If you have a business fan page on Facebook we are sure you are following your page’s reach on daily basis. Why?
The reason why reach might be considered as the king & queen of Facebook probably lies in the fact that Facebook has more than a billion users, so it really is an “art” to be seen, liked and remembered on Facebook. Having in mind the fact Facebook is regularly changing features and algorithm in order to improve quality of the content displayed in News Feed, we can conclude that sometimes it seems as if you really need a magic to reach the right people.
The last big reach “surprise” from Facebook happened in December 2013 when people reported a big drop in organic reach. Actually, only pages with low-quality content faced this problem, while those doing the right thing kept their reach or saw a small drop.
The latest prognoses coming from Social@Ogilvy are saying that organic reach will hit 0 soon for the brand pages with more than 500.000 fans. Community managers should be worried because of this… But, in the same time, solutions exist. In order to understand them, let’s first understand all aspects of Facebook Reach.
1. What is Facebook Reach?
Facebook reach is the number of unique people who saw your post. People often tend to mix “impressions” with “reach”, since they do seem similar. But, there is a difference. Impressions represent how many times some post from your page is displayed, whether the post is clicked or not. This means some post might be seen several times and thus achieve multiple impressions. “Reach”, on the other hand, is the number of people who saw your post – once. This is why reach is associated with a “unique”.
There are 2 main reach types:
- Post reach
- Page reach
Post reach is the number of people who saw a specific post from the page in their news feed.
Page reach represents number of people who saw any content from the page during a given period of time (a day, week etc.).
Both Post and Page reach have 3 additional subcategories:
- Organic reach
- Paid reach
- Viral reach
Organic reach is a “free” reach in comparison with “Paid” reach. This means it represents the number of people who saw your content in their news feed or on your page “naturally”, including people who saw it as a part of a story created around it when their friends liked, shared or commented on this content. You can influence this reach only by creating a high-quality content, which would be liked and shared by lots of people, resulting in higher organic reach for your posts/page.
Paid reach represents the number of people who saw certain post as advertisement. Easy and clear for understanding – you paid to have bigger audience for your content. This means Facebook is showing selected post to more people.
Viral reach consists of people who saw certain content as a result of a story created around it – liking, sharing, commenting… This means when your friend comments or likes a post on some page, you will see this content despite the fact you are not the fan of that page. Viral reach is counted as part of organic reach.
2. How to accurately measure Facebook Reach?
Measuring and following Facebook reach is more than helpful if you want to achieve serious marketing success on Facebook. Facebook is the only social media channel offering serious and detailed insights with useful data helping marketers follow results and organize future marketing tactics based on previous results. This is particularly true for the reach, since other social platforms don’t provide this data. This means Facebook is the only social network that provides reach metrics.
Having this in mind, it is important to know which data should be followed and what should be compared. Accurate data are key to success. And in order to find them, it is important to know where and how to look for them.
In order to get accurate reach metrics for specific post, it is important to benchmark number of fans which were online in the moment of posting with the number of people who were reached with the post. The percentage calculated from comparing these two data is providing the exact information on the level of success achieved by certain post.
So, you should not compare, as majority still does, the total number of fans with the number of people who were reached with the post, but the number of people who were active online in the moment when content was published. It is simple – only those active fans really had a chance to see this content.
Facebook insights give you access to the number of fans who are online at any given point in time. This is a completely new data and is one of the most important and most useful novelty provided by Facebook when new insights were rolled out last year. You should use this information to schedule posts when your fans are most active. This way you will naturally increase organic reach.
If your fan page has 10.000 fans in total and some post was seen by 500 people, you shouldn’t calculate the reach by comparing total number of fans with the number of people who saw this specific post. Reach calculated this way is not accurate since not all 10.000 people who like your page were active online in the moment when this post was published. So, if you want to get precise information, first go to “Post” section of your page’s insights and take a look at “When your fans are online”. When you get the number of people who actually were online in the moment of posting, use this number to compare it with the reach for a given post. This way you will compare realistic numbers and get realistic results.
3. How to increase Facebook Reach?
This is a key question! With a very simple answer – post high-quality, relevant content! This will increase engagement rate which will result in the rise of reach, because popular posts trigger stories created around them (liking, sharing, and commenting). Stories created this way will be seen by your fans’ friends as well, since they will appear in their News Feeds. This means a much larger number of people will get a chance to see something popular, published on your page. In the same time people will get a chance to like the post and to like the page where it was published, so high-quality content is the best “recipe” to not only rise reach but generate leads as well.
Also, posting more often and at different times of day are best tactics to increase your overall reach and brand awareness.
In the same time, you must accept the fact Facebook is becoming pay-to-play platform, meaning if you already haven’t, then you definitely will have to pay to reach the right public for your page. Facebook advertising, although heavily criticized recently, is actually still among very good marketing tools available. Facebook advertising is affordable and is a good value for the money when done right.