Facebook Marketing – The 16% Solution?


You just launched your Facebook business page and are excited that you have crossed the threshold of 100 fans.

How many of them do you suppose will see your next post?  About 16.

That’s right. Facebook has acknowledged what many of us have known for quite some time – and they have even quantified it.

Only 16% of those who Like your Facebook page will see what you publish in their newsfeed.

According to Advertising Age, most of what you share on your Facebook page will never see the light of day. Believe it, because it’s true.

And that 16% is only your potential – with the true reach being much lower.

Thus, a conversation on Facebook is like one in a crowded bar, where your audience is distracted by any number of influences, including their state of mind.

Start Warming Up to Google+

Facebook uses their EdgeRank algorithm (mathematical formula) to filter content – theoretically to enhance the user experience by putting only the most relevant content ones their newsfeed.

Yet, if someone Likes your page, it stands to reason they want to receive your updates. Nevertheless, the only way to reach most of your Facebook page fans is to invest in Facebook ads.

Surprisingly, regardless of your spending, your potential reach is limited to about 75% – according to Facebook.

This is precisely why the in-the-know crowd has gravitated towards Google+.

Google also uses algorithms to determine the content that is most relevant for those performing a search. The difference is it’s a fair fight, so to speak. Unlike Facebook, Google does not block any of your content. Rather, they use their algorithms to determine what gets sent to whom.

Is Your Business the Perfect Solution?

Think of it this way. The web is like a crowded room. Google will only introduce you to those for whom they believe you can potentially provide value.

Facebook, on the other hand, specifically blocks you from 84% of those in the room – regardless of the value you have to offer.

When you invest in Google ads they will make personal introductions, something that you can achieve on your own via organic search. In contrast, Facebook compromises organic search – using ads to open doors that they have intentionally closed.

Do you see the difference?

Google keeps the doors open – with their ads opening them even wider.

Facebook closes doors – that can only be (partially) opened with their ads.

Which one will you choose?

Leave a comment below and share this with your community using any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until next time,  Jeff

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici
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  1. I see it differently. “Only” 16% of your fans are seeing your post. Well, 50% of them are on Facebook on a particular day. A small percentage of that 50% are online when you post. So even when you factor in EdgeRank, is 16% really all that surprising?

    On the flip side, what percentage of the reported number of G+ users are on G+ on any given day? And if they are on for 3 minutes per month (even if that’s an unfair number, it’s not high), what’s the likelihood they’ll see your post?

    A lot of attention has been drawn to that 16% number. I don’t see the problem.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Jon – I see your point and agree.

      Even I have to intentionally go to Google+, whereas Facebook is natural – as a result of previous conditioning.

      So, no right answer here – just the awareness of what is.

      • No right answer, I agree. I respect your opinion since I haven’t completely warmed yet to Google+. So I’m always keeping my ears and eyes open to what it is G+ users love about it. I understand the obvious SEO benefits (and I employ rel=”auth”), but I just haven’t been able to keep it part of my routine outside of a drive-by once per day.

        Love your insight, Jeff. Keep it coming!

  2. The problem that I have is why the heck does Edgerank even exist? Why does Facebook need to determine what people see? Do they think we can’t figure it out for ourselves?

    Now it seems like the answer is “advertising revenue”.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Yep, that’s definitely the reason. If we had full distribution, we wouldn’t need to buy ads. And even then there is no guarantee. As I mentioned, even heavy spending only gets you to 75%.

  3. This information is skewed. Yes, if you are lucky 16% of your fans are seeing a single update (my accounts average over 20%). But to stop there and say that you are only reaching 16% of your fans is false. If you engage daily or every other day at random time with your page with some type of creative content your ‘weekly reach’ will actually be more than your ‘likes’ or fans. i.e. one of my accounts is a coffee shop with 306 likes, last week 1,525 people viewed content with her business name. $0 in ads, just updates about muffins she bakes, etc. I However I appreciate the push for trying Google+ for business, and will dive into it through your other article. Thank you.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Jason – Obviously there are multiple influences here. I’m assuming 16% is a baseline average.

      For example, there are more women than men on Facebook, so if that demographic favors your business – then clearly the numbers go up.

      I had never actually crunched my numbers. Having now done so, I see my page is averaging a little over 20%.

      • You are right, the demographic for your page, stay at home moms, etc, – among other variables – can definitely move the needle up.

        So we obviously agree you can reach a lot more than 20 people in your room of 100 if you talk to them for more than once per week? 🙂

        • Jeff Korhan says:

          Yes, engagement definitely moves the needle. However, it sure would be nice to reach all 100 – but I guess that isn’t going to happen. 🙂

          The other factor is which 20. My experience has been FB really likes to shuffle the deck a lot. No patterns that I can discern.


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