What Happened to Your Facebook Page’s Reach?

If you’ve been keeping an eye on your Facebook page’s reach metrics, you may have noticed some changes in what you’re seeing and who’s seeing you.What Happened to Your Facebook Pages Reach

In February, Facebook announced they had killed a bug which had been affecting the way reach had been reported within insights since last September.  Actual reach was never affected, but the way it was reported within “Insights” was, causing massive confusion.   After the bug was killed, and “Insights” was returned to “normal”, Facebook issued a statement which made several vague promises: your reach may not change, but it may improve, but it depends…

Whatever.

Their statement didn’t make much sense. Here’s what we’ve discovered since the bug was killed, and how it may affect you.

What we discovered

Based on data collected from over 4,000 pages of all sizes, as of May 27th, the average page post reaches about 21.4% of the total fans for the page, according to the Agorapulse Barometer. But this fan reach varies tremendously depending on the size of your page, going from 28% of the fans for pages with less than 1,000 fans to 9% for pages with more than 100k fans.

Between February 25th and April 22nd, organic reach remained pretty steady, but viral reach has increased by 200% on average.  Monthly viral reach stats have gone from the equivalent of 100% of fan bases to almost 400%.

 Facebook monthly viral reach

This doesn’t necessarily mean your viral reach will have tripled since February.  These averages span a broad spectrum of over 4,000 pages of all sizes, and the bug was only affecting certain types of impressions (for example, paid impressions in the newsfeed or impressions of shared content).

Your reach will vary greatly depending on your content strategy, posting frequency and the type of engagement you were getting.

Case studies

Below are the results immediately following the bug fix from three pages with normal posting activity from the sample above:

  1. One very (very!) active political page with good engagement (600,000 fans)
  2. Charity page with very (very!) high engagement (230,000 fans)
  3. e-commerce page with low engagement (1 Million fans)

Example #1.

In three weeks, our active political page experienced an increase in organic reach of about 15%, while viral reach increased by more than 739%.

Charity page Facebook monthly viral reach

Example #2.

Our charity page remained steady in their organic reach, but their viral reach increased by 1,000%.

Ecommerce brand page Facebook monthly viral reach

Example #3.

Our e-commerce brand page also had no increase in organic reach, but their viral reach increased by 135%.

Ecommerce  brand page Facebook monthly viral reach

The Facebook “Bug” is fixed

Based on the data we’ve collected, most pages won’t see an increase in organic reach since the bug was killed. Nearly all pages have experienced an increase in viral reach since February, but the magnitude of the increase will depend highly upon the level of engagement each page was receiving on its posts.

If you spent six months worrying about the crazy fluctuation of your page’s reach, you can lay your concerns to rest. Actual reach was never down.  The way it was being reported in your insights was.  And, if your content strategy is still the same, you should find your reach metrics have gone back to their pre-september level.

If you’d like to see how your reach statistics have been affected by this bug fix, you can check it out on the free Facebook Page Performance Barometer we used to extract this data.

What about you?

Have you noticed an increase in your organic or viral reach since the end of February? Let us know in the comments!

Guest Author: Emeric Ernoult Founder & CEO of Agorapulse which focuses on  Facebook Marketing, including Apps, CRM, moderation and statistics

 

 

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Comments

  • Dewi Jones

    One of the pages I manage is for a male voice choir called Cantorion Colin Jones and in the past 3 days the weekly total reach has nose dived by about 70% and the % change has remained at 0.
    It looks like Facebook has got a very large gremlin in the works.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

      Hi @dewijones:disqus, Facebook insights have been buggy for the last 10 days, most pages have no statisctics since May 19… Wait until they come back to normal to check your reach again.

  • Cheryl Fischer

    I have noticed that the photos I post seem to have a much smaller reach than the text posts. That seems backwards to me. Is this something that others have noticed?
    Thanks,
    Cheryl at http://littlethingsbigdifference.com

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

      Hi @cherylfischer:disqus, photos do reach a lot less people that text only updates, that has been reported many times and is now a proven fact. However, photos get more engagement. Tough choice!

    • http://twitter.com/WaveCloudBooks WaveCloud

      I have the opposite problem – my text updates have lower reach than pictures, and links are the smallest of the three.
      Dodi @ WaveCloud.com

  • Dewi Jones

    It was on 13 of May that all my managed pages flatlined and in the past 4 days the weekly reach has crashed, with the page that I mentioned being the 1 to suffer the worst.
    Have people with promoted posts and suffered because of the bug and I wonder if they’ll get money back if they have?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

    You’re welcome @PetieKelly:disqus! The picture is not mine, this is Jeff’s choice 😉

  • http://twitter.com/NancyCawleyJean Nancy Cawley Jean

    I manage 6 pages and have seen an increase in reach on each of them, despite not doing anything really differently. Same mix of links, photos, videos and text updates, and in my monthly reports I attributed that increase to those “fixes.”

  • Curious

    I manage a page that has 100 likes, a wee ago when I reviewed the insights it showed weekly total reach down -65% but this week it is showing it is up more than 1000 % (one thousand). Some other data also shows i have over 5000 paid reach but i havent spent any money or put any advertisements on facebook…This data seems so off and cant be correct… Or is it? Any input?

  • Stevie

    What annoys me about the hole Facebook reach is that I have spent a lot of money building up targeted audience of followers that want to receive my posts, and now they do not all get to view my posts although they want them, yet Facebook will allow the messages to spread viral to people who have no interest in my page – mega frustrating !!!!

    Rant over – apologies for hijacking :)

  • David Iain Crombie

    i have a page with 500+ fans/likes and viral reach has vanished!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Yes, Facebook is now pay to play! Maybe time to focus on Twitter?

  • http://www.theholistichomeschooler.com/ Michelle Cannon

    Actually, I was seeing wonderful grown all year until Sept. 30. From that day until now all stats have dropped dramatically for my own page as well as the pages of my colleagues. I’ve yet to see anyone posting about this.

  • Macedo Hugo

    My page has 24k likes… I made posts with 9 reach… It’s stupid!!

  • http://threeladdersmarketing.com/ Three Ladders Marketing

    We’re seeing decreases in organic reach, as well. Kind of makes buying Likes through FB less important. It’s all about engagement now. You’ve got to be posting super high quality posts that you’re followers want to share, on your behalf. Otherwise, no one will see your posts.