Photos, once known to draw best reach and engagement for Facebook pages, are now drawing the lowest according to data from social media analytics company Socialbakers. An article from the same analytics company declared photos “king on Facebook” less than a year ago.
The success of photos on Facebook is what helped lead to their decline. The algorithm has shifted towards showing fewer photos in the news feed in response to page owners trying to game their organic reach.
It’s also thought that Facebook’s recent push towards video is what may have led to photos falling out of favor, but that wouldn’t explain why link posts and even plain text posts are getting better reach than photo posts right now.
According to Socialbakers’ data, photos had the lowest organic reach over the period of October 2014 and February 2015. On average, only three out of every 100 (3.7%) page fans saw a photo post during this period.
In comparison, video is now the proverbial king on Facebook, with an organic reach of 8.7%. This is followed by link and plain text posts, with organic reach averages of 5.3% and 5.8% respectively.
Data published by Facebook in January revealed that 50% of daily active users in the US watch at least one video every day. Facebook has even stolen market share from YouTube when it comes to internet video consumption.
What’s A Facebook Marketer To Do?
Page owners concerned about their organic reach should certainly be adding more video to their social media strategy. Video uploaded directly to Facebook is known to draw the most organic reach, so keep that in mind as well if you’re considering sharing YouTube links.
That’s not to say photo posts should be given up altogether, just that they should be used as part of a mix including videos, links, and even plain text posts on occasion. According to Socialbakers’ data, photos represent the majority of posts shared by brands. It would be a good idea to spread them out amongst other types of content.
Of course, another option is always to promote posts, which are not subject to Facebook’s organic reach algorithm. This is an increasingly popular tactic with 17% of page posts being promoted in Q4 of 2014, compared to 9% during the same time period in 2013.
Here’s hoping page owners do not resort to gaming the algorithm with an excess of video posts, or it’s a good bet they will eventually get the same treatment photo posts are getting now.