Last week on The Friday Hangout (video) we talked a bit about how many Facebook page managers are reporting dramatically decreasing reach in Facebook Insights and a drop in fans as well. Now I have not a shred of evidence to back this up but I’ve been wracking my brain to figure out why even pages with outstanding engagement levels are seeing these drops.
Here are the reasons I’ve come up with for the dropped fans and dropping reach on Facebook. Got your own take on it? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
1. Killing off fake accounts
Facebook recently got publicly spanked for the large numbers of fake accounts on the site. On thing we have noticed in client accounts who run contests is the large numbers of new fans who join seem to be creating accounts just to enter contests. When you look closely at these new fans you see they only post about contests and some have strikingly similar accounts. After the contests they often un-fan the page. Facebook (and Twitter too for that matter) is cleaning up these duplicate/fake accounts as well as dormant accounts and that is responsible in part for the drop in fans.
2. Artificial scarcity for $$
Facebook’s promoted posts are a great way to get certain posts in front of the people who opted in to see your posts by liking your page and their friends too. In fact promoted posts seem to have gone so well for Facebook that now the cost of promoting posts is increasing. It’s my belief Facebook is “encouraging” pages to promote posts in order to get them to seen by more people. Don’t even get me started on the personal promoted posts issue as reported by Mashable, it’s just not OK at all (rumble rumble) but for pages the freemium model makes some semblance of sense. Creating an artificial scarcity by changing the metrics on their much touted and reviled “Edge Rank” algorithms could certainly explain the drop in reach. Are they just trying to justify all the investment dollars they just got?
3. Just bad data
Recent posts from others including Postrocket’s analysis of the issue seem to lean toward Facebook’s insights being incredibly messed up. I also liked their take that reach is dropping because mobile usage is up. As you probably noticed on your smart phone, you see a lot less Facebook posts on your mobile than you do on your desktop. There just isn’t as much real estate and scrolling and then reading is no fun, so we tend to scan the newest posts and move on. There fore less posts are viewed by the mobile user and reach drops.
Have you read my book yet? “Social Media Success! – Practical advice and real-world examples for social media” is available on Amazon