Facebook’s pages reach have been going down… a lot. This it not news and we wanted to have a clear view about how much worse things got.
In this blog post, we’re confirming the hard truth (with some hope). And we’re also trying to answer this question: what if I were to post twice more, would I double my reach? Does 1% reach on 2 posts give me 2% reach or do I still get 1%?
We took a sample of 10K pages from brands of all sizes. We looked at their 7-days page organic reach for the past 8 months. The metric we focused on is fan reach. We aggregated pages by their number of fans: aggregating together all pages with around 1000 fans vs pages with 10K fans …
And here are our findings:
Page 7-days reach over time per page size
As was expected we find that pages reach is going down severely. More precisely, it’s a two steps drop. Things started getting worse mid August 2013. It then plateaued, but worsen further more at the end of November. There’s hope! it seems to plateau again, it hasn’t declined since early January. We hope there won’t be more steps!
Interestingly, the larger the page, the harsher the drop: pages with more than 1M fans have seen a 40% drop when pages with 1K fans dropped by ‘only’ 20%.
You might have noticed that we’re talking about 10-30% reach, when one is more accustomed to 1-10%. The difference is that we’re looking at page reach rather than post reach. Indeed if a page posts twice in a week, each post might have 10% fan reach, but the two combined could get up to 20% or… 10% if the fans reached are exactly the same.
To figure out if 1+1=1 or if 1+1=2 in Facebook World, we compared page’s 7-days page reach to the sum of posts’ reach from these 7 days. We differentiate pages by their usual post reach : pages with usually 2.5% reach per post, vs 5%, vs… The rationale being that if a page reaches many fans per post, there’s a higher chance that the fans will overlap.
And here are the findings:
Incremental fan reach by number or post
Here is how you should read this graph. For instance, for a page with a usual 2.5% post fan reach (green lines), 70% of the 2nd post reach will be on fans who haven’t seen the first. For its 6th post, it’s 50% of its audience that hasn’t seen any of the 4 previous posts. And for the 15th post, still 35% of fans reached would be ‘new’ fans.
A page with a usual post reach of 20%, the 6th post brings in only 25% new fans. But these pages are the lucky ones who don’t need much of repetition anyways.
Now we can answer Facebook Reach Theorem: 1+1 >> 1
This is exciting, as it means that, not only pages can repeat their message several times and increase substantially their reach, but also that we can control how many fans will see the repeated posts.