Music Marketing

Facebook Admits They’ve Been Underreporting Your Page Reach For Months

Facebook-robotIn an unexpected turn of events, Facebook last week announced that their "engineering audit" of Page Insights "uncovered bugs that impacted impression and reach reporting." Apparently this is the explanation for much of the widespread drop in reported reach that so many have encountered with their Facebook Pages in recent months.

The timing of that drop coincided with an increased promotion of Facebook paid products that resulted in many, myself included, believing that Facebook was radically and consciously reducing reach much further than their relevancy algorithms were claimed to do.

On Friday Facebook dropped this news bomb for musicians and music marketers on their Facebook Studio blog. The below video by what appears to be a robotic creature closely resembling a human being tells you what to look for now that they've begun rolling out fixes.

As Read Write's Nick Statt describes it:

alarmingly low depth-of-field, a woman with a very calming voice
explains everything you need to know about this not-a-real-problem to
soothing piano music."

Advanced Facebook Humanoid Explains What Happened

Facebook's blog post explains:

"To see the overall impact, if any, on your individual Pages, we recommend looking at your organic, paid and viral reach and impressions for your Page and for your posts over the next few weeks, starting on Monday, February 25. Because these bugs impacted our logging systems we won't be able to backfill Page Insights with historical data."

You are likely to find:

Total reach to stay the same or increase for most Pages

An increase in paid reach if you ran News Feed ads

An increase or decrease in organic reach, depending on many factors such as the composition of your fan base, when and how often you post and your spending patterns

A change in metrics computed from reach and impressions, such as engagement rate and virality

Note that they're not promising increases across the board. The next few weeks should be interesting for those promoting music or anything else for that matter via Facebook pages.

Though Facebook does not reveal a timeframe for when the bugs in question started doing their dirty work, Facebook insider Josh Constine says that it goes back to the changes widely noted in the fall.

Time to Reevaluate the Last Few Months of Facebook Coverage

Reduced reporting of reach led to a variety of blog posts, including here at Hypebot, that ranged from exposes to encouragement and advice to seemingly pragmatic stances.

For my part, Facebook's apparent evil helped initiate a thought process that resulted in my killing the Facebook account associated with my public identity. It was a good move for me but, all things considered, it was less about Facebook and more about my need for a personal social space given that Twitter is a better fit for my social business activities.

Despite my personal issues with Facebook, this is great news for music marketers. Facebook continues to dominate social networks and is experiencing rapid mobile growth.

And for those who decided to focus more on their own websites and decrease their reliance on Facebook, this news in no way discredits that activity.

It may actually be a win for everyone except Facebook's competitors.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/ also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. That’s great and all, but it makes the conspiracy theorist in me wonder if it was a mistake… Or is it being adjusted because of the backlash?
    Either way. Even if it was an innocent mistake, how many page owners are now at the point of being “over” Facebook as a marketing tool because of the inability to reach fans without being extorted? It seems to me that the level of frustration caused by this bait and switch has made most small/mid-level artists move on from relying on Facebook for anything of substance.

  2. I know what you mean on all counts.
    Objectively speaking there’s no reason to take their word on anything, no matter how monotonous the delivery.
    And though I have somebody who took over official stewardship of my small fry pages for various personal blogs, it created an atmosphere that lasted long enough to encourage me to kill my public FB account.
    If I had been dependent on my FB pages as a core marketing resource, I would have been focused on alternatives for a few months now. And once you make such a shift, it’s a powerful disincentive to return to the previous approach.

  3. mistake, my ass. they just happened to have a glitch that under-reports the reach of fb posts right as they’re trying to get people to pay for more reach. if you believe that, i have a nice bridge in brooklyn to sell you.

  4. In other words- they’re full of crap, and they’re REALLY reaching for viable commerciality. Being the entity they are, they think that they can cover their assets in jargon, but, in reality they are just backpedaling & hoping no one notices.

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