All Collections
Apps & General Features
Analytics App
Facebook: Organic / Viral / Non-Viral Explained
Facebook: Organic / Viral / Non-Viral Explained

Understanding How Content Spreads and Engages on Facebook

Tereza avatar
Written by Tereza
Updated over a week ago

The terms "organic," "viral," and "non-viral" refer to different ways content spreads and engages users on social media platforms like Facebook. Here's a breakdown of the differences between organic and viral/non-viral reach, impressions, and interactions:

Organic vs. Viral/Non-Viral Reach

Organic Reach:

  • Definition: The number of unique users who see your content without any paid promotion.

  • Source: Content visibility is achieved through natural user interactions, such as followers seeing your posts in their news feed.

  • Example: Your business page posts an update, and it is seen by your followers and potentially their friends if they interact with it.

Viral Reach:

  • Definition: The number of unique users who see your content as a result of widespread sharing and engagement.

  • Source: Content visibility is significantly boosted by users sharing it, causing it to be seen by a much larger audience, including people who don't follow your page.

  • Example: A humorous video that gets shared by thousands of users, reaching people far beyond your initial follower base.

Non-Viral Reach:

  • Definition: The number of unique users who see your content within a limited, controlled spread, primarily among your followers.

  • Source: Content visibility is confined to the original audience and their immediate network, without significant sharing beyond that circle.

  • Example: A regular update that gets a few likes and comments from your followers but does not get widely shared.

Organic vs. Viral/Non-Viral Impressions

Organic Impressions:

  • Definition: The total number of times your content is displayed without paid promotion.

  • Source: Naturally generated by users viewing your content multiple times, such as when it appears in their news feed or is clicked on.

  • Example: If your post is seen by the same user multiple times, each view counts as an impression.

Viral Impressions:

  • Definition: The total number of times your content is displayed as a result of viral sharing.

  • Source: Generated by extensive sharing and re-sharing of your content, leading to a high number of views.

  • Example: A viral video that appears multiple times in different users' news feeds due to widespread sharing.

Non-Viral Impressions:

  • Definition: The total number of times your content is displayed within a limited audience.

  • Source: Generated by users within your immediate network seeing your content multiple times.

  • Example: A post seen by your followers multiple times but not widely shared beyond them.

Organic vs. Viral/Non-Viral Interactions

Organic Interactions:

  • Definition: Engagements (likes, comments, shares) that occur naturally without paid promotion.

  • Source: Generated by your existing followers and their interactions with your content.

  • Example: Followers like and comment on your post because they see it in their feed.

Viral Interactions:

  • Definition: Engagements that lead to widespread sharing and exponential growth in visibility.

  • Source: Driven by highly engaging content that prompts users to share it with their network, causing it to spread far beyond the original audience.

  • Example: A compelling video that gets shared and commented on by thousands, rapidly increasing its reach.

Non-Viral Interactions:

  • Definition: Engagements that remain within a limited audience, with no significant spread beyond the original viewers.

  • Source: Generated by users who are primarily your followers and their immediate network.

  • Example: A post receiving a few likes and comments from your direct followers, without further sharing.

Key Differences:

  • Scope:

    • Organic: Natural growth within your current follower base and their networks.

    • Viral: Exponential growth driven by extensive sharing and user engagement.

    • Non-Viral: Limited growth, remaining within your immediate audience.

  • Source of Growth:

    • Organic: Achieved through standard engagement without external promotion.

    • Viral: Achieved through widespread sharing and high engagement levels.

    • Non-Viral: Confined to the original audience with minimal external sharing.

  • Impact on Metrics:

    • Organic Reach/Impressions: Shows how well your content performs naturally within your audience.

    • Viral Reach/Impressions: Indicates the potential of your content to reach a much broader audience through sharing.

    • Non-Viral Reach/Impressions: Reflects stable, controlled visibility without significant external spread.

By understanding these differences, you can better tailor your content strategy to achieve your desired outcomes, whether it's maximizing organic engagement, aiming for viral reach, or maintaining a consistent interaction level within your core audience.

Did this answer your question?