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Facebook Reach Error February 24, 2013

I feel very relieved to know that I am not crazy. Ever since December, I’d noticed a significant decrease in my page’s Reach statistic on Facebook Insights. I felt alone in this situation because for months I’d researched online to see if anyone else was seeing the same problem and found nothing recent.

Many people had written about the subject, however, they referenced the time period when Facebook introduced Promoted Posts in the late summer of 2012, alluding to the fact that Facebook decreased Reach on purpose to increase participation in Promoted Posts. This is not true and it was not reflected on my page.

Around Christmas, I noticed a significant decrease in my Page’s Reach. I manage a fairly small-ish page, but was consistently seeing a reach of 300-400 every post I shared and felt comfortable with that number. Late December, our average reach began dipping below 100. That was scary. Our Page Likes continued to increase and engagement was higher than ever, but still less than 100 people were seeing my post every day. I began test posting at different times of the day and days of the week. I found a few sweet spots that got me back to the 300 reach range, but it wasn’t consistent.

I’d nearly given up when I logged on to Facebook last Friday to see this an article from AllFacebook, “Facebook Bug Caused Pages’ Reported Reach to be Lower” and found a video explanation from Facebook Studio. The awkward lady in the video vaguely describes that their insights were misrepresented, but mostly encourages Facebook page managers to keep an eye on their own stats (because sometimes Facebook messes things up big time). Side note, how creepy is she?!

This article from Tech Crunch better explains the cause: “While trying to speed up its iOS and Android apps, Facebook accidentally stripped out too much data about news feed posts by Pages. This caused Page Insights to be misreported, leading admins to believe their posts reached fewer people than they actually did, in most cases.”

Over the weekend, I was ecstatic to see my average post reach back up to 300 with my highest post reaching over 1,100 people. I wasn’t crazy. There was a reason behind my reach decrease. I was really beginning to think I was messing everything up on my end. It’s nice to know I can blame someone else, but even nicer to see it return to normal.

Facebook has changed a lot in the last year and is still experiencing a lot of trial and error. As the video states, it is important to keep track of your statistics whether on Facebook, or another platform. It is, after all, the responsibility of the community manager to manage the community and understand its strengths and weaknesses. Luckily, through this “experience” I have discovered a new sweet spot for the time of day to post that will prove even more effective with these bug fixes. The biggest bonus is, as I have mentioned, I now know that I’m not crazy!

That being said, since this is due to Facebook changing things, here’s a good GIF for community managers: “EVERY TIME FACEBOOK CHANGES THEIR ALGORITHM”



Was your page’s insights’ affected?


One Response to “Facebook Reach Error”

  1. Kola Says:

    gosh this makes PERFECT sense. thanks for helping us make sense of this, Sarah. i’m more active on Twitter than on Facebook but did notice a dip in the stats recently. good to know it was just Facebook being goofy. hope you’ve been doing great!

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