Since December 2013, there have been debates whether Facebook reach for business pages has declined.
Even Facebook issued this warning back in December:
“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”
Is there evidence organic reach has reduced drastically for all brand pages? That is what we are going to discuss in today’s blog.
To start, let’s ask this question to a Facebook marketing expert – Jon Loomer. Loomer conducted his own research, comparing his business page’s reach now to his business page’s reach three months ago.
Three months ago, Loomer discovered organic page posts took up 28% of his news feed over a 24-hour period. Then, he conducted the same experiment, recently, and found the number risen to 46.5%.
The pages Loomer followed were still getting their page posts seen organically in his news feed. This is contrary to what Facebook said back in Decemeber 2013.
If you would like to see Loomer’s full research – click here.
Now, we have to ask ourselves: Is this the norm?
According to research by Social@Ogilvy, brand reach has fallen on average to only 6%, which means 6 out of 100 fans only see your business’ Facebook posts. This research shows page reach has dropped from 16% in 2012 to a tiny 6% or 2% for big brands (over 500,000 followers) in only two years.
Kelly Cooper of Shopigniter conducted another independent study and posted it on Social Fresh. She compared 425 million post impressions from 15 top brands to see if specific post types had more influence than others.
Photo and video post reach stayed the same (not surprising as Facebook loves these). However, link posts increased in reach by 30% and text-only posts decreased by 65%.
Cooper reasoned Facebook recently updated their link posts to be more visually pleasing in the news feed and have put more emphasis on promoting news. The algorithm would of course show more of these types of posts. Text-only posts have proven to receive low engagement when seen in the news feed, so Facebook has reduced how often they appear.
These three studies clearly conflict with each other. To help settle this, I decided to measure my page’s average reach pre- and post- December 2013. My results surprised me as I saw a 1% increase of organic page reach post-December, despite the warnings from Facebook.
First, we must heed the advice of Facebook and ensure we are creating quality content and posting on a regular basis. There is no disputing that Facebook’s algorithm rewards engaging content.
Next, it is worth experimenting with your page and finding out if your posts lost reach. The conflicting research above shows reach is unique to each audience and page.
Finally, consider playing Facebook’s game and paying for their ads services. Regardless of whether your reach has decreased or not, these ads will get your posts in front of more people and have been proven to increase engagement.
It’s no secret Facebook favors news and posts from peers. Business pages are up against it, but good reach can be achieved whether it’s organic or paid.
Make sure your practice has a solid posting strategy, including a variety of posts and a small ads budget. By doing this, you can increase your Facebook reach.
So, over to you – have you noticed a decrease or increase in your practice page’s reach?