Some of Your Facebook Fans Will Never See Your Posts Again

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There’s an awful lot of anger bubbling up over an apparent change in EdgeRank that is limiting visibility of posts for some brand Pages. With anger often comes irrationality.

I should be able to reach 100% of my Fans!

I’ve seen that sentence, nearly word-for-word, more times than I care to count. It’s simply ridiculous.

Before I get to the hidden reason why this is ridiculous, the obvious reasons:

  • Only half of your Fans are on Facebook during the day you created your post
  • Others who are online weren’t within a several hour window to see your post
  • Some of your “Fans” are fake profiles or dead accounts

Sure, the third may be included in the first. But all are worth mentioning to underscore just how impossible it is to reach “all” or even “half” of your Facebook Fans on a given day.

And I haven’t even gotten to the “Fans” who have chosen to never see your content again.

The Silent Killer of Reach


The typical user who bores of your content will simply unlike your Page. This is actually good for you. Not only does it send a signal about your content, it helps to optimize your audience. You don’t need these people.

Trim the fat.

The action that can kill your Reach: Hide All.

It’s actually not even called “Hide All” anymore. It’s still called that within Facebook Insights, but “Hide” is only related to single posts now.

To hide all of a Page’s future content, I now need to hover over the Liked button for a given Page and uncheck “Show in News Feed.” I can do this either while viewing an individual post or when going to that brand’s Page.

facebook hide all Some of Your Facebook Fans Will Never See Your Posts Again

The big problem with the people who do this is that they kill your numbers. You will never reach them. They will undoubtedly be a Fan long past the time you stop managing your Page (because they’ll never be reminded of your annoyance), but they won’t see your content. Ever.

This means that your total Like count is somewhat padded. And depending on the size of this padding, it will negatively impact the percentage of Fans who like, comment, share or are even reached.

How to Check Your Hide All Count

Facebook doesn’t make this particularly easy, but you can find it. There is some work involved, particularly if your Page has been around for a while.

Go to your Admin Panel > Insights > Export Data. Then select Page Level Data and enter a range of about 200 days. I’ve gotten errors when requesting much more than that.

Within that document, run a quick search for “hide_all” (include that underscore) and search the entire workbook, not just the sheet. The first result is for the Daily Negative Feedback tab and Column D is the one you should be focused on.

Go to the cell below the last item in Row C and enter the following formula:

=SUM(D:D)

That will tell you how many people have hidden all of your posts from their News Feeds.

[Note: Sometimes, columns C and D are switched. No idea why. But keep an eye on it.]

Of course, that’s just this document. You’ll need to run additional exports until you get to the date when your Page was created.

Will some of these people have also unliked your Page? I guess so. But that would presumably be extremely rare.

How Much Dead Weight Do You Have?

I asked my Fans this question and received a wide range of answers. However, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that my percentage of “Hide All” Fans is higher than any other shared with me.

In about one year, 398 people have hidden all of my posts. This is almost 6% of my total Fan count.

I considered not even reporting that. But full transparency and stuff.

And hell… If I’m at that immediate disadvantage, I should be one of the people screaming about Reach, right? Well, I’m not. So I guess there’s actually something to be proud of there.

Additionally, this has quite a lot to do with my strategy of posting multiple times per day. Some people will hate that. Most will unlike my Page as a result. Others take this approach of hiding all (bastards!).

There really isn’t a “good” or “bad” percentage. If your percentage is too low, it may be because you aren’t posting often enough. Or maybe you aren’t controversial enough (meaning: you don’t have a voice). You can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t aim to.

Where This is Leading…

There’s a reason why I wanted to find out this number. Everyone is complaining about feeling we should reach “all” or even “most” of our Fans. But I’m convinced that not even promotion will get any of us close to that number.

I want to find out the following:

How many of my Fans were online on the day that I created this post and scrolled through a time period where they could have seen it — but didn’t?

That’s the bottom line. That’s what I want to know. Until I know more about what that number is, I’m not convinced that EdgeRank is harming me.

And this is really just the surface of the things I’d like to know.

How many of my Fans are completely inactive this month? How many weren’t on today? How many were on today, but not when I posted?

The problem, of course, is that there’s no current measure to find out. The only number I can get is the “Hide All” total.

So what’s your Hide All percentage? Don’t be bashful. And don’t just post to brag. Someone’s gotta have a higher percentage than me! Share below!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacobklostergaard Jacob Rasmussen

    Hi John, very interesting article. Isn’t it obvious that you should have a high percentage of people hiding your stuff. If your posts have high virality, they should reach a higher number of people for whom they are irrelevant.

    If I consistently like your posts, there’s a chance they would start appearing in the newsfeed of people that I went to high school with and who might have liked images of my children – but they don’t care at all about Facebook statistics.

    After a while they should get annoyed and hide your posts from their feed but keep seeing pictures of my children.

    If I look at my statistics, the number of hides and spam reports correlate with the sponsored posts, I have made. The further reach – the more negative feedback.

    The way I read the data export, the people who have hidden my posts, are not likely to be fans – more likely to be friends of fans or even more remotely connected than that.

    If I reach 54.000 people with a sponsored post and have a negative feedback of 28 users, I assume that’s quite OK – especially since some of the people who reported spam may also have clicked “Hide all”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kchapmanwilson Karen Chapman Wilson

      Unless you’ve liked the page, you can’t hide their content other than the story generated by your friend’s action. But I would like to know if hiding an individual story from my friend is reflected in the negative feedback on my page. That would certainly skew the stats.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      That’s an excellent point, Jacob. Definitely something I’ll take a closer look at. Of course, there will always be a level of unknown since Facebook doesn’t break this down.

      Pretty amazing, isn’t it? As robust and incredibly overwhelming as their stats are, there seem to be so many sets of data missing that could make it better!

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Gordon Robinson

    Hey Jon – very useful post. And the results are interesting. Question – is there a way to delete these ‘hiders’ and would that be a good idea if it could be done? I also know I have a large percentage of ‘likes’ that do not interact at all and are there because when I started I was ‘like mine I’ll like yours’ – I am not proud I know!! but would it make sense to get rid of these likes that have no interest in what I am really offering? Great post by the way ~ Gordon

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Gordon! Since Facebook provides no details about who these people are — and it’s impossible to figure it out — there’s nothing you can do. Just gotta deal with it!

      The whole deleting fans thing is kinda tricky, I might add. There may be some who are pretty obviously bots, for example… But you’re bound to mistakenly delete some who are actually interested in your content. I just tend to leave it.

  • Dawn Kelly

    Hi Jon. First of all – I always read your posts when I come online and appreciate the work that goes into determining some of the insight that you provide. That being said, I know I miss some of your posts because…well….I’m not online 24/7 and one only has time to scroll back so far in their newsfeed to see what’s ‘new’. I think that’s ok though. Facebook is a fluid platform and not one in which you should expect to get high penetration 100% of the time. That newsfeed isn’t going to stay still….for any of us anytime soon and I’m fine with that – while we may ‘miss’ some things, it does means the news is always ‘timely’. Have a great day!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Dawn! And I agree 100%. It’s one reason why I write so much content. By no means do I expect that my readers will see everything I write. In fact, I know that they don’t WANT to see everything I write. It’s an insanely unreasonable expectation.

      Some are bent out of shape about not reaching “all of their fans.” It seems pretty normal to me.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/darrin.wasniewski Darrin Wasniewski

    Thanks for the analysis tool. I was a little afraid at first to run the numbers, but in the end I came out with a 2% “hide all” on my organization’s page in the past year.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Sounds like you could push the envelope a bit more, Darrin!

      Honestly, there’s not much you can actually make of the number unless it’s insanely high. Even then, I’d bet that political pages and famous people with high engagement have very high Hide All numbers as well.

  • http://www.radicalmustache.com/ Mikel Zaremba

    Do all radio spots reach all people with a radio? Do all commercials hit all people with a TV? Do all emails get opened by everyone on the list? Why would social channels be any different? Great post! Thanks for that spreadsheet work around.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I KNOW! I tend to use the 20% open rate bench mark for email as an example. Email’s a stationary target. Facebook users will only see your stuff when timed perfectly (and they’re on Facebook for an average of only 30 minutes per day). The expectation that they’ll see your content is insane. Great comparison with TV and radio as well!

      Thanks for the comment and kind words, Mikel!

    • http://WebSavvyPR.com CathyWebSavvyPR

      I like your logic, true all TV shows or TV ads don’t reach all potential viewers. Good point that also gets lost. But to me, the difference is that with radio, TV & newspapers, they show pretty much the same content & ads for all people who are watching/listening/reading at that time/day’s media/content. They don’t chose which articles or which ads I see. Those of us watching/hearing/reading pretty much all “see” the same thing.

      I don’t trust Facebook’s algorithm enough to choose FOR me what I may or may not want to see. While I am on Facebook at a certain time, as a user, my preference (and many people’s assumption) would be that I am seeing all of the current content from all of my friends and from all of the pages I’ve connected with, except those I have chosen to unfriend or hide. But Facebook doesn’t do that.

  • Back & Neck

    This was great information. I came up with a number that freaked me out a bit, but after reading everyone’s comments, I feel better. I still feel it’s very high, though – it’s about 1/3 of my Fans. Should I go back to being freaked out? In response to Mikel, I’d say the analogy to radio & tv is not necessarily a great one, because you run the same ad many times throughout the day, in different listening/watching time blocks, for days/weeks/months. If we posted the same status all day every day, we’d lose *all* our followers.Unless it was a really, REALLY good post ;)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hmmmm… 1/3 definitely seems high! I’d take a look at frequency and content.

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  • Jhazz

    Guess what Jon?! I think your article is correct!
    I am surprised to be reading this post just now when you have published AND posted about this blog post last Tuesday! I am no longer seeing your posts in my newsfeed..and that includes almost ALL the Facebook and IM experts I have included in my Interest List. One exception though… I just saw Social Identities post just now (no link post) where he provided the link to your blog in his comment box instead. To think that it’s the only FB status update I’ve seen for about a week from the pages I’ve subscribed with… well, this post plus Social Identities’ FB post is definitely making sense.

    I’d have to check my pages’ Insights spreadsheet too. Thanks for this excellent “expose” Jon

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  • http://www.facebook.com/247mktg Steve Cameron

    I’m getting confused here, Jon.

    I get that people can hide my posts from their feed – and you’re right we just have to deal with that. Although why a person would hide my posts when the “unlike” button is actually easier to get to (you have to use the unlike button to get to the hide setting…)

    But as I understand it – many of our followers are now not even getting the posts on their timeline – and this is not a gradual thing – I have one client who was getting between 10 and 13k “people saw this post” – the page has just over 500 followers – this is s very niche site and all the likes are genuine – or most… we only get a few added each week so I generally take a look at them and they “fit the profile” etc….

    A couple of weeks ago these “people saw this post” dropped to between 100 and 200!

    That is a massive drop and is worrying. And it seems that we are going to have to work on improving Edge Rank (we should obviously do that) but it’s harder for some pages than others – this particular client is one of the harder ones. Not me complaining and looking to blame fb – but many of the techniques we might look to use – such a s special promotions are simply not appropriate here.

    This is not the client’s sector, but a generic illustration of what I mean… say we ran a page for people contemplating suicide. It could get a good number of followers, but they would be unlikely to “share” the content . in fact, they might well not even want to comment. As a result they would stop seeing the content – fb would simply assume that since they hadn’t liked and shared that they were not interested.

    It would make more sense for fb to simply allow users to decide if they want to unlike a page.

    That’s what like means – I like a page – because I want to keep up with their posts – if they post too much, or if I no longer find their posts interesting (lots of those) then I can simply unlike them.

    It really should not be up to fb to decide what I can see from the pages I CHOSE to follow. Who are they to censor my relationship with the page? There really is little justification. I cannot understand why people would follow thousands and thousands of pages – it doesn’t make sense – but I also don’t see why fb should interfere.

    It is a little like signing up for cable TV – and then the cable company deciding that you can no longer have access to certain channels because you haven’t watched anything on that channel for a month or more…

    Just my 2 cents….

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Good points, Steve! I do think, though, that you can’t ignore the pages that people like simply to voice that they like the product, with no expectation that they’ll ever hear from that brand. I know I like a bunch of those pages.

      Additionally, while a News Feed that the user can fine tune themselves sounds great, Facebook users have proven time and time again that they’re lazy and won’t use features that will make their feed better. Sure, you and I would (and do), but most will and do not. The impact of that without News Feed is boredom of all of the crap that flows through. And there will be a lot of crap.

      As a user, I do not want to see 250 marketing messages every day in my News Feed from the 250 pages that I like. That would ruin my Facebook experience.

  • Guest

    Jon – you’re continually the voice of reason on all things Facebook. Users have most of the power in this situation

  • http://twitter.com/SunSocial SunSocial Marketing

    Jon – you continue to be the voice of reason on all things Facebook. Pages can never expect to have the control over showing updates to all their fans! However, as a user I would appreciate the option to alter my newsfeed to show me ALL posts if I want. Forget the ticker and get notifications for a moment… I’ve noticed even “most recent” does not show all my friends’ posts in chronological order. Similarly, even the new pages feed doesn’t show me all the posts from my liked pages. I think users should be able to toggle this option. I’m not sure if adding to an interests list would accomplish this or not, but I shouldn’t have to go to all that trouble.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks! Personally, I love the Ticker. I think people misunderstand what it’s for. It’s incredibly valuable to keep up with what’s happening when you’re not on your News Feed. It’s also terrific for surfacing recent activity on old content. For example, if someone comments today on a photo from last week, News Feed would never show that. It would only show the first share. Ticker allows me to jump back into the conversation.

      I don’t completely disagree, though, that an unfiltered OPTION would be something to consider. I don’t think it would be in Facebook’s best interests to make such an option the default view, which is what many are suggesting.

      Thanks for reading!

      • http://twitter.com/SunSocial SunSocial Marketing

        You’ve convinced me to give the ticker another shot. ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1420644999 Kari Rowen

        Recently I ran across a URL for an “All” feed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf_all. When I first started using the feed, it did show me a lot more posts from people and pages I had not seen activity from in a long time. For about the past week or so, I have been having a lot of issues with photos in my news feed and I noticed that when those issues started up, my “All” feed was also affected… it’s now the same feed as my “Most Recent” and “Top Stories” feeds. (Yes, I opened all 3 simultaneously and all 3 were identical to one another. Don’t judge me. lol) I really enjoyed the “All” feed when it was working properly, and hope Facebook gets through tinkering soon so the “All” feed is fixed. Give it a try if you haven’t yet. Perhaps it will work for you.

        On a separate note, I am wondering if my methods of organizing within Facebook could negatively impact the stats you are referring to. I live and work in Montana, a large, vastly rural state. There are many miles between cities here. However my job requires me to be connected in many cities and regions. In my personal news feed, I don’t want to see the lunch specials for a diner in a town hundreds of miles away, but I do want to keep those contacts in Interest Lists so I can keep up to date with the community for pages I manage there. I put pages into geographically sorted Interest Lists, and if they are not a page I want to keep up with personally, I uncheck “Show in News Feed.” That happens to most pages I have liked. This routine allows me specific feeds to see what’s happening in other regions and keeps my personal feed in a relatively clutter-free state, so it is optimal for me and my specific needs.

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Hi, Kari! Facebook actually killed the All feed. They didn’t even know it was out there.

          Good point about Interest Lists. Wow, you really use them! That would definitely impact some of the stats. That said, I’m confident in assuming you are the exception to the rule! I don’t think most people use Interest Lists, and I’d say a small fraction of 1% use it in this way. You’re a power user!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/chaddiedrick Chad Diedrick

    Jon, finally saw this post, and it finally motivated me to start using insight data – or at least gave me something to research. So in a one year timeframe our page has 3.5% hide all. Also found we had 66 reports of spam. Now to go back to the highest hide all days and see what we posted about that may have caused it. I also realize we get more unlikes after we get a surge in likes – so I’m assuming now that the hide alls may be similar.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chaddiedrick Chad Diedrick

      Just realized on one of our highest hide all days one of our posts double posted (same post appeared two times back to back). I guess if I saw that, I may hide all as well.

  • http://www.theholistichomeschooler.com/ Michelle Cannon

    Actually

  • Michelle

    Actually, I wrote a post on this last fall. Yes, FB is hiding pages from feeds. I’ve tested this in many different ways. The key is to categorize your pages into lists. If you don’t want to bother with that, simply create a list called EVERYTHING or PAGES or whatever. Click that list every few days and all your pages will return to your feed. Period. (They hid them so that we’ll want to pay per post to promote. I don’t want to do that.) I shared this with all the readers one of my FB pages but not the others. Sure enough, the posts on that page are seen by hundreds each day while the other pages rarely are seen in feeds.

    I also tested by categorizing into interest lists but never actually clicking those interest lists. No pages in my feed. Ever. Then I’d click on one list..let’s say “Green Pages” and they’d be in my feed for a few days while pages in the other lists never showed.

    So, in the end, I click my “Everything” list (I put each and every page I like in this list as well as it’s own category) nearly daily even if I don’t interact or even look at them all. It keeps everything in my feed all the time.

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  • http://canadianangelxo.blogspot.com/ Tasha W

    Hi there, I followed your steps above, just wondering when I search for “hide_all” in the exported file? Do I use “find” When I type search for “hide_all”into find, it tells me nothing was found. Thanks for your help!

    • http://www.facebook.com/pacificoreis Sofia Pacifico

      Hi Tasha, I don’t know if you found the answer to this but here it goes anyway… I did the same exercise and I couldn’t find hide_all so what I did was find hide_. Facebook might have changed their field name on the export data and it’s now “hide_clicks”. Hope this helps.

      • http://canadianangelxo.blogspot.com/ Tasha

        Thanks for the help Sofia! However, my problem is I can’t search for anything? When i go to “Find” at the top of Open Office and click enter it says “Search key not found” How do I search? lol

        • bbeasley

          Ctrl F will bring up the search box.

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  • vuong
  • Paper Doll

    How can you tell who has hidden your posts? From YOUR profile?

  • Post

    This is interesting, but I need to know WHO has hidden all my posts.

  • tonetthome

    Hi Jon,

    There is a 68k facebook page, where I put a picture if you look at the post office who has to reach twenty thousand, but if I make a link to a page you have 50 people saw this post. Why is this? thank you

  • NND
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