By the end of 2014, posts were being promoted more than twice as often as they were at the start of the year. And while photos were the most-often promoted posts, they were far from the most effective.
We’ve seen some big changes in the way content is distributed on Facebook over the last year. Not long ago, photos were the best way for brands to reach their Facebook Fans. But now, according to Socialbakers data, photos are still the most common post type – but they’re not the most effective. In fact, they may be the least.
Because photos were the long-dominant post type, they are both the most common type of post and the most frequently promoted. That alone would be enough to make them less effective than they were at their peak, but coupled with the introduction of videos in Q3 2014, the decline in photo reach has been sudden.
That all adds up to a lot of competition for decreasing space.
The real growth point today is in videos. While they are relatively more promoted than photos – 27% of all videos are promoted, compared to 17% of photos – there are so many more photos than videos that the new format is still far more effective at reaching audiences.
This chart shows how photos have actually become the post type least likely to reach audiences, while videos are much more likely to do so. That’s a 135% increase in organic reach, on average, when you post a video instead of a photo. Of course, none of this is prescriptive – you still need to ensure that your content is high-quality. A great photo post that gets good engagement will likely see continued News Feed reach, while a poor-quality video post is going to get buried. That’s just the nature of the Facebook News Feed, where Fan love dictates what gets to stick around.
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But the averages hold true even in more strict standards. If we just look at organic reach for brands’ Fans, not including non-Fans who also get post impressions, videos are still much more effective than photos – relatively even more so, in fact, with a 148% increase in reach.
So the brands that are promoting those 27% of all videos are keyed in on a dynamic market right now, and seeing results from it. This is not going to last forever, just like the reign of photos was eventually done in by too much competition. But, right now, Facebook video is one of the best ways to get your content in front of a good audience.