It was a little over a year ago when Facebook said they would be changing how they report and count reach for pages. After a long wait, we can expect to see the new methodology take place sometime in early 2018. Here’s what the change is all about and what you need to know.

Facebook Shifts to Viewable Only Organic Reach

When Facebook makes the switch, organic (and paid) post reach will now only count when the post appears on a person’s screen. This is currently how it is reported for your ads.

Expect a 20% Decline in Reported Reach

With Facebook aiming to report true viewable numbers, brands should expect to see reach numbers that are around 20% lower. The number reported will be an accurate account of how many people are viewing your page and it’s content online.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Viewable-Only Reach is Implemented

  1. Adjust Your Expectations: If reach has been one of your most important metrics, you’ll absolutely need to account for the 20% dip. Explain to stakeholders what this change means and why it’s happening. The lower numbers don’t have anything to do with quality/quantity of your content (as long as those variables remain the same).
  2. You’ll Have a More Accurate Engagement Percentage: With the new methodology comes a better understanding of engagement percentage. Viewable-only reach will help marketers point out which pieces of social content their audience enjoys on Facebook. When Facebook turns viewable-only reach to go, that would be a good time to try a few different content ideas, even those that you felt failed previously.
  3. Nothing Changes with Paid Reach: Facebook has made it clear that the only change to reporting is for organic reach. Promote your content as you normally would and keep an eye on both numbers to see if anything does change. 
  1. Don’t’ Freak Out: Again, this is a good thing. Just make sure you know how to explain it to your boss, clients, or other stakeholders. Be prepared for the dip in reported reach and let us know if you’re seeing more or less than the 20% dip Facebook is preparing us for. We’d be curious to see how you do when the change takes place. 
  1. Expect More Changes in 2018: Don’t be surprised if there are bigger (scarier) changes in 2018 to reach and in other important areas on Facebook. We’ll keep you updated when there are more announcements made.