When it comes to measuring your social media efforts, Facebook engagement is one of the easiest to calculate and compare against your competitors.
You just calculate Total Engagement (Likes + Comments + Shares) as a percent of total fans.
It’s harder to explain to the C-suite, however, how Facebook’s most recent News Feed algorithm update is squashing your brand’s organic reach.
That’s the challenge I’m facing as our organic reach and engagement rate dwindle for Akron Children’s Hospital’s brand page. Organic reach is the holy grail of Facebook engagement. It impacts how many people see your content in their news feed, and therefore, have the opportunity to like, share, comment or click on it.
Take a look at the rapidly shrinking reach our posts have had since the change in May.
1. Facebook gives preferential treatment to posts by friends.
“Content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or likes, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it,” wrote Facebook in its announcement last April.
With greater weight given to friends’ posts, you only see a smattering of posts from the brand pages you follow. Since posting high-quality content isn’t enough anymore to extend your brand’s organic reach, we’re left with only one option: Paid reach.
2. Facebook has slackened its rule to avoid showing multiple posts from the same friend.
Facebook used to downplay showing consecutive posts from the same person, but it has eased up on that rule.
I don’t know about you, but I have found this particular change annoying. I get tired of seeing posts from the same handful of people over and over again.
3. Facebook actively restricts showing the interactions your friends have with a post.
This change stems from user complaints about seeing the brand stories their friends liked or commented on in their news feed. So, while you still see them occasionally, they’re lower in the news feed.
This particular change makes it really hard for brand pages to grow loyal followers. That’s because without these second-hand referrals, it’s nearly impossible for people who don’t already “Like” your page to discover your content. That is, unless you pay to boost or sponsor posts.
The bottom line is you better be willing to pay to play if you want to reach your audience. That’s what we’re doing.