October 11th, 2012

Facebook's Algorithmic Change and its Affect on Businesses

by Kaylie Soule

If you are an administrator to a Facebook page you may have recently noticed a decrease in your reach (like we have). We wanted to take some time to break down the way Facebook decides which posts and stories to display in your Newsfeed, and the changes they’ve recently made, so you can continue to reach your audience.

Facebook uses an algorithm they call EdgeRank to determine  which stories and posts appear in a user’s Newsfeed (whether you are a ‘friend’ or business). The EdgeRank is Facebook’s way of predicting what stories will be the most interesting to you, and ultimately delivering those to you and optimizing out the ones that wouldn’t be. As a business owner, your goal should be to always  post the most interesting and engaging content possible to increase interactions, your EdgeRank and the possibility that your posts will show up in Newsfeeds.

As we mentioned, we have recently noticed a slight decrease in our reach, and a change in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is why.  Edgerankchecker.com found from analyzing 3,000 Facebook pages of different sizes and posting frequency that organic (non-sponsored ) reach decreased by 25%, viral reach decreased by 45% and engagement/fan decreased by 17%. (Facebook has great resources for the definitions of those terms if you are new to dissecting Facebook Insights.) Although no public statements have been made yet by Facebook, quite a bit of research and speculation has shown that businesses are not reaching the same amount of Newsfeeds with their posts that they did just a few weeks ago due to this drastic algorithmic change.

So why in the world would Facebook decrease your pages’ reach? Several theories stem from a rumor that Facebook is attempting to provide 80% organic content and 20% paid content in the form of ads and sponsored stories. I’m sure at this point you are wondering what the heck you can do to make your business’s posts better and more likely to show up in Newsfeeds. One way is certainly to play Facebook’s game and promote content that drives interactions. If ads aren’t in the cards for you, mashable.com did a great job of outlining five new ways to improve your EdgeRank. Publishing more photos and photo albums is one, easy way.

Also, we’re here to help. We know many of you are much too busy making daily decisions with your own business to keep up with the way Facebook is running theirs. So whether you’d like to start running ads on Facebook or need help coming up with a strategy  for your posts, give us a call.