Recalibrating for “Organic” engagements

News publishers can expect web traffic from Facebook to drop by about 35%, according to Kaleida estimates. The important number to track when things do eventually stabilise is going to be “Organic” engagements.

After news got demoted on Facebook publishers began wondering what Organic activity looks like for them. Facebook will no longer push the stories that publishers are promoting, but what about the stories people choose to share on their own without being prompted? #

First, let’s clarify what we mean by “Organic” and how we derive those figures. #

Source: Kaleida
The article was averaging 2 engagements per minute prior to the brand page promotion and 35 engagements per minute just moments after it was promoted. #

This chart suggests most publishers can expect to lose about 35% of their engagements on average after the change is complete — more for those publishers who are reliant on Promoted engagements, less for those whose readers are actively engaging with their stories unprompted. #

Managing the transition to Organic

Prior to the announcement Facebook was training publishers to take control of their presence on the platform, to post more content more often. But now that message has changed and news publishers are all rethinking their strategies for dealing with the company. #

The “Organic” number will be key. The contrast between Organic and Promoted activity will help news orgs understand when their journalism is resonating on its own and how they can influence the market, if at all. #

It would be reasonable to expect that this number will be a more reliable long term metric than total engagements. Facebook could continue demoting users’ posts with news article links in them, too, but at some point they will be affecting active users adversely in addition to publishers. #