Archive for April, 2013

The Bigger the Facebook Page, the Harder it is to Reach Fans

Have you ever wondered if the size of your Facebook page’s fan base plays a part in the distribution of posts from your page? According to a recent analysis done using Facebook post data, the rate of distribution on a post decreases as the size page’s fan base increases.

Generally, which fans are reached by the average post depends on the Facebook sorting algorithm Edgerank, which takes into account not only the content preferences of your fans, but also the affinity between your fan base and your page.  Whenever your page posts, the message automatically shows up in the newsfeed of a subset of the fan base, the impressions garnered from this is called ‘organic reach’.

In order determine what the average percentage of a page’s fan base is reached organically, over 40K posts across multiple verticals from Q4 2012 were analyzed.  The sample data was then grouped by fan base size, and the average organic reach per post was compared to the total fan base size.

Facebook has previously reported that a post reaches anywhere between 15 – 20% of a pages total fan base organically. Independent studies put the average organic reach much lower, at anywhere between 3 – 7.5%.  The average percentage of fan base reached in the sample analyzed here was 10%, but the most interesting information popped up when the data was separated into fan base brackets.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 2.52.32 PM
As a page’s fan base goes from under 500K to over 1 million, the percentage of the fan base reached organically gets cut nearly in half! And pages with over 10MM fans only reach on average 4% of their fans, that’s a third of the organic reach of pages with less than 500K.

We’re not suggesting you should stop trying to grow your page’s fan base, as 4% of a page with 10MM fans is still a much larger audience than 12% of a page with 500K. However, the moral of the story is: be mindful of the quality of fans your page is acquiring, as there does seem to be a reach cost as your fan base size grows.