A client contacted me this morning, upset because her “reach” seems to be seriously declining on Facebook. For some reason Facebook chooses Reach to be the metric graphed on the insights page, and it’s little understood, so here’s the long and the short of it.
Here’s how Facebook defines reach
“The reach chart shows how many people have seen any content about your Page, and where applicable, whether these people were reached through an organic, paid or viral channel. People might see your content through more than one of these channels. As a result, the sum of your organic, paid and viral reach might be larger than your total Page reach.
- Organic reach is the number of unique people, fans or non-fans, who saw any content about your Page in their News Feed, Ticker or on your Page.
- Paid reach is the number of unique people who saw an ad or Sponsored Story that pointed to your Page.
- Viral reach is the number of unique people who saw this post from a story published by a friend.”
The problem is, the “reach” graph in your Facebook Insights combines all 3, Paid, Viral and Organic reach. So let’s say you run some “story” ads. The reach from those ads is included in your overall reach. When your ads reach your set funds limit or you quit running ads, your reach may drop significantly.
Another consideration is how the metrics of each individual fan affects the reach too
For example; if you have 10 fans who each have 100 friends then their reach is considerably lower than another page with 3 fans who each have 1,000 fans. So basically if you want to inflate your “reach” you just have to attract fans with big friends lists. Even if they don’t engage, your reach goes up. How bogus is that?
Basically reach doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how effective you are at engaging your fans
As you can see from the chart above, not only are they getting more engagement on this page, and the page reach (5,636,087) is increasing slightly AND the “people talking about this” is awesome, all the client sees at first glance is that downhill slump of the reach. To me it seems like a marketing ploy to put the reach as the one big graph in your “insights” tab and not the “people talking about” tab.
Why am I suspicious?
Isn’t it interesting that so many people are complaining about their reach dropping and Facebook coes out with the “Reach Generator”? This little tool is available only to “qualified accounts” who are then guaranteed that their content will be seen by 75% of their fan base. Not the paltry 16% that most pages get on a good day, but 75%!!
Wow. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get that?
This is from the Facebook doc on the reach generator. Download it here.
Unless you’re a big brand I’m guessing you can’t afford to pay to have this much showing, so you’d better think about how to really engage people.
Quit worrying about reach and worry instead about engagement. I’ll be writing a post about how to get real engagement from your fan base later this week, so stay tuned for that, but really, forget about reach. It means very little.
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