Facebook Organic Reach Case Study: How to Reach over 1 Million People Without Ad Spend

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Facebook organic reach is like the great supervillain of every blogger’s journey.

Okay, I’m perhaps veering on the dramatic side, but I’m sure we can all relate to the following scenario:

  • 1) you produce a shiny piece of golden content, certain it’ll explode in popularity and catapult you to blogging stardom
  • 2) you publish it on Facebook, confident in your piece of art and then – the inevitable…
  • 3) 1% of your audience sees it

Perhaps, your mom throws you a sympathy like.

Regardless, all prior hopes and dreams have become sawdust and tear-drenched Nutella.

But when it comes to Facebook organic reach, not all hope is lost.

In this post about Facebook hacks, I explained a few unconventional strategies I’ve been using to skyrocket Facebook traffic and in it, I threw out some very bold examples, specifically how I got my (relatively small) Facebook page to lock in an organic reach of over 900,000 for a single post, all without paying for it.*

** Full disclosure: I did put a $3 boost on the post at first to “get the ball rolling” but soon discovered that I didn’t need it at all. This paid boost made up less than 0.3% of my total reach, so yes, these results can be achieved for free.

And so, if you’re curious about how to put my tips in action, here is a step by step case study how I achieved that reach (on one post – a video).

Skyrocket your Facebook organic reach! Here's a case study packed with Facebook reach tips that will show you how it's possible to reach one million people without spending money on ads.

Step 1: Create a Facebook-optimized piece of content

Last week, I rambled about the importance of optimizing your content for Facebook, and specifically the fact that using Facebook’s newest features will usually get your content seen by more people.

So things like, Facebook Live (relatively new) are more likely to show up on newsfeeds vs. say, a regular link drop.

Likewise, videos natively uploaded onto Facebook (rather than on YouTube) are favoured by the algorithm, and boast an awesome shareability.

Specifically, square videos (which take up more space on a cellphone screen) with subtitles (since many people watch with sound off) are ridiculously popular.

Eager to test my luck in the square video world, I used Adobe Premiere Pro to stitch together some clips from my Malta trip, alongside catchy captions and some (admittedly) annoying music.

Once again, for the sake of self promo (gimme those clicks guys *wink*), here is the video I ended up creating:

Now besides the square shape and captions, here are a few notes about why I think this worked out so well.

I apologize in advance if any of this sounds snooty or conceited… it’s a bit hard to “decode” a success without being a bit up yourself (sorry – self-deprecating Christina will return shortly).

Factor 1: It’s a good quality video. 

I shot the footage with a DSLR, and while I’m no filmmaker, Malta is a pretty photogenic subject, which gave me lots of quality clips.

I also kept the pace quick and made sure to sync the cuts to music, little touches that deliver a decently slick final product.

Things to avoid are: really shaky video, unappealing visuals, or captions that are too wordy, etc.

Remember, for your content to reach people, it has to deliver on quality first.

Factor 2: It’s short, and easily digestible.

The story is simple and easy to follow: Malta is awesome and you should go.

These square videos tend to be under 90 seconds because they cater to our ridiculously short attention spans.

Remember to just have one over-arching message for your video and throw on an eye-catching thumbnail (I recommend creating a custom one).

Factor 3: It’s very shareable! 

Think about it: people who live there want to show off how lucky they are, people who have BEEN there want to brag that they’ve already visited and last but not least, those travel enthusiasts who are keen to go… well, they tag their friends and share, which brings me to (I think) the most crucial reason why this video succeeded.

Factor 4: It’s very taggable. 

Unlike a video about some other random chick’s holiday, this video is pretty objective and taggable.

What I mean by that is, if you want to visit Malta, are looking for travel inspiration, or even reminiscing on a trip already past, it’s a very easy video to tag your friend in and be like “hey! Watch this.”

That’s a quality that (I feel) stunts the reach of many vloggy travel videos.

Step 2: Share it in some engaged, focused and relevant Facebook groups

I started off with a niche group about vacationing in Malta, which ended up with 49 shares and over 200 likes… not bad to get the party started.

… and then onwards, I shared it into a group for travel enthusiasts, which brought in another 59 shares and 150+ likes.

Then I rinsed and repeated until feeling dead on the inside, posting in some groups that I thought would enjoy the video.

Sure enough, it began to spread.

Step 3: Send it to engaged, focused and relevant Facebook pages, and ask them to share

I reached out to several pages with audiences that I thought would enjoy the video, starting with Malta fan pages and pages for places featured in the video.

Popeye Village for example, one of the attractions I featured, shared it on their fanpage, which got a few hundred likes, and of course piled on more views:

Skyrocket your Facebook organic reach! Here's a case study packed with Facebook reach tips that will show you how it's possible to reach one million people without spending money on ads.

Step 4: (Only if relevant to people on your friends list) Share it on your personal profile

I’m not sure how much this really added to the post’s success in the grand scheme of things, but I did also share the video on my personal profile, which got 20+ likes and 6 comments. Not bad.

And from there, it just snowballed… people tagging friends, people sharing, businesses sharing… SO much that by the time Monday rolled around, my contacts at the Malta Tourism Authority and Malta Air told me they had already seen it over the weekend multiple times on Facebook, and that they had even shared it themselves.

So yes, while this could have been a fluke or one-off, it illustrates one clear thing: to magnify your reach on Facebook, you need to strategically hustle and a) produce optimized content and b) get it to spread.

Hopefully this step by step helps you out! Stay tuned for more Facebook video posts coming soon.

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Skyrocket your Facebook organic reach! Here's a case study packed with Facebook reach tips that will show you how it's possible to reach one million people without spending money on ads.

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