your side of the debate, why bother right?

And you are 100% right about Organic being a great measuring stick of what can work with Paid Ads. Why would you blindly throw money at an Ad if you didn’t know that content would resonate with your audience already?

The answer is–You shouldn’t.

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Nice post @dorien - and very nice to see you in here - my experience is that if a business already had momentum on FB either through their Page or Group - then they are continuing to have good organic results. And those that don’t have a consistent history of posting and providing good useful content are having trouble reaching people. That said, I also see a drop in reach across the board even on Pages and in Groups that have had really good organic reach in the past, too. So, what I see is mixed. And to @EddieGarrison 's point - This might be due to a mismatch in what the audience needed then and what it needs now.

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That could be a part of the issue in drop you/they are seeing @phylliskhare And that’s why reporting & data are so crucial in understanding what the audience is wanting [then] and wanting [now]

Content & audience need/want can go stale from time-to-time. What once had great Reach/Engagement even just two months ago can fall flat now. I live in our brand’s analytics to see the trends in past content to help us create future content.

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lol - I LOVE this phrase @EddieGarrison == “I live in our brand’s analytics” - great visual.

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lol @phylliskhare It’s true though! When people say “listen to your audience”, this is where it’s done.

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@EddieGarrison @phylliskhare - thanks for reading and commenting here! I love all the additional thoughts and ideas on organic social media as it pertains to Facebook (stay tuned for other platforms, too!). As an organic strategist, I partner with FB ad agencies: I’ve found this to be the most powerful way for my organic content to do well and their ads to perform best. win=win

The purpose of this article is to encourage smm to try, test and to combine features to get the best results. We know that one-size-fits-all does not apply to social media! :wink:

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Totally agree as well! I work with many nonprofits in a specific area (Western Iowa/Eastern Nebraska with some South Dakota and Missouri thrown in for good measure), and many of our communities & target audiences are still on Facebook.

They may use it in different ways than they used to, but they are still there. Whether its in groups, or on local pages, or looking for events available to them, we still get organic engagement on Facebook that outpaces other channels by at least 35% across the different nonprofits that I work with.

(The thing I hate the most is the assumption that social media marketers outside our area - mostly the ones on Twitter telling me “Facebook is dead” - is that I’m “only talking to boomers.” My most successful organic campaign in the last year spoke to parents of children age 0-5, and the last time I checked, those parents aren’t boomers. ;/)

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@corrie that’s is a great testimonial to Facebook, for sure! I used to live in South Carolina and worked with hyper local small businesses. They are still seeing success on Facebook. The non-profit I currently support also sees success using Facebook. Thanks for your insights! Much appreciated. This post might need a follow up!

Long live Facebook! :wink:

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I’m actually just glad I’m not the only one because I feel like all I do is pull out my “Well, actually…” card. :slight_smile:

(I wish we didn’t have to be on FB, because I’m not personally active on it, but I spend a lot of time on it for work!)

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@corrie Same here! As a community manager I am on Facebook often, but for personal use, I like messenger! :wink:

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Check out this beauty from McDonalds.

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How’s that for organic reach!

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I saw this earlier as well and loved it!

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BRB, going and begging for cherry pie and Salad Shakers…

ronald mcdonald images GIF

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Yes to all of this, @dorien! I especially love “stop throwing spaghetti at the wall” and create a plan.

Success (whatever that means to each individual) does include time, effort, and a smear here and there of elbow grease. Get clear on your goals, develop a strategy, move into action, stay consistent, and bring value.

Thanks for the tips for moving the dial!

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You have cherry pie? We only get Apple! :apple:

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Waving! Hi Lisa. This is so true. I mentor a lot of small business owners and invariably they have no strategy or basic plan… just throwing at the wall. I am big on organic especially for local businesses, many just dont have the budgets needed for ads to work well!

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