We’ve pulled three of the errors that are most likely to impact your dealership. Keep reading to learn where Facebook messed up, how it impacted your Facebook presence, and how they’re making it right.
Organic Post Reach
Have you noticed a big drop in your organic post reach? One of Facebook’s biggest errors could have previously inflated your organic reach – the number of people who see your content naturally in their news feeds – by as much as 55%.
When Facebook calculates your organic reach, it counts each person who sees your content appear in their news feed over the course of a seven-day period and a 28-day period. So if John sees a post – or two, or three – from your Facebook page over the course of a week, he gets counted as one person.
Facebook’s problem was they didn’t remove duplicate views before calculating the statistics you see in Facebook Insights. So if John saw content from your page three times over the course of the week, he was counted as three people instead of one. Make sense?
To fix this, Facebook corrected their algorithm to remove the duplicate views. This could cause your seven-day organic reach to drop by 33% and your 28-day reach to drop by as much as 55%.
But that’s not all! Facebook had another issue with calculating organic reach: when measuring the organic reach for a particular post, Facebook didn’t actually consider whether that post actually appeared on someone’s screen. This means that Facebook posts that were placed at the bottom of a user’s news feed (where they would have to scroll and scroll to finally see it) were counted as viewed, even if they never actually made it to the user’s screen.
Facebook is still working on fixing this one, but you can expect your page’s organic reach to drop by as much as 20% on average once they do.
Average Watch Time for Videos
If you’ve posted video content to your Facebook page, you may have noticed a big drop in the average watch time for your videos back in September. This is because Facebook previously calculated the average watch time for videos by dividing the overall time spent watching it by the number of views – except they only counted views that lasted longer than 3 seconds.
To fix it, it introduced two new statistics. “Average Watch Time” now divides the total amount of time that people watched a video by the number of times the video was played. “Unique Average Watch Time” takes the longest instance that an individual watched a video and adds it to the video’s total watch time.
Because the new metrics include views that lasted less than three seconds, your average watch time could drop by 60-80%.
Estimated Total Ad Reach and Estimated Daily Ad Reach
This is one you may have only noticed if you’ve run ads on Facebook. When you’re creating a Facebook ad, Facebook gives you an estimated total ad reach and an estimated daily ad reach as you’re defining your audience. This estimate is supposed to help advertisers target their ads more effectively.
Initially, Facebook was calculating these estimates by looking at a small sample of user behaviors and generalizing them. While it is an estimate, Facebook’s initial method could have inaccurately calculated the number of people who would see your ad. In the future, Facebook will hone it’s estimates more precisely by using known behavior for the full target audience instead of a small sample.
Facebook’s reporting errors have caused some heartburn for users who have noticed their statistics drop with no explanation. To stay on top of the situation, you can view a full breakdown of Facebook’s reporting issues as well as how they’ve been (or will be) corrected here.