Facebook Reach

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Facebook Reach


If you use Facebook to market your business, it is important to understand the key stats which Facebook gives you. These stats can very often be misleading and often mean people rely on one channel for their marketing, often with very limited effect. The 'reach' metric is one of the most commonly misunderstood stats. Facebook define reach as "how many people have seen your post" but this is not accurate, it doesnt mean the post was actually seen.
Reach measures the number of users who may have seen your content because it was displayed on their news feed as one of 6-10 posts which load when you load your newsfeed. As a user scrolls down their feed Facebook will automatically load another 6-10 posts. As soon as these posts are loaded, they are considered as having reached the user, whether or not the user has scrolled down as far as them on their feed.
To quote Jon Loomer (one of the best digital marketeers out there):
Reach is not the number of people who saw your content. It's not the number of people who engaged with your content. It's the number of people who could have seen it if they were focused on a specific part of the page at a specific time.
Measuring Reach is an inexact and inflated measure of how many people actually saw something, in a way reach is an "imaginary stat". The only real use of looking at the reach of a post is to measure how far something may have gone, compared to your other facebook posts" .
A more accurate gauge as to whether people are seeing and enjoying your content is whether they have reacted to it, commented on it or shared it, or, if the campaign in question was supposed to be creating leads, sales or directing traffic to a certain place, then you can track that very accurately on your website and see whether there's a tangible effect.
To break it down a bit more: 


The example above shows that from a reach of 3,366 only 1,154 users had the video on their screen for more than 3 seconds, which is less than half the number of people suggested by the reach stat. The drop off rate after three seconds for video playback is very steep - so it goes to show you that the reach metric really is just a general gauge as to how far a post went compared to other posts on Facebook, it should never be mistaken for people actually seeing your content.

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Shane O'Donnell
Shane is passionate about Web Design and Social Media, he is a graduate of IADT Dun Laoghaire, he holds a Diploma in Visual Communications and Animation. Shane has been working in Web design since 2001 when he joined Fever Interactive, an award winning Dublin based Web Design studio. Shane decided to go freelance in 2003 and has worked on many projects; from simple brochure sites to major bespoke Content Management Systems such as the ERC Rugby site. Shane has yet to seek help for his social media addiction.

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