Facebook reach is the term used to describe how many people your Facebook posts reaches ie how many people see the posts you put on Facebook. If you reach a lot of people that's generally a good thing but the question is can you get good reach without paying Facebook to advertise?
Social media continues to grow with now over 13 million Australian's using Facebook and 10 million active each day. I am one of those daily users, and can attest to seeing many business posts showing up in my feed on Facebook. Not all businesses, mind you, just the ones that I actually have an interest in. You can tell if a Facebook post was paid to appear for you because it has a little "Sponsored" tag on it and I see these as well, but just as many free/organic posts from businesses I have an interest in. So with 13 million users there's a big audience, and it's clear that it's working for some businesses without doing advertising, but how?
The key with any social media is to engage with your users to build a relationship with them. If you give them good stuff that interests them, they'll click like or comment and thus show their engagement and Facebook will show them more of your posts when you post them. If your Facebook followers aren't engaging with your content either you need to post better content or you need to get new followers #notkidding.
POST BETTER CONTENT! The quality of the content you post if the first thing to look at. Are your customers and potential customers interested in what you post? Is that what they want to see in their Facebook feed? Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you see in your Facebook newsfeed. What do you respond to? What do you ignore? What would help your customers? Don't try to sell to them in every post, try to solve their problems with hints and tips, or useful information. Try things and see what works, use the Insights in Facebook to check how successful each post is compared to others.
GET NEW FOLLOWERS! If you started your Facebook page getting all of your friends and family to follow you to bump up the numbers, but then find that no-one is engaging with your posts, did you consider that these people aren't your customers and just aren't interested? They liked your page to be nice to you, but they aren't going to buy from you so they don't pay much attention to your posts. So there's a few things you can do here to deal with this. One is to run some posts aimed at getting people to share your posts with others that ARE interested, so you can start to get some people following you that do have a real interest. So your friends and family might then share your posts and their friends that do need what you offer could see your post and click through and like your page.
This is the part where you might look at Facebook Advertising, as a way to boost you past the handful of family and friends and get you infront of more people that have a real interest in your product or service. If you use Facebook Advertising such as sponsored posts, or targetted ads, you can attract more followers to your page that actually have an interest in what you are doing. Then you can stop the Facebook Advertising, and focus on your content to really work these interested followers to get them engaging with your content and sharing it with other interested people.
So Facebook reach is not dead, and you don't need to pay Facebook to get your posts read but it can be a handy tool get your business page over a marketing hurdle now and then.
Also of interest is that people do take notice of things on Facebook and use this information to inform buying decisions and connect with the businesses they follow. The following is a quote from an article in Business Insider from earlier this year (read the full article here).
The latest Australian stats showed on average, of those that have discovered new information on Facebook, 60% would go on to learn more and about 35% of people who have discovered a business or product on Facebook would share that with their friends.
If you've seen articles that talk about Facebook Reach being dead, there's a good explanation in the following article on why which expands on the point that you just need to provide good content: http://www.jonloomer.com/2015/02/03/facebook-organic-page-reach-is-not-dead/