Facebook Algorithmic Change to Decrease Reach on Brand Page Posts


Facebook announced last Thursday that it would alter the algorithm that decides what a user sees on their newsfeed. The crux of the change is centered strictly on organic brand page posts, in an effort to de-clutter the amount of posts served up to mobile and tablet users by brands.

The change comes at a time when Facebook is trying to maximize the amount of paid advertising it has on the platform, in an effort to bump its share price after a struggling stock share post-IPO.

Facebook usually tinkers with the algorithm on a weekly basis, but this is the first time the change has been made in an effort to minimize brand page posts being seen by those who have opted in to “liking” that page. While Facebook says this isn’t to penalize brand pages, and that engagement shouldn’t be affected, it does make one wonder if they are experimenting with the algorithm to serve up more sponsored stories in the newsfeed, as users interact with Facebook more on mobile devices.

The following information should be noted to help you better galvanize a page posting strategy, moving forward:

  • The reach for many organic page posts will decrease. The number in this decrease will be anywhere between 5% on the low side to 40% on the high side. Some pages may remain unaffected which are following best practices for page publishing.
  • The change may allow Facebook room to grow its organic/paid offering ratio, in which 80% of content in the newsfeed is organic and 20% is paid in the form of sponsored stories, a form of premium advertising within Facebook.
  • Additional strategy and cadence to page publishing will be required. Brands should develop content with newsfeed interaction in mind.
  • Satisfying the algorithm is part of the Social@Ogilvy best practices. Community managers should follow a particular cadence for posting to optimize for this change.
  • Post at the optimal time. Only you know what’s right for your business, and you can use your Page Insights to figure out what’s working. User engagement with Facebook Pages is highest from 9:00-10:00 pm, and the 18-24 demographic is the most engaged during this time.
  • We recommend two posts per day of sound, sight or motion (audio, photo, video). Brands doing a text-only post at 10:00 am, and then another text-only post at 1:00 pm are not using the new algorithm to their advantage. Posts in this timeframe and delivery method cannibalize one another by overlapping, and having no visual element to maximize reach.
  • To break beyond the new reach limitations on organic posts, certain content should use the sponsored story functionality to highlight the content to a wider audience.