Why are my Facebook Page views low? The long fall of Organic Facebook Reach

So you landed on this page and are asking yourself probably the same question like I did several weeks back when I was heavily promoting my Facebook page with ads. Why are my Facebook page views so low ?

I got til the point where I had about 10 000 Facebook “Fans” on my page but the traffic to my website for published posts was at steady 1% or lower. I spend a shitload of money for “Facebook boosts”to get to that point where I was, only to learn that Facebook is publicly admitting they are limiting the organic (unpaid) reach because more and more posts are published each day, they care for good quality and want the news feed to display only stuff people are interested in.

In clear text it means you payed for your facebook fans, now we want’t your money to talk to them

In a 2014 interview with Digiday, James Del (who was the head of now-defunct Gawker’s content studio at the time) summed up the general sentiment:

Facebook may be pulling off one of the most lucrative grifts of all time; first, they convinced brands they needed to purchase all their Fans and Likes — even though everyone knows you can’t buy love; then, Facebook continues to charge those same brands money to speak to the Fans they just bought.”

Its clear that Facebook is denying such claims, Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology Brian Boland even had a section in his 2014 organic reach update post titled, “Is organic reach dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money?” Boland’s response:

No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.”

From Facebook’s perspective, it’s simply not an ideal user experience to flood the News Feed with posts just because a Page has lots of Likes and is publishing prolifically.

These days, Facebook is encouraging marketers to look at their fan bases as a way to make paid advertising more effective rather than using it as a free broadcast channel. Additionally, Facebook says you should assume organic reach will eventually fade out to zero. So, if you really want to reach your target audience on Facebook, you’ll need to supplement your organic efforts with some paid advertising.

Additionally, Facebook advises marketers to not be surprised if things keep changing, and often times for the better. Facebook has never been stagnant in terms of innovation, so no marketer can figure out a formula and then stick with it forever.

That being said, knowing how Facebook currently surfaces organic content in the News Feed can be helpful for understanding the broader Facebook marketing ecosystem.

When Facebook first launched News Feed back in 2006, the algorithm was pretty basic. Different post formats were assigned different point values — so a post with just text might be worth one point, while a post with a link in it might be worth two points, and so on. By multiplying the post format point value by the number of people interacting with a given post, Facebook could generate a ranking system for determining the order in which posts would appear.

As the years rolled on, the News Feed algorithm evolved to factor in the recency of posts, as well as the relationship between the person doing the posting and the person interacting with said post. This iteration of the algorithm was known as EdgeRank. But in 2011, Facebook abandoned EdgeRank for a more complex algorithm that incorporates machine learning.

That machine learning-based algorithm is what’s responsible for surfacing content on your News Feed today. Unlike its predecessors, which assigned generic point values to post formats, the current algorithm adapts to individual user preferences. So, for example, if you never, ever, interact with photos in your News Feed, Facebook’s algorithm will pick up on that and show you fewer photos over time.

On the other side of the coin, Facebook has identified for marketers the content formats that drive engagement and sharing — native and live videos. Facebook ranks live videos higher in the News Feed, as well as videos with higher watch and completion rates and videos that are clicked on or unmuted as signals of viewer interest.

Ultimately, there are thousands of factors that inform Facebook’s algorithm, which range from using trigger words that indicate important events (e.g., “congratulations”) to whether or not you’ve actually clicked a link in a post before liking it.

Facebook’s end goal here is to have its algorithm match News Feed content to the individual needs and interests of each and every user. As Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, told Time in a 2015 interview:

If you could rate everything that happened on Earth today that was published anywhere by any of your friends, any of your family, any news source…and then pick the 10 that were the most meaningful to know today, that would be a really cool service for us to build. That is really what we aspire to have News Feed become.

Now that we have an overview how Facebook ticks at the moment this is what you can do to boost your exposure

I found a ton of suggestions from self proclaimed marketers but most of them are straight unrealistic like suggesting your fans to update notification settings to see your posts first or encourage fans to be more active with your posts when they see them.

The only thing which really works is to post far less and I mean only 1 or two posts per day. I go to the point where I skip Facebook altogether for a day or two. It increases my reach by a magnitude of the levels I had when posting regularly.
There is also no obvious connection between post quality which is highlighted as one of the reasons your decline in organic reach might be larger the to others.

If you are unwilling to be more selective or straight need to put more information onto Facebook for whatever reason be prepared to spend money for boosts. Depending on which audience and country you target it can be cheap but also cost a fortune to the levels where you will never see your return of investment.

So whats the verdict.

Facebook pages as you know them or used to know don`t exist anymore. You will never have them same organic reach as before no matter what you do. You can only compensate by being more selective about how often you post and what you post. By posting quality content your initial organic reach won’t be higher but those fans that do see it are likely to engage and share so at the end of the day their friends might see it resulting in an additional boost. Whatever you do, don’t buy Facebook Page Likes, like I did. If you want to spend money direct the boosted posts rather directly to your prepared landing page presenting your products.

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