2014 is off to an awkward start for community managers and businesses reliant on Facebook marketing. Facebook’s recent changes to its algorithm have decreased organic reach significantly – in some cases Facebook posts only reach 3% of fans organically. Ouch.
A number of tricks and workarounds have emerged to this, and Ignite Social Media picked up on an interesting one. Adding more than one individual photo to Facebook posts (note that this is different from adding a gallery) has been shown by Ignite community managers to triple organic reach. I tried it out myself – a month after the initial discovery – and can confirm the same results.
For my experiment, my own Brand Page A didn’t take too much of a hit from the changes but generally reaches about 60-80 people per individual post. Using a multi-photo approach, the status update in question (the lower one) reached 185 users organically compared to 44 for the single post photo below it. In this case, the effect quadrupled the organic reach and saw a corresponding rise in engagement.
This effect was repeated with another pair of Brand A posts, with a similar spike in organic reach and engagement:
Brand Page B, on the other hand, is still thriving but took a big hit from the algorithm change to the degree where the business owner noticed it. Media posts generally reach between 300 and 400 fans, but the results with multi-photo posts were instant:
One very interesting point to note is that the symbol on the left (the darkened speech bubble) indicates that Facebook is viewing multi-photo status updates as status updates rather than as photo posts (indicated by the lighter speech bubble in the first image). Whether or not this is intentional is an open question, and we’re also left wondering if this multi-photo expanded reach is done by design. By the time this blog post goes live Facebook may very well adjust its algorithm again in a way that eliminates this favoring of multi-photo posts.
Until then, attach some extra photos and see what happens! Have you seen results this way on Facebook?