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Cracking the Facebook Algorithm? Did Esurance Really “Win” the Super Bowl? | Social You Should Know

Jim Tobin.
By: Jim Tobin  |   March 2, 2014  |   View Comments

In news that did not receive nearly enough attention, someone claims to have cracked Facebook’s algorithm and, in doing so, found that how much you pay to promote your content matters a lot. Another broken Facebook promise that good content matters most? That and more in this week's Social You Should Know.

Does Paid Budget Predict Organic Facebook Reach?

Daily Organic Reach = -22 + (Total Likes x 5.399%) + (Daily Paid Reach x 0.327%) + (Page Views x 0.416%) + (Weekend [1 if yes, 0 if no] x -194.4) + (Posts Per Day x 81.08). Is that formula the way to predict your organic reach on Facebook? Apparently it works very well for at least one page, which is shocking to me if true, as Daily PAID reach is a factor. Facebook promised not to do cookie based advertising (not anymore). Facebook promised to show the best content based on performance (not anymore). I have not seen any sort of Facebook response confirming or denying if paid has an impact. If you have, please let me know.

Good News on Organic Reach?

There is some potentially good news for brands in regards to reach. Now when Brand A tags Brand B (or celebrity C), Brand A’s content may be shown to people who are fans of Brand B (or Celebrity C, as the case may be), even if they are not fans of the page. Again: potentially good news. Three things to consider: 1) Since this change was this week, nobody has numbers yet on how much this will help; 2) Will your legal team allow you to tag, for example, a celebrity? That celebrity could potentially sue if it’s deemed misappropriation of likeness; 3) Will this lead to so much “tag spam” by marketers that Facebook will need to back away? Lots to watch unfold here.

Did Esurance “Win” The Super Bowl?

The Internet was abuzz in the week after the Super Bowl with fawning praise for Esurance’s Super Bowl campaign, in which they awarded one lucky fan the $1.5m they saved by running their ad after the Super Bowl was over. All one needed to do was use the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag to enter. On the surface, it was stunningly successful: 5.4 million hashtag uses; 2.6 billion impressions – wow! But this article points out that a) Esurance doesn’t need awareness; b) they paid $20 per new follower; c) They lost 15% of these followers immediately; and d) the 2.6 billion impressions number may be flawed and instead may actually have a reach of only 11 million. Interesting analysis and great reminder on focusing on the right goals.

Lastly, there’s one more opportunity for paid social ads if you’re looking for one: Twitter’s Promoted Tweets now show up in Twitter search results. This reviewer is not happy, but maybe it’s right for you.

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