Recent Stats Show That People Use Facebook Differently Now – Here’s How

Here’s something you don’t get to hear too often: good news about your Facebook reach!

(Seriously. Go ahead and bask in that feeling for a second.)

Because usually, getting Facebook to show your content to a wider swath of your audience feels like an uphill climb. Your reach is determined by a bunch of different factors – some of which are just plain out of your control!

But the average Facebook reach recently hit an 11-month high – and that has some encouraging implications for the future of your marketing.

A March 2016 study by Locowise revealed that organic reach recently got a massive bump, increasing by 60% since just a few months prior.

How high did it get, exactly? And what does it mean for your Facebook marketing plans moving forward?

“Good” is relative

In March, Facebook reach was the highest it had been since the previous May.

How high did it average? 20 percent? 30 percent? A million percents?

Turns out the number was more like…11.41 percent.


Spelling Bee Champion

Okay, 11.41% doesn’t sound that impressive.

It means that any given update is seen by what, 1.14 out of 10 people? That’s like, one person and someone else’s shoes!

But a little perspective goes a long way.

For example, in April 2015, the average organic reach for a post was only 4.11 percent. That’s a painfully low percentage of people seeing the stuff you’ve worked hard to write and share!

When you compare March’s reach of 11.41% to the recent past, then, it’s a lot more encouraging! That’s because in marketing, an isolated number isn’t nearly as valuable as the trends it might indicate.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A single statistic doesn’t matter – but trends do.”]

Pay attention to the trends, and you can do more of the things that make an actual positive difference for the future of your marketing. It’s like having your own private psychic!


(Okay, maybe it’s not QUITE like that. But it’s close!)

Speaking of understanding trends, though, there’s more to learn from these stats – so let’s take a closer look.

Different types of updates get different types of reach

For regular readers of our blog, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise: the type of Facebook update you post has a major impact on its reach.

(Side note: you can click here to make sure you don’t miss those kinds of juicy truth nuggets in the future.)

Not all updates are given the same weight when Facebook’s deciding who gets to see what – and the type of update is a big influence.


According to Locowise’s study, for example, the average organic reach for a video in March was 12.81%, while the average organic reach for a plain, non-link status update was a significantly smaller 6.45 percent.

(This goes to show that Facebook was making good on its promise to give live broadcasts priority placement in the News Feed. See – paying attention to trends makes a difference!)

Facebook reach is never random. Experiment, pay attention to algorithm changes and new features, and don’t write anything off as chance or bad luck – on Facebook, there’s always a reason something happened the way it did!

While you’re keeping all that in mind, there’s one more important thing these recent stats are telling you:

Jumping ship doesn’t get you far

It’s pretty natural to feel frustrated when Facebook reach is down, but that doesn’t mean you should quit making an effort!

These recent stats show that downswings aren’t necessarily permanent, and that you can expect positive change even after a prolonged period of disappointing stats – and this isn’t the only study to back that up.

Just look at the “problem” of young people abandoning Facebook.

Analysts have been clutching their pearls for years over the idea that younger audiences are bailing on Facebook in favor of the greener pastures of newer networks like Snapchat.

As early as 2013, CNET was reporting that teens were getting sick of Facebook – despite having what they described as “no hard-and-fast data” quantifying the “teen problem.”


If you bought it at the time, that would be a pretty scary assertion!

Three years later, how’s that “teen problem” look?

In the United States, 93% of people aged 13-29 are using Facebook each month – that’s more people in that age group than watch traditional television.

(Aren’t you glad you didn’t believe all that anecdotal evidence way back when?)

People aren’t leaving Facebook the way they were once predicted to, but statistics do show that they’re using Facebook differently.

The number of status updates posted by individual users is dropping, even though Facebook’s user base has grown, and people still spend a significant amount of time there. (Users aged 18-35 actually spend 2.5x as much time on Facebook as they do on the second most time-consuming network, Snapchat.)

And you’re going to love the reason why.

Facebook has been saying for a long time that it wants to be a place where people go to find and read quality content – and it looks like it’s getting its wish.

While people are using other social networks for the types of personal messaging they once relied on Facebook for, they’re still visiting Facebook as a tool for discovering new information – like the content you’re sharing.

More than 80% of Facebook users in the US are connected to a business. If your business is creating and sharing stellar content on Facebook, you’re giving people exactly what they’re looking for when they log on!

[easy-tweet tweet=”More than 80% of Facebook users in the US are connected to a business.”]

The point of all this is that while it’s changed over the years, statistically, Facebook is worth your time and energy – so take it with a grain of salt when you hear people talk about jumping ship.

Facebook isn’t done changing

While all of these stats show that Facebook belongs in your marketing strategy as much as ever, they ALSO show that this social network is always changing.

Using Facebook effectively is a never-ending challenge of adapting to new circumstances – but if you put the time and effort into doing it, it can pay off in big ways!

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  • I like how simple you made the Facebook algorithm so I won’t comment on whether it’s totally accurate. Good enough for explaining it.

    I will mention that 11% viewing of anything is not a small number. We don’t read all our mail, open emails or see all the TV commercials.. even when we do pay attention, which is less and less in all media now. Direct marketers make millions with 1/2 to 1% open rate on mailers.

  • Rikki Ayers

    Thanks for this update. We need more no-BS marketing blogs like this – trends over one-time stats! I agree with Keith that I don’t always trust what FB says, because I’ve experienced things differently, but good to know organic reach is back up. For a while, many people stopped posting regularly altogether because it was a waste of time for less than 10% reach, especially for small businesses with slowly growing followings. It seemed like FB would only give reach to people who bought ads (pay to play), and I’ve seen a ton of people pour way too much money into boosting posts (myself included – I was boosting important stuff just so people would see it…). Not into doing live video yet, but you can see FB is already giving people a lot of attention for doing that.

  • Keith King

    Good post, however fb also lies ALOT. I did my own test with a page I have which has 21,000 likes. I put on an image that had a link to a sales page knowing FB wouldn’t give it the reach it would a picture with no sales link. 3 hours later it had less than 100 people reached, BUT fb said “This post is performing better than 95% of other posts…Boost it..” The only reason they said that is because it was a sales post. I can guarantee it was not performing better. So then, I posted the same picture (a little closer to take out the image of a shirt) and with in 1 hour it reached 1,205 people. A few days later and the original sale post has reached 420 people and the non sales picture has reached 6,397 people. I have a screen shot, but won’t post it here because it is one of those buy a letter shirts/memes for FARMING F(___)ING. It works for the page it was put on.

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