Facebook Brand Pages See Dramatic Loss In Reach

Facebook Fan Page

I’ve long preached the importance of having a Facebook Fan Page, but recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm have me rethinking that strategy now.

As Jim Tobin explains in a recent column, Facebook’s December algorithm change has been punishing brand pages, regardless of how interested fans are in that page’s content. Ignite analysts reviewed 689 posts across 21 brand pages (all of significant size, across a variety of industries) and found that, in the week since December 1st, organic reach and organic reach percentage have each declined by 44% on average, with some pages seeing declines as high as 88%. Only one page in the analysis had improved reach, which came in at 5.6%.

I manage a number of Facebook Fan Pages for various clients, and we’ve seen similar results. One page has 861 fans, yet most stories are only seen by 15-25 people on average. Prior to this algo change, posts on this page had a reach of 200-300 people.

It’s clear that this change was done to push publishers to Facebook’s paid options (boosting posts, etc), but in fact this had the opposite effect with some of my clients. Their feeling was that if their content wasn’t being seen by the majority of their followers, then why bother promoting through Facebook at all.

One client was actually getting ready to run a large campaign to bring new followers to their page, but after this fallout, they pulled the plug on it completely. And honestly, I can’t really blame them. What’s the point of having a large number of followers on your Fan Page, if only 1-2% of them will ever see your content?

While I don’t advocate completely abandoning Facebook, I do think that brands should spend less time promoting on there, and use it more as a branding platform with occasional posts. They can spend that extra time on other social media networks that have a further reach. Are you using Instagram, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon? If not, maybe now’s the time to start messing around with them.

Have you been affected by Facebook’s News Feed algorithm change?

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