Facebook Reach Dropped Dramatically in Last Two Weeks?

Have you noticed a big drop in Facebook organic reach? You’re not alone.

EdgeRank Checker

Source: EdgeRankChecker.com

Facebook quietly announced on Sep 20th that it had changed its EdgeRank algorithm on Sep 18th. Since then, most of us have seen somewhere between a 6% and 45% drop in Facebook reach. Facebook advises that the changes were made to reward content-rich brands, e.g. more engaging content would benefit from more News Feed exposure. Even Facebook, though, admits that our “organic” reach may have been affected. They write:

  • Posts that are more likely to be engaging tend to appear higher in feed. Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.
  • Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans.

To Facebook’s last bullet point, we found that “Promote” has actually performed better the last few weeks. Whether or not Facebook changed the algorithm to encourage more “pay-to-play” using promotion, sponsored stories, or Facebook ads is probably a naive question. Their stock price is in the tank and they will have to make major “monetization” adjustments, like this, over the course of the next year to meet investor expectations.

Facebook expects to see overall organic impressions and reach drop/decrease as a result of this change. Fewer people will see it, but more people who are most likely to engage with the best content. Shares, comments and likes matter more than ever (and in that order).

Here’s our best tips for how to remain relevant on Facebook–many of which are the same “quality content” tips that worked before the algorithm change:

  • Test what your fans will like and share (especially share!) and deliver that content often. Test photos, questions, and links in addition to “interests” to understand your audience preference. Rank “shares” and new page “Likes” higher than Likes and Comments, but all four are great indicators that you’re delivering relevant content … or not.
  • Posting too frequently will suppress your reach, so test frequency from twice a day to one every-other-day to identify the best timing for the most reach.
  • Find ways to reach out on Facebook to other individuals, pages and groups. For example, conduct chaperoned posts with like-minded organizations–especially when you have timely or exclusive content to share.
  • Create better content, supplement it with paid media, e.g. Promotion, Sponsored Stories, Facebook Ads.
  • When you use the Promote Button, be sure to select “People who like your page and their friends” and make a pointed “share” or “like” ask in your post to get the most from your investment.
  • Download Facebook’s Page Insight Guide for reference.
  • Continue to monitor your Insight Report for data beyond Reach. If your reach is down, but your quality engagement metrics are up and virality are up, then don’t worry about a drop in reach because this means you’re reaching the “right” audience.

These changes mean that now, more than ever, all our Facebook strategies need to have a clear ROI, monetary or not, that contributes to our organizational strategic goals. Otherwise, it’s wasted energy because so few people will see your posts.