Facebook Organic Reach Analysis (September 2012 vs September 2013)


Published on

We have figured out that there is a significant decrease in Organic Reach Conversion to Total Likes on Facebook for a few weeks. So, we analyzed the state on our accounts by comparing September 2012 and September 2013.

We have discovered that in September 2012, we can easily reach 15% of any brand pages on Facebook. However today, the conversion has decreased to 4.5%.

Report prepared by: Candaş Demir

Published in: Social Media, Technology, Business

Facebook Organic Reach Analysis (September 2012 vs September 2013)

  1. 1. Head Turners of Today’s Attention Economy http://41-29.com Facebook Organic Reach Analysis by Candaş Demir October 2013
  2. 2. Problem with Organic Reaches on Facebook We at 41? 29! are working with more than 30 brands who are trying to reach and contact with their fans. Our social media managers are the bridge between the brands and their fans. The biggest social network in Turkey is Facebook with nearly 32 million users. Turkish people love to engage on Facebook. However, thanks to Facebook, pages reaching to its fans is getting harder and harder. As an analyst, we have compared September 2012 and September 2013 on several basis. Quick overview, from September 2012 to September 2013 the major update on the “News Feed Algorithm” was saying goodbye to “Edge Rank” on 6 Aug’ 2013 and after that Facebook starts to test and effects of this change reflects to our pages on September. Before moving into the effects, we also need to mention period of Gezi Park Protests. We have ceased the communication on pages during June 2013. At last but not least, I need to mention what we’ll cover:  Organic Reach Analysis  Organic Reach Analysis according to Post Types  What Affects Organic Reach 1
  3. 3. September 2013 We have analyzed 1475 posts from 23 different pages (from various sectors such as consumer goods, automotive, technology) we have shared during September 2013. Post Types 2% 4% 16% 78% Link Photo Status Update Video We mostly used photos to get attention of users and engage with them. This has been an overall strategy all around the world nearly for past two years. Although it’s reasonable to use photos, key metric is reach! 2
  4. 4. Now, take a closer look to our pages. Number of Posts & Pages (w/t Fan Amounts) Number of Posted Number of Pages 800 6 703 700 5 5 600 4 500 4 4 400 3 315 300 2 200 2 97 1 14 60 2 1 1 100 2 59 1 1 38 45 0 92 52 0 Fan Amounts So, out of our 23 pages, 7 of them have over 1 million fans and we have shared 755 posts on these pages which makes the nearly half of the dataset. Also, answers resulted from analysis based on dataset is not too reliable for pages that has lower than 10.000 fans (since we have 14 data). 3
  5. 5. Let’s take a look at the organic reaches, Average organic reach of 1475 posts that we shared during September 2013 is 4.63% of Lifetime Total Likes. Here is the Lifetime Total Likes’ conversion to organic reach. Organic Reach Conversion (%) Type Video 4.64 Status Update 21.20 Photo 4.44 Link 3.39 0 5 10 15 20 25 % If we are talking about a page of 100 fans, averages state that if you publish a status update (text post), it will reach nearly 21 fan. If you share video, photo or link it will reach nearly 5 fan. It’s a gap. When analyzing the data, We have figured that source of this gap may be related to size of the pages, fan amounts. The analyzed 23 pages average total likes is 535,521. 4
  6. 6. Organic Reach Conversion (w/t Post Types) Link Photo Status Update Video 30 24.92 25 21.52 20 15.72 14.89 15 13.75 11.83 10 6.39 5 6.35 3.03 7.83 8.62 6.68 6.31 4.33 2.77 4.89 3.54 1.61 3.70 3.71 3.39 3.50 3.09 3.24 0  Now, this is chart tells amazing stories and the missing points of our data. Organic reach of Photos starts to decrease after the page gains 10,000 fans. After 1 million, organic reach of Photos drops below 4% (this level is also observed at 50,000-99,999 but when comparing to neighbors our data maybe outlier or the lowest level.)  After 150.000 fans, organic reach of video posts has decreased below 4.5% (except 1 mio to 1,5 mio) If we also think to conversion of reach to watch, Facebook makes it impossible to make fans watch your video.  Status Updates are only 2% of our 1.475 posts database, however at every fan level it shows consistency. 300,000-499,999 interval makes the 41% of our Status Update (13) posts at which organic reach of Status Updates jumps to 24.92%.  We have only shared Links on pages which have 1 million fans and their organic reach was always below 3.5% 5
  7. 7. Altough the sample seems insufficient at certain points, those outliers that I have mention in parenthesis may have an another reason. For example, we know that Facebook tries hard to make pages give ads and there isn’t anything more natural than limiting the reaches of bigger pages to increase their budget spent on media. But, does the Paid Reach affect Organic Reach? We have supported 93 of 1,475 posts with ads. At first glance, organic reach conversion is 5.72% for posts which have paid reach and 4.55% for others. Here is the detailed chart. Organic Reach Conversion (w/t Paid Used?) 30 25 21.56 20 15.92 15 Min Avg Max 10 7.07 5.44 5 4.79 3.20 4.56 4.39 0 Link Photo Status Yes Video Link Photo Status Video No Graph states that paid reach does increase organic reach except Status Updates. Maybe Facebook does not care so much this type of post which have the highest organic reach or of course our sample data can be limited since we have only 2 Status Updates that is supported by Facebook Ads. 6
  8. 8. We have proved that Facebook values the area that page is invading on News Feed and adjust the reach with respect to that. But, if you have a page that has beyond average engagement. Facebook starts to suggest boost if the pages post is over 1% engagement of engagement. We have compared our pages organic engagement rates (comments+likes+shares per post and divided them to organic reach) and calculated organic reach conversions for 23 pages. Reach Conversion % Engagement Rate vs Reach Conversion 16 14.89 14 12 10 8 6 4.88 4.16 4.16 3.15 4 2 0 0-0.99% 1-2% 2-3% 3-4% 4-5% (12 pages) (7 pages) (1 pages) (2 pages) (1 pages) Engagement Rate (by Organic Reach) No. From our data, it seems that Engagement of Pages does not affect the organic reach of posts on Facebook. Yes, above 4% of engagement it seems like organic reach jumps to epic level but I need to mention that the single page is also the one page which have fans below 10.000 which means that it has the perfect combinations for boosting organic reach: Low level of fans and higher engagement. 7
  9. 9. September 2012 For September 2012, We have analyzed 830 posts from 18 different pages – again- from various sectors. Total 3% 1% 5% 17% 74% Link Photo Question Status Update Video Back in those days, we had questions. But, we mostly share photos which is followed by links. 753 of the 830 posts are Photos and Links. However, we did not prefer Status Updates during the month and shared only 11 throughout the 18 pages. 8
  10. 10. Last year, our pages are slightly smaller and analyzed pages and us grew together. Number of Posts & Pages (w/t Fan Amounts) Number of Posts Number of Pages 450 7 6 400 6 350 300 4 5 388 4 4 250 205 200 3 150 100 50 2 1 1 74 1 1 1 28 30 64 41 0 0 Most of the pages from September 2012 has between 500.000-999.999 fans and shared nearly 45% total posts on these pages which are followed by pages that have 200.00-299.999 fans. 9
  11. 11. Now the breaking point, what was the organic reach conversion like according to the post types in September 2012 in comparison to 2013? In September 2012, average organic reach conversion was 14.8%. Good days... As stated before, average organic reach conversion in September 2013 has become only 4.63%. Organic Reach Conversion Comparision (Sept 2012 vs 2013 4.64 Video 14.67 21.20 Status Update 11.84 Question 2013 8.42 2012 4.44 Photo 15.28 3.39 Link 14.27 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 25.00 % What have you done Facebook? Really, what have you done? At 2012, whatever you post on a page, there was a stability. If you have 100 people on the page, you nearly guarantee that 15 people see that. At 2013, organic reach, the main boost of pages promotion has decreased to 1/3. Does Facebook need that much of advertising? It seems like they do. 10
  12. 12. Maybe, we are missing something, maybe we had supported more posts with ads? Since we learned from September 2013 analysis that Facebook Ads can boost your organic reach. Nope. We have used Paid methods in 46 of total 830 posts in September 2012. Paid Post % vs Organic Reach Conversion % 16 14 14.8 12 10 8 6 5.54 6.3 4.63 4 2 0 Sept 2012 Paid Post Percentage Sept 2013 Organic Reach Conversion So, post percentage for which used Facebook ads in September 2012 is 5.54% and in September 2013 is 6.3%. 11
  13. 13. There is not so much need to compare Engagement Rates w/t Organic Reach but data may tell us something. Since, I’d like to see the effect of Engagement Rate on Organic Reach, it will be enough to check if total number of engagement metrics (answers+comments+shares+likes)/Organic Reach and take the percentage and analyze the rate. Engagement Rate vs Organic Reach Conversion Organic Reach Conversion % 16 14.8 14 Engagement Rate 1 0.93 0.9 0.8 12 0.7 10 0.6 0.58 8 0.5 0.4 6 4.63 0.3 4 0.2 2 0.1 0 0 Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Even if the Organic Reach Conversion has dramatically fallen, our engagement rates become higher which also proves that Facebook does not take the pages engagement scores into consideration when calculating Organic Reach. 12
  14. 14. I tried to summarize the current state of Organic Reach and the main factors that seem to affect I believe the most crucial metric on Facebook Pages. Here are the few results that I add if you want to utilize the reach. 1- Don’t Trust Fan Amount: In one year, biggest downfall of organic reach has become losing its stability. If you are seeing a post that reaches nearly 15% of fans organically, do not trust it because your next post may just reach up to 2% of your fans. 2- Use Facebook Ads regularly: We cannot think of a brand that chooses to address a million fans on Facebook which do not regularly use Facebook Ads. Paid reach has to turn into something as normal as organic reach. 3- Boost Viral Reach: Even if Organic Reach does not affect from the Engagement Rate, there is an another reach I did not directly mention in the report: Viral Reach. Viral Reach grows by engagement that post gathers. Getting lots of Viral Reach is not too easy by but only trusting organic reach however remember the first suggestions. With combination of Organic and Paid Reach, Viral Reach can become your secret weapon. So, if Facebook suggest you to boost your post via Facebook Ads, just do it. Also, develop campaigns. 4- Try Different Post Types: Average Status Update on my screen takes up 2 cm space. On the other hand, average Photo takes up 10 cm space. Photo will definitely attract more users if they see it. The analysis states that average Status Update reaches nearly 4 times more users than any other post type. So if your Status Update gathers some viral reach, its size expands into 5 cm with the addition of story (your friend liked this, your friend commented on that etc.) which can create a powerful conversion time to time. 13
  15. 15. Head Turners of Today’s Attention Economy By: Candaş Demir http://tr.linkedin.com/in/candasdemir candas@41-29.com http://41-29.com http://facebook.com/4129agency http://twitter.com/41_29 http://vimeo.com/reel4129 http://www.behance.net/fortyone29 http://www.linkedin.com/company/41-29- Atatürk Oto Sanayi Sitesi, 52. Sokak No: 4 , 34337 Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey +90 212 245 85 30