Facebook Organic Reach is Declining
There are many competing opinions about Facebook’s news feed and business tactics. Facebook’s algorithm uses a number of factors to establish which posts should be shown to users. Previously called Edgerank, the algorithm now has over 1000 contributing factors but still focuses on three main influences: Affinity, Weight and Time.
Affinity is defined by a user’s relationship with the person or page that created the specific Facebook object, essentially how much the user interacts with that person or page.
Weight is determined by the object type, for instance whether it is a photo, video or link.
Time, the last major factor, takes into account how recent the action occurred, which in Facebook vernacular is called Time Decay.
There are a multitude of other factors that Facebook uses, such as how many of the user’s friends have interacted with the post or object, how popular the post is overall on Facebook, etc.
Based on some latest stats published by Edgerank Checker, we can say that Facebook’s organic reach is declining.
In March 2014, for a typical Facebook page:
- Organic Reach per Fan = 6.51%
- Fan Reach per Fan = 6.46%
- Viral Reach per Fan = 0.99%
How has reach declined?
Organic reach per Fan (Median):
- Feb 2012 = 16%
- Sep 2013 = 12.60%
- Nov 2013 = 10.15%
- Dec 2013 = 7.83%
- Mar 2014 = 6.51%
Many different types of businesses are still doing very well on Facebook, even in terms of Reach. Recent observations says 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.
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 zero—we would be concerned that Facebook was even further squeezing brands. However, this does not seem to be the case.