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Not so Much to Like: Facebook Page Reach Declines

Posted by Rebecca Blake on February 20, 2014

Have you set up a Facebook page for your illustration or design business? Chances are this winter you’ve seen a large drop in the total reach of your page posts. On the Guild’s Facebook page alone, we’ve seen a drop in total reach of up to 60% for some posts. For the past six months, Facebook has been tweaking their News Feed algorithm to emphasize posts on links, and decrease the reach of posts with meme and spammy content. While there is some speculation that the move is an attempt to drive businesses to purchase ads on Facebook, the company states that it’s seeking to provide a higher quality, more meaningful news feed for its participants.

Purchasing ad space on Facebook is probably not the best use of a limited marketing budget for the average design or illustration shop. However, there still are a number of steps you can take to increase your Page’s exposure. Chad Whittman, founder of EdgeRank Checker, posted an article on The Moz Blog describing the results of an extensive case study comparing the organic reach of two Pages which posted different content. Whittman’s takeaway from the case study is that page administrators should focus on quality engagement rather than frequent calls to action, post frequently and at different times of the day, and study their page analytics to understand which posts and sources engage their followers.

Patrick Cuttica of Socialkaty has some additional insights into how pages can extend their reach. He points out that posts with multiple photos (a recent improvement Facebook recently added) have a much higher engagement rate than posts with only one photo. (Before posting your images to Facebook, beware of their Terms of Use, which according to ASMP permit the company to monetize them. Instead of your original artwork, you may prefer to post, for example, photos of events you’re participating in.)

In late January, Facebook announced two recent changes to the Newsfeed algorithm, “Story Bumping” and “Last Actor”. Story Bumping posts older stories to the top of a News Feed if readers are still engaging it, and Last Actor prioritizes posts from Pages of friends with whom a user has recently interacted. Cuttica urges Page administrators to take advantage of these changes by visiting old posts people have commented on and replying to them, and by linking back to an old post in a new post or by embedding the post in a blog or webpage.

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