A Facebook Page’s Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

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evolution of a facebook page A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

Two years ago today, I wrote the following post on my new Facebook Page:

My oh my, have things changed!

I wrestled with whether I needed a Facebook Page at all. It was more than two months after starting this website that I finally created my Page. Needless to say, it was a great decision!

Looking at these numbers, I can’t help but get a little sentimental. That first month was extremely hard. I wrote 39 posts during that month, and 26 of them didn’t receive a single comment, like or share. In fact, that first post embedded above didn’t receive any love until I reshared it today!

So since it’s been two years, I figured it was a good time to dig deep into my Facebook Insights and take a closer look at how things have evolved for my Page over time.

Following are charts for some top level Page data for Page Likes, Reach, Engagement and Negative Feedback.

Total Page Likes Over Time

jon loomer digital lifetime total likes 700x366 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

It wasn’t until June of 2012 that I reached 5,000 Likes. The next 5,000 took nine more months. But growth then increased more steadily as I reached 15,000 Likes five months later and 20,000 two months after that. I am now quickly approaching 25,000 at a break-neck pace.

New Page Likes Over Time

From this point forward, the charts will be showing the median daily stat on a monthly basis. The reason for this is that the spikes from day to day make it difficult to learn much about what is happening. Taking a median day, compared by month, I can show you how the metric changes on a typical day from month-to-month.

jon loomer digital daily new likes 700x366 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

This chart provides more clarity regarding the spikes in Likes on a typical day. As you can see, there wasn’t much separating the typical day until August of this year. The main reason for that is a significantly larger investment in advertising.

We’ll get to more on that later!

Page Unlikes Over Time

jon loomer digital daily page unlikes 700x367 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

Since I’ve upped my advertising budget, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my daily Unlikes have also gone up. Advertising aside, one could expect that even if the percentage of unlikes remained the same, the raw number would increase.

As you can see in the chart above, the number of daily unlikes has gone up quite a bit beginning in July of this year. That’s expected.

Total Reach Over Time

jon loomer digital daily total reach 700x366 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

The first spike in Reach occurred in August of 2012. This is very likely related to the fact that Mari Smith and Amy Porterfield started sharing my content around then. It made quite an impact.

But the biggest boost happened in August of 2013, going from an average daily Reach of about 8,000 to 27,000.

The reason? Once again, it’s advertising.

Paid Reach Over Time

jon loomer digital daily paid reach 700x367 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

Now we can see this in action.

While I used ads a little for my Page beginning in December of 2011, most of that was through the use of coupon codes from Facebook. When those dried up, I rarely advertised on the typical day.

As you can see, I did experiment a little with advertising in May and September of 2012. But I was struggling to pay the bills, and as a result the amount I could invest in advertising was limited.

I wrote this post earlier this year detailing how much I spent during 2012 on my business. I spent less than $750 on Facebook ads.

These days, I spend more than $750 on Facebook ads during a given month. You can see that the biggest change once again occurred in July and August.

Organic Reach Over Time

jon loomer digital daily organic reach 700x367 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

This chart allows us to see the change in Reach of my Page unaffected by ads. The growth has largely been steady, minus a recent drop — only after the biggest increase my Page has seen in two years.

Engaged Users Over Time

jon loomer digital daily engaged users 700x366 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

Is the increase in Reach resulting in an increase in engaged users? You bet!

Negative Feedback Over Time

jon loomer digital daily negative feedback 700x367 A Facebook Pages Growth Charted Over a Two Year Period

I find this interesting. The number charted here is not a percentage, but a raw number representing the median number of times users give negative feedback over time.

This number appears to be unaffected by number of Fans or amount of advertising. It would seem this is contradictory to the number of Page unlikes charted earlier.

What Does It All Mean?

Plenty can be learned from these charts.

First, don’t give up. During that first month — or even the first several months — I often felt invisible. Like no one read anything I wrote. But I fought through it, and I am certainly reaping rewards now.

Second, advertising is critical. My true growth — both in peripheral stats like Reach and Engagement and in critical stats like revenue — my Page didn’t truly take off until I decided to invest in my success.3

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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).

  • Veronica Tercan

    I love this because it’s shows what you can achieve if you work hard, every day and don’t give up…and of course investing in Facebook ads is key ;). Congratz Jon!

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

      Thanks, Veronica!

  • Jude Brown

    Hi Jon,

    You touch very briefly on revenue toward the end. Your revenue is NONE of my business of course but can you give some indication as to how you think your ROI is doing? I’m not looking for I spent $5 and got out $6 – I am just curious how you feel. Your brand awareness has obviously increased, my assumption is your sales have too.

    Sincerely,

    Jude

  • Lisa Irby

    I love your content, Jon and you deserve the success. You have really helped me with understanding Facebook ads. I’m no pro like you, but you’ve saved me from spending unnecessary money on ads. When someone is getting ready to buy some scam about getting FB ads for 1 cent, I send them to you to get the REAL scoop. So thanks again.

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

      That’s so kind of you, Lisa! It’s comments like this one that make this more than just a business for me. Thanks!

  • Kyle Lickenbrock

    To me the most interesting chart on here is the drop in organic reach since August of this year. Do you have any insight into why that may be happening? Do you think it has anything to do with Facebook introducing their updates to the news feed algorithm (introduction of story bumping)?

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

      Actually, I don’t assign much value to that. Small sample size, and it’s still up over time. Now if it drops over the coming months, maybe it was the start of something.

  • http://www.yanyanko.com/ Yan Yanko Kotliarsky

    When looking at your “organic reach” compared to your “total page likes over time”, you can find that your reach is higher than 16%. In fact, during the month of August, your organic reach was higher than 30%!!!

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

      Well, Organic Reach isn’t equal to Fan Reach, Yan. Fan Reach is closer to 15%, I believe.

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

        Oh, and to be clear… This isn’t Post Reach. It’s Page Reach, so it includes stories generated when someone likes my Page. And it’s for an entire day, not for a single post.

        I feel like I’m making an argument about why these numbers aren’t that good, but just wanting to be clear!

        • http://www.yanyanko.com/ Yan Yanko Kotliarsky

          You are right, my mistake. But still this is amazing.

          By the way, you can figure out what is your actual Organic Fan Reach with the insights excel sheet. It’s really interesting to see this data

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

            Yep, the Fan data is all within the post level export.

          • http://www.yanyanko.com/ Yan Yanko Kotliarsky

            Jon, when someone likes your page, isn’t he creates viral reach?

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

            Yes, but Facebook doesn’t report that anymore.

  • Tricia

    Hi Jon, I know what it feels like to want to give up, when you don’t have a lot of expandable cash for advertising on Facebook. It has been 2 months of launching my scarf business on Facebook, and like you said, I did not even know if there was anybody out there interested in my scarves.I conduct a Scarf Party every Monday and I am happy to report that today I made my first sale on Facebook! In the last 2 weeks I have increased my AD budget by $20.00 bucks and I know that’s pennies, but I do see the power of advertising! Need to set a Goal to increase my Ad budget steadily.Looking forward to having a one-on one session with you when I make more sales. Meanwhile I want to thank you for Sharing and Caring…

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

      This is great, Tricia! Congrats on your first sale. That’s often the biggest obstacle. Once that first sale happens, you open up so many other possibilities because you then know it can happen.

      Good luck, and don’t quit!

      Jon

  • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

    Thanks for your always powerful information.
    A couple of our clients have followed similar patterns and experienced similar growth.
    One of them exceeds $25,000 monthly in new sales. Not bad for an ad budget about $800 month. Keep up the great work. I appreciate your candor

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

      Awesome, Chuck!

  • venkyiyer58

    Jon, did you aggressively chase/ask for likes, or did they just happen (because of your content or something like that)?

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

      Not aggressive at all. A huge part of this was my website. I’ve had a like box there, and my website has gotten a strong amount of traffic dating back to the beginning of 2012.

  • http://www.digital-photography-school.com/ Darren Rowse

    great post – I saw the chart and for a second thought it was mine – similar shape with a very slow start and more recent climbs. Here’s ours on dPS.

  • Jeffery Ross

    This is a brilliant example that persistence snd hard work does pay off in the end.

  • ann-hogan

    Congrats to you Jon . I am a mere Social Media student in Ireland but you words are our bible. We are learning from the best. I hope at some stage to have my own business and at present study facebook, social media and its advantages to business.

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