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Does Having More Fans Increase Your Newsfeed Visibility?

James Parsons • Updated on July 28, 2022
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Facebook has been such a massively successful marketing platform for years primarily because of its huge audience.  With over a billion registered users, any niche, no matter how small, can pull in hundreds or thousands of followers in a short time.  With more followers comes more traffic to the sites you link, and with more traffic to your sites comes more profit.

It seems clear that you should strive to get as much traffic as possible from as many users as possible, so you’re as visible and profitable as possible.  Hold on, though; does visibility increase as your follower count increases, or is there another factor at work?

How Fans Increase Visibility

To a certain extent, Facebook is something of a numbers game.  With the way the news feed works and the way posts are shown and shared, having more fans will help you achieve higher levels of traffic and visibility.

This is the general process:

  • You share a post.
  • A fraction of your initial fans see that post.
  • Of those fans, a fraction of them like, share or comment on your post, which puts that post in their news feed, which is visible to their friends.
  • Of their friends, a fraction of them see that post.
  • Of the people who see that post, a fraction of them click through to engage.
  • The cycle repeats.

Now set up a hypothetical scenario where you have 10,000 friends.  Note that the percentage numbers here are inaccurate, used just as an example.

  • You have a Facebook page with 10,000 followers.
  • You share a post with your followers.  10% of them see it, so it’s put in front of 1,000 people.
  • Of the 1,000 people who see that post, 10% of them like it enough to like, comment or share it, making it appear in their personal news feed, visible to their friends.  For the sake of easy math, each of these 100 users has 200 friends.
  • Of the 200 friends that user has, 10% of them – or 20 users – see the engaged post.
  • Of those 20 users, 10% are engaged, liking and sharing the post.  That’s 2 additional shares, which isn’t much, but it exposes your post to another group of 200 friends, twice removed from your feed.
  • The cycle repeats until no one shares the post, due to disinterest or overlap in friends.

This is essentially a description of how organic and viral reach work.  You can use Facebook’s paid advertising to boost a post, which increases that 10% in the first share to something higher, like 20%.

Consider what happens to that scenario when your number of initial friends increases.  If you were to double your fanbase to 20,000, your initial post is then seen by 2,000 people instead of 1,000.  That’s twice the number of people who engage, twice the number of opportunities for friends of engaged users to share, and a greatly expanded viral reach.

So, by looking at the numbers, it certainly seems like having more followers increases your page visibility.

Variables that Twist the Math


There are a lot of factors that can adjust the math, which have more of an impact than the sheer number of fans.  For example:

  • The engagement level of your fans.  A huge part of how many people see your posts is how engaged your users are.  If you happen to have a very highly engaged fanbase, that initial 10% might be increased to 20% or more.
  • The engagement level of your fans also increases the number of users who share your post in a way that increases the second degree fans who see your posts.
  • The size of the friend count of your engaged fans.  You gain a boost if the fans who share your posts have 300 friends instead of 100, for example, assuming those friends are at all engaged with each other or interested in the content you post.
  • The shared interests among friends of fans.  Sharing your post with an audience of 100 friends of fans is good, but sharing it with an audience of 300 instead isn’t necessarily better, if none of them care about your industry, business or product.
  • The type of content.  Some content is going to be shared much more easily and more often.  Infographics, funny pictures, compelling videos and the like are shared much more often than time-sensitive offers, announcements and text posts.

A Wrench in the Gears

There’s one factor that makes the number of fans you have completely unreliable.  The nature of those fans.  This is why you can’t increase your page visibility just by buying a few thousand fans.

Take the example above, only this time assume that 50% of the initial base of fans were purchased.

  • You have a Facebook page with 10,000 followers, half of which were purchased and are accounts run by people who don’t care about your industry.
  • You share a post with your followers.  10% of them see it, so it’s put in front of 1,000 people.
  • Of the 1,000 people who see that post, 500 of them are robot accounts that don’t care.  Even if 10% of the remaining fans like it enough to like, comment or share it, that’s only 50 users.

50 users is a significantly smaller base than the previous amount.  That all assumes you have a 50/50 split between robot fans and legitimate engaged fans.  This is rarely the case among pages that purchase fans.  In fact, most pages that purchase fans are pages that have very few fans to begin with, and who want an immediate influx of users.  Your robot/human fan split will be closer to 95/5.

At that point, you have a much lower chance of any human fans at all seeing your initial post.  Of those who do, the chances that they are engaged enough to like or share your post are slim.  You don’t gain the benefit of the second cycle, because you don’t get that viral reach.  Your exposure essentially drops to zero.

In that sense, no; a higher number of fans will not increase your page visibility.  What you’re looking for is a higher number of legitimate, engaged, interested fans.


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