In December, there was widespread panic (well, almost) when Facebook brand page reach started plummeting. At that time, Ignite Social Media noticed a reach decline of 44 percent over the month–and our numbers weren't too different.
Since then, there's been a lot of talk about a), whether or not there's still value in being on Facebook (we still think there is), and b), what Facebook was going to do, if anything, to bring brand page reach back up.
Given Facebook's history of constantly tweaking EdgeRank and the overall news feed format, I'm not too surprised to see a change by Facebook that should supposedly start bringing brand page reach back to more acceptable limits–and should hopefully give at least part of the answer to our second question.
The new updates involves showing stories about topics you like, and goes a little something like this: when one page tags another page in a post, Facebook "may show the post to some of the people who like or follow the tagged page." As Facebook notes, the post you see above about Dwight Howard could show up in the feeds of people who follow or like Dwight Howard and/or people who follow or like Bleacher Report–a handy addition.
This feature already happens with normal users, but it is new to brand pages.
The big question here is whether or not brand page reach will improve–and it's too early to tell just yet. Supposedly, this feature was rolled out in one form or another yesterday, but there's mixed feedback as to whether that update is happening on a global level or if it's just being rolled out on a selective basis (we should know more about that within a few days). That said, this is still a welcome feature at a time where brand page reach is still fairly low overall.
We'll report back with more on this as we start to see its effects in action, but there's one more thing to add here: Facebook's news feed and EdgeRank album are living, dynamic things. What's true for posting on Facebook one day could easily be untrue a few months down the road, so always pay attention to these updates. They help you not only adapt your strategy as necessary to best reflect these changes, but also give you a little bit of valuable insight into what Facebook is looking for and how it works.
Is this what it's going to take to get brand page reach to improve? Hard to tell. But after a period of relative silence following the last brand page dropoff, it's certainly a welcome step in the right direction.
John likes Dwight Howard, but dislikes Bleacher Report. He's Managing Editor at Social Media Contractors.
Photo credit: Facebook
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