There are many competing opinions about Facebook’s news feed and business tactics. We wanted to provide an updated look into some metrics to help guide these discussions with data.
For the typical Page on Facebook in March 2014:
- Organic Reach per Fan = 6.51%
- Fan Reach per Fan = 6.46%
- Viral Reach per Fan = 0.99%
Where were we before this?
Organic Reach per Fan (Median):
- Feb 2012 = 16%
- Sep 2013 = 12.60%
- Nov 2013 = 10.15%
- Dec 2013 = 7.83%
- Mar 2014 = 6.51%
Brands with “Social DNA” are now outperforming peers
Many different types of businesses are still doing very well on Facebook, even in terms of Reach. We’re starting to see that brands who naturally do well in social media are performing stronger than brands that traditionally struggle.
For example, artists/musicians/entertainers/movies are experiencing average Organic Reach well above their news feed competitors like retail/clothing/bank/appliances.
Part of the recent discussion around Facebook has been focused on local businesses against the larger “viral content creators.”
We pulled data from different sized Pages, and broke them out by a few key categories. As you can see in the breakdown, media/news/publishing is still performing quite strong compared to their peers. The typical large 1M+ Pages are experiencing Organic Reach around 4%.
An interesting observation: Fan Reach/Fan and Organic Reach/Fan are nearly identical.
In the past we tended to study Organic Reach/Fan. This was because we felt this was the most helpful metric due to Facebook presenting this number as often as possible in Insights. When Facebook discussed negative changes to brands they would rely on the (almost always) better looking metric of Fan Reach/Fan. However, these two numbers in our latest study are now nearly identical (~98% accuracy).
Organic Reach has decreased over the past few years. What we’re beginning to see is brands with “Social DNA” are now pulling away from the rest of the pack. Brands that struggle to engage their audience, when measured against brands like the NBA, are being urged by Facebook to use ads to “make up the difference.” There are still brands that are leveraging Facebook quite effectively, especially by leveraging things like Shares, and encouraging people to Organically discuss/promote their content (think Old Spice).
Interestingly, Viral Reach per Fan is up to 1.10% (0.60% in Feb 2013). Facebook is giving additional exposure to content that it deems “Viral.” If this number had significantly decreased, or approached 0—we would be concerned that Facebook was even further squeezing brands. However, this does not seem to be the case.
How did we study the data?
We looked at data for the month of March. We examined both Organic Reach as well as Fan Reach, although these two metrics were nearly the same over this time period. We examined just under 1,000 Pages that posted nearly 50,000 times. Most metrics reported are the Median of each Page’s average over this time period, unless stated otherwise.