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Is There a Connection Between Page Like Recency and Organic Reach?

May 29th, 2015 Posted by

Page Like Recency Organic Reach

While we’re given bits and pieces of information regarding what Facebook does and doesn’t show in the news feed, the formula is mostly a mystery. And considering there are thousands of factors that Facebook considers, it may be a wasted exercise to attempt to connect the dots.

Wasted or not, I wanted to take a closer look at a factor I have long believed contributes to organic reach: Page Like Recency.

It just makes sense that the two would be connected. Someone who likes your page today should be far more likely to care about your content than someone who liked it three years ago.

But is this supported by data?

My Data

I exported page level and post level reports dating back to the middle of 2013. There were some clear bugs in reporting before that (lots of 0s), so I stopped there.

My main focus was on organic reach and page likes. I found the difference in page likes based on the following time periods for each day:

  • 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 120 days
  • 150 days
  • 180 days
  • 210 days

I then found the median page likes accumulated during that period for each month, beginning in January of 2014.

The other half of this equation was organic post reach. I found the median organic reach of all link posts for each month dating back to January of 2014. I didn’t use any other post types to keep the data consistent and because links are the post type I share the most, so there is a decent sample size.

Note that I could have used reach of fans (often confused with organic reach, but they are different). This is found within the post level export. However, there were two issues with this set of data.

First, reach of fans includes paid reach. That throws off results.

Second, there were bugs in this reporting where I was seeing lots of 0s for reach by fans. Considering these posts otherwise had normal organic reach, this would be impossible.

Charting the Data

Let’s take a look at the resulting chart…

Page Likes Organic Reach

The lines that all appear to move with one another represent page likes accumulated over different durations. The blue line that sticks out and seems to be completely unrelated represents median organic reach.

I’ve highlighted three portions of the graph where an argument could be made that there is a relationship. Median organic reach is going up or down while page likes accumulated is going in the same direction.

However, that’s a pretty significant stretch. The lines are moving in opposite directions in essentially every other portion of the graph.

Is There a Relationship?

First of all, this is only my data. As such, it’s a small sample size.

When looking only at my data, there isn’t a clear relationship between page like recency and organic post reach. Of course, that doesn’t mean that such a relationship doesn’t exist.

As mentioned at the top, there are thousands of factors contributing to whether or not someone sees my posts. While page like recency could matter, the other factors could easily pull the results in the other direction. It’s impossible to know for sure.

In summary, my results are plainly inconclusive. Disappointing, but not a surprise.

Your Turn

Do you notice a relationship between page like recency and organic reach? What results are you seeing?

Let me know in the comments below!

Category: PHC Blog Uncategorized