Several Facebook page managers are crying foul at decreased fan counts and lowered levels of engagement. But what’s to blame? PostRocket, which helps brands manage their Facebook campaigns, addressed several rumors with its take on what’s going on with EdgeRank, the Facebook algorithm that determines what is seen and by whom.
Mike Maghsoudi, PostRocket’s co-founder, wrote about a few of the rumors swirling around,with regard to decreased page numbers. Maghsoudi addressed the notion that Facebook tweaked the EdgeRank algorithm to hurt fan pages, countering that this was done to make it so that users see the content they’d be most likely to interact with. He suggested that pages that are blaming EdgeRank should refocus some of that angst into creating better content.
Maghsoudi did take Facebook Insights to task, however, noting that it is a bit wonky at the moment.
Many admins feel that engagement levels are down because fans are hiding more things than ever. Maghsoudi wrote that Facebook has actually helped pages by making it harder to hide all posts from the news feed:
Interestingly enough, the options have changed, including a not-so-negative option: follow post. More important, though, what happened to hide all? To the contrary of those conspiracy theorists, it looks like Facebook is actually trying to help brands – not hurt them – by (ironically) hiding the “hide all” feature. It now takes the users an additional click to hide all, as the new hide button functions as a “hide story,” not a “hide all.” Adding the additional click requirement will likely plummet the number of “hide all” requests from fans (and the Facebook page owners altogether let out a sigh of relief!) … So what happens when a user follows a post? As you would probably expect, the user receives notifications when others engage (like or comment) with the post. I’m sure this action will have a positive effect on the affinity between a fan and a page, but it’s a really weird placement for the feature, housing it where users will typically go for negative feedback.
Maghsoudi offered some other reasons why numbers might be down, including higher usage of mobile devices and more pages paying for reach, which makes the organic and viral statistics decrease.
Readers: If you manage a Facebook page, have you seen your numbers go up or down lately?