Does Reach matter to you?  I know I’ve seen a pretty steep decrease in my fan reach since the new announcement.  But, just as I told a group that I presented to last week – Facebook is a Marathon not a Sprint and if you’re doing it right – engaging your audience and being consistent with your posting plan, you don’t really need to worry.

After Facebook released this PDF report, they became more straightforward that marketers will have to start paying to play if they want to be seen in the newsfeed.

Facebook’s filtering algorithm, also known as EdgeRank aims to show more of what users care the most about and less of what they are not interested in.

The result: expect a slow decline in the organic distribution of business Pages’ posts as Facebook continues to work towards more relevant user experience on the site. Your posts will have greater chances of showing-up organically in your fan’s (as well as their friends’) news feeds if it is relevant to them and they are engaging The Facebook News Feed is evolving now into what we call a personalized newsletter. It simply means that Facebook gives priority to a brand’s posts if the fans and their friends engage more on the content the Page publishes: the number of likes, shares and comments.

According to Ignite Social Media, “Facebook once said that brand posts reach approximately 16% of their fans. That number is no longer achievable for many brands, and our analysis shows that roughly 2.5% is now more likely for standard posts on large pages. So, a year ago a brand could expect to reach 16 out of 100 fans and now that brand is lucky if they get 3 out of 100. Chilling news for brand pages who have invested resources to “build” a large following of fans.”

As a test, Facebook guru Jon Loomer did some experimenting. Of the 373 stories loaded in his timeline, it was distributed as follows:

  • 239 Stories from Friends (64.1%)
  • 106 Organic Stories from Pages (28.4%)
  • 25 Ads (6.7%)
  • 3 Stories from Lists (0.8%)

Read more about the results of his experiment here…

How will this change affect business owners?

Of course, getting people to pay for something they had for free before can make some people angry or worse – make them steer clear of Facebook marketing altogether.

One claim is that there will come a time that brands can no longer be seen in the News Feed without paying for ads. As of now this is not the case since in the experiment, 28.4% of the contents are organically from Pages.

Another concern is that Facebook is trying to prevent brands from being shown to people who are actually following their posts. However, Jon discusses in his post that if you are engaged with brands, you’ll still see their posts.  He mentions brands he follows such as Mashable, TechCrunch are still showing in his News Feed.

Obviously, Facebook makes their own rules as their platform is free to users and we all know they need to make their shareholders happy.

So what does this mean for business owners and their pages?  Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you get the best reach possible:

  1. Post Consistently – a general rule of thumb is 2x per day
  2. Get to know your fans – ask questions to get them engaged
  3. Run Ads – try running some ads and see how it impacts your organic reach.  Who knows, you might just like running ads and see some great results

I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments if you’re seeing a decline in your reach (and if you are about reach at all!)