Facebook recently stated their stats show that on average, only 16% of a brand Page’s fans see their posts. I’m not disputing that number but let’s analyze what it really means, because honestly, it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of your Facebook business Page.
First, that number is an average and since I’m sure the majority of the Pages that have been created aren’t being run effectively, the numbers from those Pages are going to kill the overall average. Instead of focusing on what Facebook says, look at your own Insights and figure out your actual percentage. My average post Reach is about 30%. Some are way higher and some are lower, depending on lots of variables, like the content, the time of day they were posted, etc., but on average, about 30%.
Second: The 16% Facebook is talking about refers only to the percentage of people who have Liked your Page, but even if that does coincidentally happen to be the same as your Page’s Reach it’s probable that a lot more people are seeing your posts than you think.
When you look at your stats you’ll notice that Facebook shows you how many people see your posts virally. Those are people who may not have Liked your Page but are seeing your posts in their newsfeeds because your posts were liked, commented on or shared by their friends. Additionally, your Page may have been added to some Interest Lists, in which case, anyone who subscribes to those lists will see your posts and can engage with them even though they haven’t Liked your Page. It’s also possible for people to see your posts in your Timeline without Liking your Page.
In my screenshot you can see that according to Facebook, 33% of the “people who like your page saw this post”. Those are the people Facebook is referring to when they say your posts may only be seen by 16% of your fans. Obviously it’s in their best interest to get everyone hysterical about that number so they’ll start paying to promote their posts, but I’m suggesting that you take the time to analyze your actual situation and consider how many people are really seeing your posts before you start paying to have them seen. And no, I’m not saying there aren’t good reasons to promote a post, just that you shouldn’t think you have to.
Here are the actual numbers of people who saw the post in my screenshot:
My Fans – 1,438 or 33%
Viral (friends of fans) – 470
Total Unique People – 2,460
At this moment I have 4,359 fans and my story reached 2,460 people so, does it really matter to me that it wasn’t 56% of my fans but the same number of both fans and non fans that saw my post? Not really. Especially since the more non fans who see my post the better chances I have of turning them into fans.