Ever since Facebook changed the fundamentals of their news feed algorithm, brands have been watching their reach statistics plummet. Social media experts declared that brands with Facebook business pages should expect to reach only 16% of the people that have clicked “like” on their page. But what does that mean? If you post the same content twice, will the same 16% of your audience see both posts or will you be penalized for making multiple, identical posts? Assuming that all of your fans were logged into Facebook, looking at their news feeds, is it true that only 16% of them would see your post, meaning that Facebook has set the limit to 16%? Well, let’s talk about it.
From what I can tell, the 16% is just an average. It fluctuates between posts. You can see exactly how high your reach is in the Facebook Insights for your page. Some of our posts on the inConcert page reach 26 people out of a total of 720 fans (4%). Our other more popular posts have reached as many as 337 news feeds (47%). I don’t know if these numbers include people that are not already our fans.
So it depends on the post. If we post something that nobody responds to, it looks like our reach is less than 16%, based on the Insights for our past posts. However, if we post something that earns comments and shares from our audience, our reach is drastically increased. To me, that means there is no magical 16% limit. I believe that in an effort to make news feeds more interesting, Facebook has changed the algorithm to include more popular content, instead of content that goes ignored.
I believe that Facebook will show more of our posts to the group of people that interact with our posts, and fewer of our posts to the people that never comment, like or share. People who interact with our posts are demonstrating their interest in the content we post. However, this begs the question, how can they interact with our content if Facebook doesn’t display it in their news feeds? I know personally there are pages that I have liked that I never get updates from in my news feed, plus you have to take into account how often our fans are logging in – if I check my news feed once in a week, I am gonna see different stuff than someone who checks hourly. I have also noticed that I don’t see every single inConcert post in my personal news feed, although they are included very often, since I interact with those posts a lot using my personal account.
Judging by our page insights, if we post something and nobody interacts with it, it’s still being shown to around 50-55 people (7%). Several posts have even lower statistics. For example, a while ago, I posted three photos to our Website Portfolio album, uploading them all at once, and Facebook Insights logged it as three separate posts, even though I did it all at once. So it’s attributing a reach of 0 to the second and third photos uploaded, due to the news feeds only showing the photos as a group.
However, Facebook’s Insights don’t let me see the specific times at which people are viewing posts. I would need to check at intervals and record the numbers on my own to generate my own graphs. So that’s 50-55 people seeing the post during a 3 month period, and that’s basically all we know.
In conclusion, I think a portion of the “16%” will be the same people each time, but I also think it’s likely that Facebook’s algorithm includes a random selection of fans picked out of our entire group of “likes”. I do not think that you can count on posting multiple instances of your own content all at once in order to get more new eyes on the material. Reposting content probably works best over time, as new fans will not have been exposed to our posts from before they liked our page.