Reach of Facebook Brand Pages Suffer 44% Decline

Facebook’s December News Feed algorithm change is so far punishing brand pages, regardless of how interested fans are in that page’s content, according to a new analysis by our social media agency. 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 1, 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%.

As reach declined, the raw number of engaged users plunged as well, falling on average by 35%. Some pages saw engaged users fall as much as 76%. Only one page in the data set had an increase in the number of engaged users, coming in at 0.7%.

For the analysis, we excluded pages that were in the midst of instituting any significant changes to their content strategy that could impact performance.

Reach of Facebook Brand Pages is Often Under 3%

Facebook once said that brand posts reach approximately 16% of their fans.  That number is no longer achievable for many brands, and our analysis shows that roughly 2.5% is now more likely for standard posts on large pages. So, a year ago a brand could expect to reach 16 out of 100 fans and now that brand is lucky if they get 3 out of 100.  Chilling news for brand pages who have invested resources to “build” a large following of fans.

Facebook Brand Pages Reach Data Analysis

A Change in How Facebook Treats Branded Content

Regardless, this is clearly a major change in how Facebook is treating content from brands and it fundamentally changes the promise and opportunities for these brands. If you can’t reach even those who have liked your page and repeatedly engaged with your content, what good is a brand Facebook presence? Should brand activities and budgets go elsewhere, where quality content has a chance of being seen?

To add salt to an open wound, current research from Forrester and Wildfire shows that engaged users are a brand’s best customers.  They are more likely to purchase, recommend and prefer brands when they are socially engaged with that brand.  With fewer engaged users (-35%), brands bottom line are further penalized by the recent changes.

Facebook has indicated that brands should pay to promote their content, but our research shows that organic content leads to better buying actions. Paying to supplement content that reaches 16% of users organically, however, is much more palatable than supplementing content that reaches less than 3%.

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The Decreasing Reach of Facebook Brand Pages…Intentional or Unintentional?

With brands investing over $6 billion with Facebook, it seems unlikely to me that this algorithm change was designed to intentionally punish content produced by brands. It would be unwise to do that, because the appeal of Facebook to brands is the mix of organic and paid exposure.

Facebook is right to adjust the algorithm, as the user experience on the site is suffering. But those changes should be based on the strength of the content, not on blanket rules based on a suspicion that everyone suddenly wants to see more news articles in their feed.

We know the reach of Facebook brand pages is on the minds of many marketers. We have provided our data to Facebook and they are looking into it. Our hope is that other brands seeing this sort of performance problem will share it with their representatives and that this mistake is quickly corrected. Facebook has been changing the newsfeed fairly rapidly in recent months, and I’m optimistic that this is an unintended consequence of these adjustments.

This does, however, come at a difficult time for brands and agencies. Many companies are finalizing strategies, goals and budgets for 2014, and having a dramatic change in Facebook performance at this point in the year complicates those processes.

A Word About Our Data

To ensure we were analyzing each post evenly, we used the API to look at reach and engagement only for the two days after the post went live, while dividing engagement by that day’s fan count to ensure accuracy. While some posts will get more reach after two days, much of the reach is captured in this methodology, as the half-life of a Facebook post has historically been only 30 minutes.

We also excluded any posts that had paid support, as well as cover photo changes and posts that were geo-targeted at the city level.

Contributors: Misi McClelland, Ryan Sweeney, Greg de Lima and Bryce Davis

Read Next: This Quick Work-Around Will Fool Facebook’s Algorithm and Expand Organic Reach


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  • Mr Media Training
    Posted at 00:28h, 11 December


    Terrific post. Our Mr. Media Training Facebook page has been experiencing the same as most of the brands you profiled in your article. We’re down more than 50 percent in organic traffic on Facebook as a result of this algorithm change — on some days, that number can be as dismal as down by 75 percent or more.

    We’ve invested a fair amount of time and energy in building a community on Facebook. I suppose their change — which is well within their rights — is a good reminder to all of us to place our eggs in several baskets. If I was solely reliant upon Facebook for blog traffic and visibility, I’d be in trouble.

    Thanks for the post,
    Brad Phillips

  • Charles Heitz
    Posted at 09:04h, 11 December

    Brad, I couldn’t agree more. I noticed our reach plummet a couple of months ago and moved the majority of our focus to Google+. Not only has our traffic increased but, it has already surpassed the traffic we had on Facebook! Facebook can do what they want, there are other options out there.

  • atxtrish
    Posted at 09:28h, 11 December

    We have been thoughtful and deliberate in growing our community of women over that last two years – Facebook’s biggest demographic – and it is disappointing that while we pay for ads and contribute to Facebook’s bottom line as a small business, we are now being “punished” for not providing the content that Facebook deems acceptable, even though it is what our readers respond to and what they like – again – what their largest demographic – likes. We have dipped into Google+ and created a presence there but it’s becoming clear that with each penalty against us on Facebook, we need to reconsider our options and move on. Our biggest issue with this is bringing our FB fans with us to other platforms. But, if they aren’t getting the content they want to see from us, maybe now they have a reason to move with us somewhere else.

  • Lee Keels
    Posted at 10:13h, 11 December

    Good, let’s get ads and businesses entirely off of Facebook. That was never the purpose.

  • Mr Media Training
    Posted at 11:03h, 11 December

    Charles – Thank you for that feedback. I’ll consider moving some of the community onto Google+, and will continue nourishing our Twitter feed (@MrMediaTraining), where we spend most of our time.

    Lee — As for Facebook’s “purpose,” that’s decided by each user. I want to receive updates from pages I’ve liked in my feed (that’s why I liked them), and don’t want an algorithm to screen them out on my behalf. For example, the grocery store I shop at posts regular Facebook updates with events, recipes, and new products. I want to see those, but thanks to the new algorithm, I often don’t.

    Hopefully Facebook will see this feedback and re-evaluate before brands abandon the network for a different one.

  • Michael S. Copeland
    Posted at 12:15h, 11 December

    I have experienced the same thing on the pages I manage. It looks like Facebook wants you to pay for engagement and reach instead of getting it naturally. Changing the algorithm to make this happen isn’t natural, it’s not organic.
    Being a public company, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the share holders. Problem, when things become about money, you lose sight of the bigger picture and not how your decisions effect your users.

  • Jim Tobin Ignite Social Media
    Posted at 12:29h, 11 December

    Well, maybe. But that $6b we give them to keep the doors open might be missed…

  • Jim Tobin Ignite Social Media
    Posted at 12:29h, 11 December

    Correct. And without users, they don’t have a place to run the paid ads. I can’t see how this is good for Facebook.

  • Jim Tobin Ignite Social Media
    Posted at 12:31h, 11 December

    I believe (for no good reason, but believe it nonetheless) that this was unintentional. I hope they roll it back, as it is a fundamental change in the promise of Facebook to brands. Wipe away virtually all the organic activity, regardless of content quality, and there’s a lot less reason to invest on the platform.

  • Kaitlin Hawkins
    Posted at 12:35h, 11 December

    This post couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve been wondering why some of the pages I manage have been slipping in organic reach.

    I think it’s really unfortunate what Facebook is doing to what I consider its best resources. It almost seems like, unless you have a massive following already, your page simply won’t be able to cut it without the use of ads. And, from what I’ve personally noticed, once you start using ads, you can’t return to NOT using them – you just can’t make up the same engagement without the boost.

  • imageWIS
    Posted at 12:43h, 11 December

    I think that G+ has nowhere to go but up, especially compared to Facebook, so that could be a reason why you are seeing those numbers. Also, as Google integrates G+ into basically everyone of their major products, YouTube, Gmail, etc… its only going to increase G+’s traction, for a while at least.

    It’s pretty transparent that Google integrated G+ into their other products because it wasn’t gaining any traction.

  • Stillblondeafteralltheseyears
    Posted at 13:12h, 11 December

    I love that you put this together. It just sickens me that my brand and work are all for naught. Why WHY WHY don’t they consider a monthly fee? Why not let people hide who they dont’ want to see…I want to see everyone I liked!!

  • Ryan Connors
    Posted at 13:13h, 11 December

    It’s a shame brand pages are paying the price for Facebook working out its business model. Do you think this will negatively impact Facebook’s user engagement?

  • Morgan (The818)
    Posted at 14:27h, 11 December

    So, so incredibly well said.

  • Brian @ Luke1428
    Posted at 16:22h, 11 December

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m a small time player on Facebook but I’ve even noticed this on the page I manage to distribute my blog posts to my followers. I know Facebook wants want me to pay to promote my page/posts, which I’ve done on several occasions. But I can’t do that often with the limited budget I have. Very frustrating…they build themselves on being a way for people to connect and then make that difficult for people to do.

  • Sean Lynch
    Posted at 22:13h, 11 December

    Great post! With these new changes it just shows that it is more important now than ever to leverage advocates to spread word-of-mouth messaging on behalf of brands through social media. I think in 2014 the most successful brands will use tools like PostBeyond to provide content to its people(employees, supporters, etc) to easily share to their personal networks. This will only happen with valuable content. People will not organically share ads, but they will share well thought out and executed content. After all, people don’t follow or re-engage with brands as effectively as they do with people attached to brands.

  • Steve Birkett
    Posted at 22:33h, 11 December

    Very useful (if rather worrying) data, thanks for gathering and presenting it so succinctly. Facebook really needs to be careful here… the 15-20% max organic reach was already causing many to question its value, so an extended drop to what amounts to invisibility will push many over the edge. The enormous user base has shielded them so far, but what good is that to brands if they can’t reliably reach them without paying Facebook for the privilege.

    On a more general note, this is an abrupt reminder to new media marketers everywhere: build your audience or community on web properties that you own, first and foremost. Any others are subject to the whim of algorithm changes and altered business priorities of the platform in question.

  • Alex
    Posted at 07:45h, 12 December

    Now avarage post reach in my group is less then 0,3% auditory!
    There is no reason to make big community at all now. You can promote your website without fanpage.
    Without fanpages FB is just users walls. Soon it will be so.
    Now we pay FB to move my auditory from Facebook to Google+. That’s sad.

  • Oldsmoboi
    Posted at 12:33h, 12 December

    The problem is that Facebook assumes we are all selling some sort of “product” directly to our readers. In my case, that isn’t true. We post news and only make money from online ad sales attached to those news articles. Facebook wants to charge substantially more CPM than I could possibly make on those ads unless I junk up my articles with 80% ads 20% content. I can understand needing to pay to reach additional people… but if we already have a cultivated audience that have liked our page (and possibly paid to attract those likes), why should we pay more just to reach those same people? I’m reaching less than 0.5% of my page subscribers organically and because I’m not trying to sell them something, I cannot pay to “Boost my Post”

  • Allison Braun
    Posted at 17:54h, 12 December

    noticed a disturbing trend lately: I’ll post
    something on the Facebook page I manage, and the reach will be average or above average from normal reach. Then, I’ll get a
    notification from Facebook telling me how great the post is doing and
    how I should advertise with them to boost it even more. I ignore the
    message, and then my next few posts hardly get seen, as if Facebook is
    punishing me. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • OutsourceSEOPhils
    Posted at 00:07h, 13 December

    We’ve noticed the same trend the past months…FB wants us to pay more.

  • Michelle Thai
    Posted at 11:36h, 13 December

    Thanks Jim for this great post. One sector that is particularly struggling is the nonprofit sector. While corporations can afford to pay to promote their posts, most nonprofits cannot. There is currently a petition out to encourage Facebook to launch “Facebook Ad Grants” – an ad grant program similar to that at Google: http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-save-nonprofits-from-being-silenced-with-facebookadgrants. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

    It’s very frustrating as our nonprofit clients have produced amazing content, just as Facebook had encouraged all brands to do, and now the system is broken because brands who can afford to promote their posts can cheat the system.

    Michelle Thai

  • Matthew Page
    Posted at 12:24h, 13 December

    I stopped liking any commercial pages due to the constant deluge. Facebook has trimmed back the amount of hit times, now it is a more manageable amount. The trade off was to lose Facebook members. This system of adjusting the algorithm will allow Facebook to tweak the system so that Facebook maximizes profit. With that no algorithm is “organic” so changing it didn’t take organic out of it. If Facebook did make it totally organic that would mean that users could like a site, then also choose to never see updates, or only one a day, or whatever participation level the user wants.

  • josephjomanmancuso
    Posted at 13:46h, 13 December

    Simple solution for Facebook: instead of punishing users of their pages, set up a simple, accessible tab that lets you switch between your friends’ feed, and the feed for the pages that you like. That way, they don’t have to assault the reach of the pages for the sake of improving the “average user experience.”

  • Ledio Veseli
    Posted at 17:19h, 13 December

    Thank you for posting this. I have noticed the same thing (decrease) with pages I manage for different clients. It looks like we’re not wrong: Facebook announced this two days ago: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/What-Increased-Content-Sharing-Means-for-Businesses

    What Michael S. Copeland said is true. Even FB says so itself. On the link above you’ll read this: Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly. Advertising lets Pages reach the fans they already have and find new customers as well.

  • Bob Strassel Jr.
    Posted at 00:05h, 14 December

    This was not unintentional, this was part of their overall strategy. It’s not just Facebook, you can see it in Twitter as well. They have to make money, and they are beholden to shareholders. This is how they do it. They think that they can make more money from ads then they do from organic engagement and reach from brands. These same brands will pay for advertisements, the “free” ride is over. This is the way to monetize social media and also take advantage of mobile at the same time..It’s actually pretty smart.

  • Sid
    Posted at 03:09h, 14 December

    As an affiliate marketer with a large and engaged following on my pages, I’ll pay for promoted posts but there’s two problems: 1. FB charges way too much to boost a post – I can’t make that back on commissions from the products I sell; FB is charging Fortune 500 prices to small businesses – no way is it worth anywhere near $30 to me to reach 2,000 people on a post; and 2. a promoted post becomes labelled a “promoted post” in my fans’ news feeds which hurts the clickthroughs to the product.

    I totally agree that FB should make money. I want them to because it will help keep me in business if they see me as someone who contributes to their bottom line (I do so already through ads to get page likes). But they need to work out the economics of it first because so many of us are small businesses, not multi-billion dollar companies.

  • Doug Hardy
    Posted at 11:54h, 14 December

    Jim, thanks for doing this analysis. We just documented a 55% loss of FB reach for our own page as well – still falling – and we’re particularly annoyed. We’re in business for the long haul so we’re not going to make any fast decisions, but it looks right now like Facebook is going to play a smaller role going forward.

  • HowieG
    Posted at 09:35h, 15 December

    My view is Facebook could be hurting themselves here from a different viewpoint. Granted people visit Brand pages on average only 1x every 6 days and most brands see fans on average engage with them less than 1x per year. This includes brands with rabid real life customers (whole foods, trader joes, starbucks each come in less than 1x every 2 years to have each fan engage once). To me brand pages aren’t driving sales, they never have,

    But your point about the engaged fans is true. It is how you bond with your brand advocates. Not just on Facebook but Twitter too.

    But my thoughts are since facebook doesn’t break out how many photos Brands post, and how much activity is brand page related, this could torch Facebook’s activity numbers with investors. They already give suspicious numbers. In fact the only data investors look at now is advertising sales. With users posting photos on average only 1x every 4-5 days and watching only 2 videos per month removing Brand content will impact those numbers to make them even worse.

    If I upload 10 photos from a party to Facebook, that means 9 other people aren’t uploading photos for 5 days. And that is something of interest. I post about 12 photos a day for 3 clients. That means after 5 days 59 Facebook users posted zero to keep the same content rates. Removing those 60 photos from the numbers over 5 days means 60 users uploaded zero. Now how do you look at Facebook?

  • rsandds
    Posted at 16:37h, 15 December

    Tell us again how they aren’t doing this for the purpose of forcing us to pay. I’m not a business major and I can see that they are killing their gold mine with stupidity and greed. I am just about to the point of relocating to another site. Facebook has gotten ridiculous with these reach cuts and boost prices. I guess they just got too big for their britches. Other sites are still free. So why pay for something with all this hassle when you can get it free someplace else? I just hate the thought of having to start over, but it is soon coming.

  • Austin Petersen
    Posted at 13:21h, 16 December

    Thanks for the post. Quoted you here: How Facebook Screwed The Libertarian Republic, Non-Profits And Small Publishers Everywhere | The Libertarian Republic http://bit.ly/1heu2rm

  • Nick Aster
    Posted at 14:14h, 16 December

    Meanwhile, Facebook seems to have tripled the garbage that I get from brands I really don’t need to hear from multiple times a day….

  • Alex Mouravskiy
    Posted at 22:27h, 16 December

    We haven’t actually seen any decrease in reach (nothing that doesn’t fit in with seasonal models). What we HAVE seen is an odd pattern of timing and extended half-life that’s modified by posting proximity. The closer two posts are to each other, the longer shelf life they seem to have. We regularly get 50%+ of total post engagement 12+ hours after a post, but it seems to be modulated by the number of posts after the original post. Still working on a model that fits close enough to be worth anything, but I don’t think this can simply be ascribed to “Facebook nerfed brands” – rather, the strategies that used to work don’t anymore, which makes sense. Brand strategy for FB essentially stagnated a year or two ago, so it’s not shocking that the avalanche of little changes have added up to finally make it mostly ineffective.

    There’s still a lot of value in FB, and pages that have changed their posting significantly still see pretty good engagement, well exceeding even the 15-20% cap.

  • Shannon
    Posted at 00:47h, 17 December

    My business has been steadily paying for posts and building our following for over a year and just this past week our reach is down to ZERO for the past three days. AND during such a critical time of year. I will not pay another dime to advertise until I am sure my posts are reaching those that follow us. I hope MZ gets a pound of coal in his stocking for hurting small businesses that have been paying customers of facebook.

  • Justin Avery
    Posted at 04:28h, 17 December

    I noticed this, seeing a 50% drop off from hitting 1000+ to only getting 500-600 views now. I assumed this was due to a lul in my posting for a week, but it appears not.

    It’s likely to fix itself though, if brands aren’t getting their exposure on FB and users aren’t seeing the content then it’s less likely you’ll want to invest time and effort (and advertising budget) to the medium.

    It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

  • Chris Buckley
    Posted at 04:32h, 17 December

    As a business we’ve seen a steady decline in the amount of interaction on our Facebook pages over the last year or so. Our numbers, which had previously grown easily and rapidly have also declined – and we now see very slow and almost stagnant growth.

    Compare this with our Google+ page where we’re seeing a huge amount of interaction on numbers that have already surpassed Facebook – and keep on rising!

    We still see Facebook as having an important role to play in our social promotion, but it’s no longer number one for us.

  • Jamie Giberti
    Posted at 05:58h, 17 December

    Thanks for putting this together. I’m the features editor of a Rock and Metal music news website and we’ve seen dramatic falls in our amount of content exposure and engagement with our news posts from our Facebook page in the last two weeks and I did wonder what the hell was going on!

    Hopefully this is accidental as you suggest and that it is put right. Fantastic article, keep up the great detective work.

  • Warren Redlich
    Posted at 06:48h, 17 December

    We have been advertising to build page likes targeting local users for our hyper local news site. I’m not sure if we qualify as a brand page, and I haven’t noticed if our reach has dropped. It probably has but not from 16 to 3.

    For us, Twitter is so ineffective it’s trivial. And building a following on G+ sounds good but doesn’t look easy. FB is far and away our biggest source of traffic (Google organic search is #2).

    When Google makes it easier for us to build a following on G+ (better WordPress integration, and allowing advertising to build followers and +1s, for example), I’d love to do more on G+.

  • Kika Kranjc
    Posted at 06:59h, 17 December

    Though many believe Facebook “didn’t do it on purpose”, I believe quite the opposite. And a good purpose – get rid of the free-loader-spammers and make everybody else pay for staying alive. There’s nothing coincidental about Facebook and never has been.

  • frans5508
    Posted at 07:42h, 17 December

    Thanks for this article, finally some explanation. I have been extremely frustrated by the significant drop in both engagement and reach on our FB pages and not knowing the reason for it. We assumed that it indeed had to do with a change in their algorithm. A couple of things from my end:

    – we saw a significant drop last October as well. Can anyone else confirm that?
    – we have been able to build up our community with a price per like between $0.03 – $0.15. Since the latest changes, our CPM/CPC’s increased significantly, although targeting, ads and bidding behavior stayed pretty much the same. We obviously lowered our FB budget with a factor 5, and there must be a lot of advertisers who have done the same. Are the extra ad revenues generated by FB through their extended ad possibilities enough to compensate their arrogance in hurting the brands with these changes in algorithm?

    I think it is seriously wrong to charge brands to promote their FB pages, encourage them to build up their communities/likes, and then to (further) limit the reach to their own community and charge them extra for more reach. I want to believe all this is indeed unintentionally but the fact that these changes came more or less in the same time as their option for ad placements on the time line makes me wonder.

    Finally, I do agree with protecting user experience and avoiding spam on time lines and that FB should guide both carefully. Having some limitations for pages/brands in place makes total sense to me but as a FB user myself I am already getting tired of the numerous ads on my timeline which i didnt really ask for. So FB has to find a good balance between greed (and keep shareholders happy), protect user experience and serve brands as they have been promising. Hope they’ll find it and reconsider the changes made.

    As mentioned in the other comments, we have shifted our attention to other social media platforms as well and with success.

  • Monika Kanokova
    Posted at 08:24h, 17 December

    Thank you for this post. It’s been a real pain and now I’ve been just hustling around & trying to find different ways to engage with our community members outside of Somewhere. Right now it feels like every social network has so many disadvantages, like f.e. IG and the fact that you can’t link out of the app.. You know what I’m talking about. What are your tips?

  • iCandi GmbH
    Posted at 10:02h, 17 December

    As an agency we were getting a little confused with the sudden decline in Organic reach and likes, seemed to go against the time of year and the efforts that were being made on behalf of our customers. This article exposes this very clearly, but try explaining that to a customer who see’s their investment into Social Management declining for no reason…

    While Facebook needs to generate revenue, it seems that the very core of it has been targeted for even more. Brands see this as a great channel not only to broadcast their business but also one to service an ever demanding Customer, via Social CRM.

    Lets hope that Facebook don’t start charging on a CPM rate on engagement – ie for each reply to a Customer! Do that and they will kill Facebook for brands and agencies like mine will have to diversify even quicker!

  • Andrew Prokos Photography
    Posted at 10:08h, 17 December

    I have a Facebook page for my photography business and have seen my reach go to practically nil now. I think it’s quite naïve to believe that this was unintentional. Facebook is squeezing its business pages for revenue, just like Google has done in the last year or two with organic search. These are public companies with shareholders now so they won’t give one nickel of exposure away for free!

    Facebook was never a great source of revenue for my business and I have no intention of wasting one cent on promoting posts there, so I have migrated to Google+. Also not a good source of revenue in any way but at least it helps with ranking in search. Google+ just introduced paid placement as well…so perhaps it’s just a matter of time before it becomes as useless as Facebook. I doubt Google will be so greedy as to choke off all traffic as quickly though…they aren’t as hungry for revenue as Facebook is. I see mass abandonment of Facebook business pages in the near future if they don’t ease up…they have far overestimated their importance to most businesses.

  • Melody O.
    Posted at 10:26h, 17 December

    Great post! I’m with everyone else here. I have a Facebook “brand” page which is really a Starbucks fan community, but I set it up as a brand page oh so many years ago when I started it. Like others, now I’m reaching 10% of my likes. It’s been a sudden drop because I did quite well at the 16% mark before sometimes even organically getting to 20% before the December algorithms. Now 10% is the norm. So frustrating. It’s almost not worth it.

  • Andy Kuiper - SEO Analyst
    Posted at 11:08h, 17 December

    this isn’t good news for those who want more than one major social platform out there… as Google smirks 😉

  • wood railing
    Posted at 11:48h, 17 December

    Charles, I did the same except have moved to Pinterest since it is much more friendly to my pictures. Conversions from Pinterest are at 5%!

  • Zach Bowers
    Posted at 12:28h, 17 December

    Thanks for the post! This is some interesting data. Will you be continuing to follow this? I’d love to see this data with a greater sample size.

  • garynsmith
    Posted at 14:04h, 17 December

    I’ve noticed this with my FanPage. If I don’t promote with a $5 Bill – my post data suffers “dramatically”. There is also that unknown factor that we all suffer. We’re taking Facebook’s word for the data – it’s surely not confirmed by third party. The question remain with all data – Is it a trusted source of information?

  • Bill Calley
    Posted at 14:13h, 17 December

    We normally receive about 1000 business Page LIKES per day, but just a week or so ago our LIKES dropped like a stone — to just 10 (ten) or so LIKES per day!!

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Oddly, we are still getting decent Post LIKES as well as a high ‘Talking About This’ (31,664) and a high Reach of almost half a million (up 44.5% from last week).

    Weird. It really makes you want to drop FB. Too bad that’s impossible.

  • Charles Heitz
    Posted at 14:49h, 17 December

    imageWIS, I don’t know that I agree Google integrated G+ with their other products because it wasn’t gaining traction. They now have over 500 million active users.

    (this does NOT include other products, it is calculated the same way Facebook does theirs)

    The integration is to make the G+ experience that much better, which it does.

  • Charles Heitz
    Posted at 14:49h, 17 December

    We have recently started using Pinterest in conjunction with Google+ and they work AWESOME together! I’d highly recommend it!

  • Dexter Fulton
    Posted at 16:15h, 17 December

    Facebook is no dummy… with our entire industry jumping on FB ads, they’re giving the Brand Companies a little nudge to make them spend more on advertising. Like it or not, in the long haul, FB will be just as expensive as Adwords.

    So, take advantage of the gold rush. LOL

  • wood railing
    Posted at 16:23h, 17 December

    Cross posting pins to g+? vice versa?
    Care to share?

  • Charles Heitz
    Posted at 16:29h, 17 December

    yes, both actually. If you click on the time stamp of a Google+ post then hit the Pinterest applet in your browser you can pin the image from the G+ post.

    When you create a GPlus post, you can add “Pin for later: (insert pin link)” at the bottom of the post so people can ‘bookmark’ the image/link and read your blog post/GPlus post later.

    My company, Heitz Digital,LLC, actually takes this one step farther for posts with Videos and creates a link from the blog post to the YouTube playlist and Pin Board on Pinterest. This extends the life of our blog posts, in that, we can share the blog post, the Pin/image from Pinterest and Video from YouTube over a period of time. They all work fantastic together!

  • wood railing
    Posted at 18:00h, 17 December


  • wood railing
    Posted at 18:05h, 17 December

    I sent you an email

  • Grant Taylor
    Posted at 19:22h, 17 December

    In response to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, I invite Facebook brand-page managers like me to go #FBFreeFeb1st

  • Eran Eyal
    Posted at 22:58h, 17 December

    Echo: excellent post.

    Fact is that I find it offensive that brands have spent serious cash to gather their community in FB and a change in algorithm circumvents their ability to communicate to those same fans.

    Rather allow fans to choose for themselves what they want/ don’t want to receive.

    An algorithm to create this effect is an act of laziness. It’s a broad stroke that does not serve all – most importantly the brands monetizing the system.

    Having said that, at Springleap, we’ve seen great traction via our creative contest apps.

    The apps are a far better mechanism for sharing and the connection to our quality creative community (admittedly a unique trait of our system) inspires the fans with quality content that they actually want to gather around and share.

    Our vitality around our campaigns come from:

    1. A quality creative community producing beautiful content
    2. Sharing tools built to share well
    3. Unified conversation – we can run our apps in multiple sites and FB pages simultaneously so that partners can allow their fans to engage with one another on the same campaign and content

    It’s not enough anymore to just run whitelabeled apps. The things that make a difference is expanding the reach with partners and inspirational content.

    So we find that our apps are the key rather than the posts which, despite being targeted, are not achieving the reach to add value to our users lives.

  • Joe
    Posted at 09:53h, 18 December

    Define “active”. We post blog updates there, but don’t even attempt any engagement. I see most marketers doing the same. From what I have seen, people/brands are only “active” on G+ because of the SEO value it offers.

  • Charles Heitz
    Posted at 10:03h, 18 December

    Joe, unless you engage there, you’ll never get any benefit from it, SEO or otherwise.It’s no different than any other platform. If you don’t interact with your blog readers, they’ll die off. If you don’t engage on Twitter or Facebook, your followers have no real reason to continue following. The same goes for Google+. Without engagement your efforts are futile.

    With this new “social seo” as it’s being called, Google is adding a social layer to their algorithm. Because they only have indepth data access to their own network (GPlus) it will be the most influential social network to be on whether for marketing, advertising, seo or anything else. And now with the announcement of +Post Ads, I’m sure 2014 will be a huge growth for Gplus. They are bringing social to the web. Meaning advertisers can now use their GPlus posts in the display network while also still allowing engagement across the web, not just on their social network. That alone is HUGE news.

    As far as how the “active” numbers are calculated, GPlus uses the same metrics as Facebook. Meaning, active users on the site or mobile, as well as “likes” across the web. I’m sure there are other metrics as well but, those are the ones that come to mind first.

    I should also mention that GPlus has a LOT of value for me. There are tons of industry experts there that freely share information and knowledge and the Hang Outs on Air are some of the best things I’ve found to get great insight on just about any topic. GPlus is a bit confusing at first but, it is now my main social network. It’s just that good once you get the hang of it.

  • Mark Blankenship
    Posted at 13:06h, 18 December

    The plan from the beginning was to integrate all of their services, not an afterthought because the social media piece wasn’t growing as fast as the public expected. The BIG idea here is that the user has an ‘identity’ that can then be used (and tracked) across the web. All of my contacts are my contacts anywhere I’m logged into google. I can select from the same people whether I am sending an email, sharing a document, or commenting on a blog. I can then limit what I see based on those same ‘circles’

  • Mark Blankenship
    Posted at 13:13h, 18 December

    There are a LOT of people doing a LOT on G+, it may just not be in the methods you expect to try and work. Using G+ commenting system on blogs is an excellent way to start, but there a many people with better advice than me 🙂 You ‘advertise’ on G+ by engaging with others, by following people or pages that may interest you, and being part of the community.

  • Ari Herzog
    Posted at 14:15h, 18 December

    This is useful information, cheers!

    Over the past year I’ve used Facebook groups much more than pages. I find that people don’t understand pages. They “like” the page and don’t know what to do; so their inactivity and FB algorithms cause them to never see updates in the news feed. By contrast, group alerts don’t appear in the news feed and most don’t know they can turn off notifications.

    Are you aware of statistics that decipher how many people look at group notifications, etc?

  • Warren Redlich
    Posted at 14:47h, 18 December

    That all sounds good, but it ain’t easy.

  • MasonToday
    Posted at 14:59h, 18 December

    We are a hyper local news site that has seen a noticeable difference in facebook traffic. Which stinks because the majority of our traffic is from our “like” page, we dont bring in enough revenue from advertisements to justify paying money for each post. We will be coming up with a plan to use other social media outlets to bring in traffic… But it looks like that will be a long hard road.

  • Warren Redlich
    Posted at 15:13h, 18 December

    Smells like sarcasm. 🙂

  • Denny Wittman
    Posted at 10:27h, 19 December

    As an online community manager for a small non profit we have been fortunate to see huge reach/engagement numbers previous to this change. This will be devastating to our small non-profits efforts on facebook. We have a dedicated following of 16,000+ fans that use facebook to follow our efforts. We simply do not have the resources to supplement with ad buys. I hope this will not last.

  • Joseph Quinn
    Posted at 13:24h, 19 December

    It’s a shame that after investing money into developing an audience by paying for likes, I now have to pay again for people to see my posts. It’s like being taxed not once but twice. I don’t believe that Facebook followers will move to G+ just to see my content either. Maybe some will but most won’t. Personally I like Facebook’s interface better than G+ and find it easier to navigate.

  • Jared Wade
    Posted at 17:50h, 19 December

    May I ask what types of brands those 21 were, as well as the company size? I believe that’s very important here…

  • Darren Rowse
    Posted at 06:42h, 21 December

    I’ve heard a number of smaller page owners report similar things to this but our page has only seen more and more engagement and reach over the last month with some posts getting seen by over 50% of the number of our total page likes.

    Am including a screenshot of our ‘reach’ stats – you’ll see in it that the week you’re talking about was our highest week in terms of reach ever. Engagement shows a similar trend.

    This is four our dPS page at https://www.facebook.com/digitalps

  • Brian Gray
    Posted at 22:37h, 23 December

    Thanks for the post. How does FB determine what is “quality content”? On the site, https://www.facebook.com/business/news/What-Increased-Content-Sharing-Means-for-Businesses they say, “We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality.” So suddenly FB is the judge of what is a quality post and what is not? What are they basing their judgment on? I’m not so clear on how they choose what get seen.

  • @ginabegin
    Posted at 08:43h, 27 December

    Can you link to an example of the final example (linking from “the blog post to the YouTube playlist and Pin Board”)? I’d like to see this in action!

  • Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    Posted at 19:07h, 29 December

    I have experienced the same thing on my FB fan page as Darren, dramatic increase in reach and engagement (though not as high as numbers, of course) – it is my highest reach and engagement ever as well.

    This screenshot is for my freebies page: https://www.facebook.com/FrugalFreebies

  • Andre Raoul
    Posted at 07:42h, 30 December

    Great post. I am a social media manager for the African startup Njorku Inc. With Facebook having the highest African users on social media, I use it extensively for marketing purpose. I mostly do organic post and discovered sharp,constant declines in numbers. Would paid ads ameliorate my numbers? Please I really need some help on this. Thank you

  • Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    Posted at 16:27h, 01 January

    Three days later and I thought I would update…
    Beginning of month we had 300 people talking about us, total reach for Dec 1st was 6K

    Today we have 12.2K talking about us, total reach is 191K.No ads, no boosts, just posting…

  • Alon Levitan
    Posted at 04:49h, 02 January

    Great article that really got me annoyed. Greed Greed Greed – is all i have to say. Brand managers should simply boykot Facebook for 2-3 months and wait for them to come crawling back with a better proposal. What really get me going is that brands invested tons of money in advertising and resources to build and maintain their fan pages and FB simply cuts of the “brands” fans. These are the brands fans and not FB fans. It’s such a power move that makes me angry. The current model pay if you want your fans to see you is just wrong and leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth that it makes me want to leave FB and look for alternatives.

  • Stuart @ Gleam.io
    Posted at 05:57h, 08 January

    Hey guys, I’m seeing reach drop as low as 2% with some of our partners. Really hard hitting when some were seeing upwards of 50% in November.

    How are your strategies changing now? Are people focusing more on getting users on to mailing lists?

    I’ve created a survey to try & gather as much data as possible on what sort of impact businesses are seeing, if you’ve been impacted you can submit info here: http://bit.ly/1a0oZJq

  • Thomas Lapperre
    Posted at 11:07h, 10 January

    Good post. I am inclined to say 2014 will be the year for Google+. But I think both Google Search and Facebook are both working towards paid relevant content. Google+ is top priority for Google, so after they ‘ve grown bigger then Facebook it go exactly the same way there.

  • Yogesh
    Posted at 14:32h, 10 January

    I’m part of a volunteering organisation and we reply on social media to talk and engage with our community. Is it right that their algorithms treat our fan page in the same way at ‘big’ brand’s?

  • PositiveMed
    Posted at 20:48h, 13 January


    Thanks for the informative article! Can you do a follow up and see if anything has changed since the article and if so, what strategies these pages have tried to increase their reach?

  • zegeli
    Posted at 16:59h, 29 January

    My brand page have around 8.600 likes and today I just changed my cover photo and after a day I realized that my cover photo says 11 people saw this post, I really am starting to get pissed and I really am having difficulty understanding this nightmare algorithm, can you believe this? 11 people saw this post for a 8.600 liked page?? This is really getting ugly…

  • Shawn Boreta
    Posted at 18:02h, 31 January


    Great article and insights, bringing clarity to what I have been seeing. Our community sites are only seeing 15-20% of the activity we once had and literally no viral movement whatsoever. Growth has been 1-2 a day, when we were seeing 15 or more a day last year at this time. Will definitely be following your content from today forward. I am in the process of starting a business, and trying to determine what marketing options to focus on.

    Brad, I was sharing those sentiments exactly this morning – getting those of us engaged and ‘used to’ the high volume of activity, as a way to force us to buy the volume.

    Again, looking forward to reading more.

    Shawn Boreta
    Life in Color and Words

  • Stacey Miller
    Posted at 11:45h, 04 February

    I would love to know if Facebook gets back to you and what they say – I think a lot of brands are experiencing these unexplained results.

  • Leslie Garson
    Posted at 17:54h, 05 February

    Thank you so much for this article. As a brand page I cannot begin to tell you how bad this is hurting me and admins like myself.

  • صالح البرعي
    Posted at 14:04h, 19 February

    welcome my friends thank youi اريد حمية بريدي الكتروني الذي هوا الصلي واسجل في الفيس بوك واتويتر وامواقع خرا هوا ايمل واحد فقط hotmail حمية حسبي وامسعتي في ان احصل علا مسعدة واوظيفة تناسبني واترضون عني لاني معاق اليد اليسرا والي يد واحدة وايتيم البوين والا اجد احد يعلمني او يسعدني اريد منكم ان ترتبو كلشي انا اتعلم النتر نت واشكران

  • Ivan Paunovic
    Posted at 22:27h, 21 February

    Yes, I was really disappointed by the numbers I calculated today. I realized that my posts get about 3% reach, and only then I found this article that mentions exactly the same number. 🙁

  • JordanRose
    Posted at 19:32h, 24 February

    One of the pages I work on went from 15,000,000 weekly reach to 3,000,000 in two weeks (feb 2014)

  • hron023
    Posted at 19:58h, 05 March

    I think it’s great how much money Ricardo’s raised,” he said “I just hope he likes what I’ve done with his hair!” Ricardo’s wife Susie says she is proud of her husband, but admits she will miss his characteristic long hair.

  • Ryan Rhoades
    Posted at 18:07h, 06 March

    I’ve been running facebook fan pages for years now and it doesn’t matter how big or small they are, the percentage of people who see it is ridiculously low.

    Oh, you have 870 people on your page?

    3 people saw this post.

    Oh, you have 5,600 people on this page?

    14 people saw this post.

    I hope Zuckerberg is enjoying his billions while the rest of us struggle to figure out how to reach people we’ve already reached.

    Classic case of greed and douchebaggery.

  • Paul Norton
    Posted at 03:59h, 08 March

    This has answered a lot of questions for me. Thanks

  • Allah is Dead
    Posted at 14:57h, 18 March

    facebook is a complete scam. you have to pay for likes, then once you pay for likes, they do not let you show your posts to your followers unless you pay them more money and even then, they only show it to a limited number of people.

    small businesses should not spend a dime on facebook. imo it is pure fraud

  • Allah is Dead
    Posted at 14:58h, 18 March

    start and run multiple facebook forum for your posts. limit them in size to about 3-5k. way better reach then a facebook wall post.

  • Allah is Dead
    Posted at 14:59h, 18 March

    create forum for the active people on your fb wall

  • John
    Posted at 16:26h, 18 March

    Hey Kaitlin. Darn. I wish I read your comment a couple weeks ago. My traffic plummeted the day after I finished an ad campaign with facebook. I quit it because the campaign was less effective than the organic reach. I had achieved a point where facebook traffic was making it possible for me to advertise and grow more. Do you know if organic reach improves if you start advertising again?

  • Planetary Bargains
    Posted at 00:57h, 21 March

    A normal post on our Facebook page would bring more than a hundred engagements before the changes of the last couple of years, to try and remedy our problem, we decided to try Facebook advertising.

    With very highly targeted advertising, we grew our followers by more than 400%, but engagement has become even worse. Even with four times the following. We now feel fortunate when we have 60 people engage on a post.

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    Posted at 17:37h, 07 April

    Irak had been invaded because the FBI was delivering wrongful advice? I bid you to wakefulness the movie “Untarnished Sport” instead of “the Unascertained Known”… Rumsfeld pronounces the name of Dick Cheney, I youjizz would have wished his eye about the privatization of the war through companies like Halliburton and Blackwater.

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  • Jottar
    Posted at 10:09h, 16 May

    The organic reach for business and fan pages is an absolute shocker now on facebook and if everybody stood up to facebook and took their business elsewhere I’m they would have rethink things. Maybe its time to check out http://www.jottar.com who does not charge a cent for posts to reach their fans in the newsfeed.

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