Facebook’s Organic and Viral Reach

I was recently asked what exactly the “organic reach” and “viral reach” numbers meant on a business’s Facebook post. I thought it might be helpful to share this as others may be wondering the same thing.

First of all, one of the most important ways to track who is paying attention to your page is the ‘Likes’ page.  The ‘Likes’ page shows you who your fans are by gender and age, where they are located and the languages they speak based on their profile settings. It also gives you the sources of where ‘Likes’ of your page came from (not individual post likes). This can be useful for targeting specific messages to a male or female population or the timing of posts relative to specific time zones.

Now, the answer to the original question, “What do the ‘organic reach‘ and ‘viral reach‘ numbers actually mean?”

Reach shows you how you reached your audience whether it was organic, paid, viral or total. This is useful because it tells you how people are finding out about your content and gives you insight as to whether or not you should consider doing Facebook Ads if organic and viral is not paying off.

  • Organic Reach: This is the number of unique people, fans or non-fans who saw this in their news feed, ticker or on your Page.
  • Paid Reach: A paid reach is who saw your content from an Ad or Sponsored Story you placed.
  • Viral Reach: The number of unique people who saw this post from a story published by a friend. This can include when a friend likes your page, likes a post, comments on your fan page wall (if you allow this type of action), sharing one of your posts and any other actions you allow on your page so their friends may see.  To be clear, viral reach means the story appeared in the News Feed (of John Smith’s friend) saying “John Smith commented on Coca Cola’s photo” rather than “Coca Cola posted a photo”, which would be considered ‘organic’.

Want to grow your viral reach?  Here is a tip: The best thing you can do to increase your viral reach is to give your fans a clear call to action with each post. Fan engagement is so important.  All and any fan interactions can ultimately affect your viral reach.


About Community Pathway

We Are Your Business Connection To Your Social Community
This entry was posted in Facebook, Helpful Information, Small Business, Statistics, Time for Social Media, What are we doing? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Facebook’s Organic and Viral Reach

  1. Dawn Powell says:



    Dawn Powell – Project Coordinator

    41695 Date St Ste B Murrieta CA 92562 dawn@endeavorpg.com B – 951.200.5020 M – 951.733.0172

  2. Kim says:

    Thank you. The information you wrote was easily understandable and clear. Thanks so much

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