The inside track on what Facebook is doing to your business page…
Have you seen a drastic decline in the reach of your Facebook posts recently? Well, don’t worry, it’s not your fault, you haven’t done anything wrong – it’s Facebook that has made some changes to the network.
A while ago we noticed a decrease in the reach for page updates. At the beginning of September other page administrators also reported that something was going wrong, however Facebook hadn’t said anything – advertisers in the States called the situation the ‘Facebook mystery of Fall 2012’. Finally on 20September the network announced it has made changes to its EdgeRank algorithm. The EdgeRank determines what you see in your news feed; this includes the status updates of friends, their photos as well as business pages posts. After changing the EdgeRank, company page updates are now for some reason seen less in the news feeds of the people who like the page and so the possibility of reaching new potential fans has also decreased. Some pages have lost 40-50% of their organic reach.
According to Facebook, the reason why they adjusted the EdgeRank was to reduce spam and make sure the news feed doesn’t turn ‘lame’, meaning people are only offered content that they are most interested in .
While page posts still get a consistent amount of engagement in terms of likes, comments and shares as before, it is both the organic and the viral reach that dropped drastically. It’s only logical that update visibility has been massively reduced within the news feed with the incentive for Facebook to monetise business pages, which are after all ‘free.’ The network wants more brands to make use of promoted posts, i.e. to pay for a page update to stay longer in fans’ news feeds and as a result get seen by more people – also including the ones that already like the page.
Before the EdgeRank ‘tweak’ people could see posts from any page they liked, but now the new Edgerank algorithm gives priority to updates form pages that have high engagement. So, if a post has many likes, comments and shares it will be seen by more people. This means that companies have to make bigger efforts when it comes to what content they are creating and sharing on their page to make sure they are properly engaging with their fans. Rather than just carping about Facebook’s lack of warning (which is a fair criticism – they need to sort out their customer communications from time to time) we prefer to look at this from a half-full perspective; this move should galvanise business users of social media to engage in a meaningful way rather than pay lip service as so many are tempted to do!
It will be interesting to see what will happen with the EdgeRank as many companies, advertisers and marketers are heavily complaining about the changes. What do you think Facebook is going to do?
Here’s a useful infographic by PostRocket to help you understand the Facebook EdgeRank better:
(Click on the infographic for a larger view)