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Where Did All My Facebook Fans Go?

Did you notice a sharp decrease in fans over the last few weeks? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, you’ve ‘fallen victim’ to Facebook’s algorithm update and some accounts spring cleaning. iStock_000023839090_Large Earlier this month, Facebook announced  that they will no longer factor in “likes” from users who have deactivated their accounts or from users who have passed away. Although this change will lead you to see a decrease in fans over the next few months, this change will offer your business page a more accurate audience. The amount of decrease you see will depend on the size of your Facebook page; Mashable reports that at least 10% of Facebook users are inactive so plan on losing roughly 10% of your following. Hopefully, there’s even more cleanup coming. Facebook has been reporting about fake and duplicate accounts since around the time of their IPO and this would be a great time to also deactivate those accounts, but we’ll have to wait and see. In 2012, Facebook estimated that 1.5 percent of Facebook accounts were spam accounts. Spam accounts include pages for your pet, duplicate accounts or bot accounts, typically used for ‘bought likes.’ Let’s hope Facebook can figure out a way to clean up these accounts as well so we can get a truly accurate understanding of our fans! Measuring your popularity by number of “likes” is not a Facebook best practice these days, so try not to let the decrease bother you too much. It’s important to remember that these people who are removed represent people who were already inactive on Facebook so counting them could have been skewing your analytics. This change will provide businesses with more accurate, up-to-date insights about their fan base and will make it a lot easier to target the right audience with your ads. Another benefit is, as an individual, your newsfeed may have some open space for newer content and as a business, your news could take that place. Even when an account is inactive, if something posted is popular and gaining impressions, it will be shown to that persons’ friends based on Facebook’s ever changing algorithm. If you are wondering what happens if someone reactivates their account after they have been removed from your page, don’t worry, they will come back as a new like. If a user reactivates an account and “liked” a particular page, that action will be tallied back into the total like count when the account is reactivated. Other than the shock of the initial fan drop, this change is good news! If you’d like more information about this change and how it can actually help you run a more successful Facebook page, we’re always here to help!
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