If you’re in charge of your organization’s Facebook page, there are some big changes ahead that you should know about. This change is particularly important if you rely on Facebook as a major outlet for sharing information with members, employees, and other stakeholders. Facebook has decided to dial back the amount of “organic reach” on each of your posts.

Organic reach is essentially any time a Facebook user sees posts from your page in their News Feed that isn’t the result of a paid or “promoted” post. Whether your realize it or not, Facebook already hides most of your page’s posts from most of your Facebook followers. Most pages currently only experience organic reach about six to ten percent of their followers with each post. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, unfortunately it’s going to get a lot lower very soon.

According to Time.com coverage of the change, “Over the past several months, Facebook has been reducing the organic reach of Pages. Even if a person Likes a company or organization on the social network, they’re unlikely to naturally see that Page’s content in their News Feed. In a recent study of more than 100 brand Pages, Ogilvy & Mather found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12 percent of their followers in October to just six percent by February. The tech blog Valleywag reports that Facebook is planning to dial reach down to 1 to 2 percent of followers eventually.”

So what does that mean? Unfortunately for the marketing budgets of some of the smaller groups out there, it means dollars. Facebook is offering paid promoted posts to brand pages looking to increase their reach to their audience. Many are viewing this move as unfair, especially considering the number of organization that have spent years building a huge audience for their Facebook page, often using paid advertising, only to be denied access to their followers unless they pay all over again. 

To determine how much you may need to adjust your marketing budget, SHIFT Communications has developed an online calculator. Simply enter the URL of your organization’s Facebook page, and it will estimate how much it will cost per post to reach more of your online fans.

What are your next steps if you rely on Facebook to communicate with your stakeholders online? Here are a few ideas.

If you’re already buying “Promoted Posts” to ensure that certain Facebook posts reach more of your fans, not much has to change. If you’re currently paying for regular advertising to amass more “likes”, however, you should consider shifting that budget over to promoting your content instead. Basically, paying for likes will be a marketing strategy that doesn’t have much in the way of ROI. Instead, your likes will come more organically, which may actually make them more valuable.

Speaking of value—start focusing on your content. Taking Facebook posts for granted is no longer in the cards. While each post may only reach one or two percent of your followers, if each post has a lot of value, those who do see it will be more inclined to share it. This will involve a little more effort and creativity, but we could all stand to put a bit more of those qualities into our social media communications.

Finally, start thinking about the content you’re sharing through other channels—Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, your blog and even your email communications. With lower reach on Facebook, it may be time to improve the quality of content on these portals. If you can reach twice as many people on Twitter as Facebook, the loss of organic reach will feel like less of a blow to your overall marketing strategy. Additionally, don’t forget about Google+. A recent survey shows that Google+ has the same number of users as Twitter, and now may be the time to evaluate whether using Google+ will add some extra oomph to your online footprint.

How are you planning to overcome Facebook’s new reach rules for pages? Let us know in the comments!