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How Come so few of my fans are seeing my posts?

statusupdatesThis is a much longer blog than my normal marketing rants. But I feel the need to pipe in and comment! I hear this all the time from my clients, “No one is commenting”, or “How come my fans are not participating”, or “How come none of my fans can see my posts”…

 

I am torn on how to respond to this – I think I boiled down to two things, 1) really understanding how Facebook actually works and 2) Who Cares? (or Learning what is actually valuable)

Part One: Understanding how Facebook works.

Not everything that every friend and page that you follow will appear in your news feed. Think about it this way – the average number of Facebook friends someone has is around 300.  I personally know several people that have close to the 5000 friend limit that Facebook puts on its accounts. It’s important to note that this does not factor into account the number of Pages that someone decides to like. Let’s say that theoretically each one of your friends updates their status once a day – this means that there would be at least 300 posts for you to read and scroll through. Just imagine how overwhelming that would be! Of Course this is not what actually happens, I know that when I log on to Facebook, either on my mobile or on my computer, I typically only scroll through 20 or 30 postings.

So how does Facebook decide what to display? Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what it thinks is going to be most interesting and valuable to you. So, the newsfeed isn’t really a feed of news. Instead, it’s a chart of the most ‘important’ Edges as determined by the EdgeRank Algorithm. What are the elements that make this algorithm?

A combination of three factors: Affinity, Edge Weight and Recency.  So if you comment on someone’s photos allot, or if you “spy” on their page allot, you will probably show up in their news feed.

Of Course commenting on a friend’s photo is not going to make your Page’s status updates show up more. That is where edge weight comes in –The three types of content which are widely understood to have the highest Edge Weight are Videos, Photos, and Links. Recency should be pretty self-explanatory – the more recent your update is the more likely it will show up in someone’s newsfeed. So if I check my Facebook at 7pm, then pages and people who posted updated within the hour or so will be most likely to appear in my news feed.

Part Two: Who Cares, or Learn to understand the RIGHT statistics

So I can understand the disappointment when you post a Facebook update and only see 10-20% of your Facebook fans have seen your posts. I get it. Especially when you have worked so hard to build your fanbase. It will feel like you are doing a whole bunch of work for nothing.

But think of it this way – if you do any other form of advertising or promotion do you get that high of a return? If you send out 10,000 postcards do you really know how many people read the postcard versus sending it out in the mail?

Based on the sheer volume of total posts and the EdgeRank system, you cannot except that your entire fanbase will see your update/link/photo ect. It would not be possible.

On the other hand I have seen many blog posts by my fellow social media “gurus” that complain or comment on the fact that Facebook is now offering a paid post. I have seen statements about how low fan post views are “forcing” people to pay for promoted posts.

My favorite commentary on the subject is by digital genius/wizard, Jon Loomer. He writes:

I find it a bit strange that so many marketers are demanding that their posts reach more than 16% of their fans. Why is it that anyone can expect we’d easily reach more?

The typical open rate for a marketing email is 20%. Yet, email is a stationary target. Whether your target audience is on their email right now or not, they’ll get that email. They just may not open it….

On Facebook, your target audience is constantly moving. While users are on Facebook more than any other website, that doesn’t mean that your fans are sitting at their computers waiting for your brand’s latest update.

A recent study indicated that the typical Facebook update has a lifespan of 2 1/2 hours. If your fan isn’t on Facebook within 2 1/2 hours of you posting it, they probably won’t see it…

Let’s do the math. An average Facebook user is on for 30 minutes per day. There’s a 2 1/2 hour window from when that person is online that you can reach them (total of three hours). Of a total 24-hour day (especially for international brands), that leaves you with a 12.5% chance of reaching fans through the News Feed on any given day — without considering EdgeRank

I think Facebook’s promoted post is crazy awesome! I love it! Basically if one (or several) of your fans are not online when you create the post… then Facebook will make they see your post. Social Marketing is not free. It takes time and effort (both of which should have value) And if you also (strategically) toss in a few dollars here and there for paid promotion then you are on the right track.

Basically what I am saying is, Facebook offer’s its social platform to its users for free. I think that we should be grateful that we have such a fun digital playground. It is a WONDERFUL medium and tool to reach your target market, but do not take it for granted and expect FREE.

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Guest Thursday, 25 May 2017