What’s the deal with Facebook’s recent drop in Reach? I’ve been reading about it and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Read on to find out why!
What exactly IS Facebook Reach, and what happened to it? Facebook Reach is a number that reflects how many people saw your Facebook post. Facebook changed something in their algorithm, and Facebook Reach (more specifically, Organic Reach – reach not generated through Facebook Ads) seems to have dropped. Dramatically. Some Facebook Page owners have seen a 40% or more drop in Organic Reach.
Why is Facebook messing with Reach? Facebook is trying to keep their customers interested. To do that, they are constantly tweaking what can be seen on the Facebook News Feed. When you log into your Facebook account, you are dropped into your News Feed, and you see the Top Stories view (you can toggle to the Most Recent view, which provides all stories).
The Top Stories view automatically sorts through your News Feed, finds the stories that you would most likely be interested in, and presents those to you rather than showing you everything.
Here’s what Facebook says they’ve done (from Brian Boland, who leads the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook):
Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.
Over the past year, we’ve made some key changes to improve how News Feed chooses content:
- We’ve gotten better at showing high-quality content
- And we’ve cleaned up News Feed spam
As a result of these changes, News Feed is becoming more engaging, even as the amount of content being shared on Facebook continues to grow.
Because of these changes, some Facebook Pages have experienced a drop in Engagement and Reach, because Facebook is effectively hiding posts from those Facebook Pages.
What does this mean for a library’s Facebook Page?
Should you stop using Facebook? Um, no. According to Pew Internet, 57% of American Adults are on Facebook. And that percentage is still growing. That’s still a majority of your community – your customers – on a social platform that you can use. For Free.
Should you just pay for ads? Advertising is a good thing if you do it well. Advertising on Facebook is cheap, and can have a quick response (i.e., people actually click over to your site from a Facebook ad – go figure). So yes – experiment with Facebook ads to see if it works for you. Just remember that ads aren’t the only way to use Facebook. It’s just one strategy.
Should I worry about the drop in Facebook Reach? No. Instead, focus on creating better content and making it into your Facebook Fan’s “top 300” posts on their News Feed. Because that’s the real problem. The reason some posts don’t make it into the News Feed is simple – Facebook users don’t find that content engaging, and ignore it. Then, Facebook helps them continue to ignore it.
If you don’t improve your content to make it into the top 300 posts, your Fans will ignore you (with Facebook’s help), and your content won’t appear in their News Feed.
Here’s a simple Facebook formula to remember: useful content = more engagement = better Reach.
Read more about the drop in Facebook Reach:
Image by Johanna