7 reasons why pages should stop complaining about Facebook reach

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“Facebook is screwing my business!”

That’s the big rant these days. Not a single day passes without another poorly documented blog post rearing its disgruntled head to proclaim Facebook reach is declining into the abyss. Each one vomiting dozens of comments from disgruntled business owners blaming Facebook for their livelihood’s demise.

I live in France. My country is well known as the home of the most active whiners and complainers of all time. It seems to me that everyone has some French DNA when it comes to complaining about Facebook these days!

Let’s take a minute, and a step back to look at the reality of the situation — with facts.

#1 — Facebook reach is not down for everyone

I wrote about this in December and what I discovered then is still true today.

1 - Facebokk page monthly reach last 6 months

This is the evolution of Facebook pages monthly reach for the last 6 months, based on a sample of 7,000 pages of all sizes and every industry. Where’s the big drop? Want to check how your page has been doing for the last 6 months? Try the Facebook page Barometer at http://barometer.agorapulse.com.

Some of you have reported a big drop, some a slight drop, and some have not noticed a difference. I’m among those who have not seen a drop in average post reach since 2013. It’s been pretty steady, around 11 to 12% over the past year and beyond, and our page is not of the “sexy” variety, it’s a typical B to B page, no kittens, heartwarming causes or political controversies.

2 - Post reach agorapulse

Comparing our average post reach in May, 2013 and February, 2014- the figures are pretty steady.

If you’re wondering how your Facebook page is performing compared to the average page out there, try the Facebook page Barometer (http://barometer.agorapulse.com), it will tell you.

The reality

On December 20, I examined the average data for more than 6,500 pages of all sizes and industries.  There had been a steady, constant decline for the previous 6 months, but no noticeable drop in December. Then, I discovered an interesting trend.  Here’s the breakdown:

Pages with a high ‘per post’ engagement rate have been the least affected (if affected at all).

Pages that have a high engagement rate along with a high negative feedback score (reported as spam) were more affected.

Pages with a very low engagement rate have been affected the most.

3 - monthly page reach 6 months

During the last 6 months, the average monthly organic reach has declined from 73% of to 55% of fanbase (orange graph). The black line represents the evolution of a nonprofit page I manage. Its monthly organic reach has increased dramatically during the same period. This page has a very high per post engagement and very low negative feedback.

The type of content published has also had an impact. Photo posts have been affected the most, so if you post a lot of photos and have a low engagement rate, you’re probably suffering more than the average.

#2 — Facebook was once the El Dorado of free content distribution to everyone who clicked “like”. But this was not scalable!

I recently installed a new Selfie app on my phone (ndlr: Frontback).  Since the app’s social network is fairly new, I get dozens of new followers every day and hundreds of likes on each of my photos.  Trust me, in a couple of months, when this new kid around the block becomes another behemoth in the social networking landscape, my newly acquired fame will go away, drowning in a pool of millions of new members and pieces of content.

Facebook once was that new kid on the block, and we all reveled in having such great distribution and engagement for free. But let’s face it, this couldn’t last forever, we all knew that.