Facebook doesn’t often reveal baseline statistics for their platform. The typical number floating around regarding Reach is about 16%. Last Fall, there was some disagreement on this number as Facebook had made significant changes to the news feed algorithm.
Interestingly enough, when Facebook had studied Reach, they had examined Reach of Fans (which is included in Insights). This number was higher than some 3rd Party Analytical providers (including us) were seeing. Ironically, Facebook shows Organic Reach (including non-fans) in Insights, as the default view. In order to find this subtle difference, you must navigate to the Posts tabs, drill down Reach from Organic/Paid to Fans/Non-Fans. Facebook likes to show the user the higher number of the two in Insights, but tends to use a different number in their studies. To clarify, we’re using Organic Reach / Number of Fans on Day of Post.
Most Page Admins focus on Organic Reach as it relates to the size of their fan base to keep things relative. From time to time, we examine these impacts to see any changes across the board. We found that the average Facebook page reaches 12.6% of their audience.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, we’ve been getting questions on how the news feed is being impacted. We’ve heard reports ranging from incredible success with Instagram, to it not having much of an impact, so we decided to take a look.
Posting Via Instagram Has No Impact on Facebook Page
Our initial hypothesis was that using Instagram would cause a small bump in engagement and exposure. The logic was two-fold: Facebook may have increased the weight of the objects, and posts from Instagram are always photos or videos—with visual filters—that are potentially more eye-catching.
However, our data shows that metrics such as Engagement, Organic Reach, and Viral Reach all remain fairly consistent while not using Instagram.
Median Engagement per Fan was fairly close, 2.39% for Facebook vs 2.15% on Instagram. This difference is within normal expectations.
Facebook recently made a large increase in link size images in the news feed. Link images used to be small:
Now the link images are much larger:
Significant time has passed since Facebook fully rolled out their hashtag implementation. We decided to dig into the data to see the impact of hashtags on the news feed. To our surprise, the answer was…nothing. Wow, we didn’t expect to find that!
The assumption is that if people see an object in the news feed with a hashtag they’re interested in, they will click the hashtag to discover more interesting content related to the particular hashtag. Brands that talk about trending hashtags may receive additional exposure due to other Pages using hashtags because their Page may show up unexpectedly. Continue reading
When a Page Manager sees awesome content, should they use the Share functionality or repurpose it? We decided to dive into the data to find out.
Viral Reach is essentially non-existent for photo posts that are Shared. Why is this? It’s most likely due to how Facebook is treating the object in the news feed. Facebook must balance between rewarding the original creator the post, while also giving some organic reach to the sharer. Continue reading
When are your fans online? We decided to take a look with a heat map style graphic:
This is a heat map of Facebook fans seeing posts in the news feed. If the graph is Red, the more likely the time overlaps with all of the Pages we studied. As the color progresses towards blue (red → yellow → green → blue), the more likely this time period was unique to fewer Pages.
A majority of brands experienced had fans online between 9am to 9pm CT. As expected, this is when Americans are awake and active (the brands we studied had a general American focus). There was not much variance, which means that most brands have a similar looking graph.
We’ve heard a few rumors going around that asking for Likes is now being penalized by Facebook. Some are calling these calls to action Like baiting. You’ve probably seen a post similar to the one below countless times:
Today is crazy-amazing-never-heard-of-before holiday! Click LIKE if you’re excited!
A common tip to help beat EdgeRank and increase engagement is to create a call to action. We’ve warned before that just adding “Click LIKE”, “Comment if you disagree”, etc, can become monotonous to your fans. We advise brands to think of intelligent and meaningful ways of spurring a call to action.
(A simple example would be: “Where is the dog hiding in this photo?”)
The tip to add calls to action to your posts has gotten a bit out of hand. We now have many posts with simplistic calls to action dangling from the end of content. We’ve heard rumors that Facebook has grown tired of this tactic and has implemented a penalization factor for this behavior.
We studied the data, and it does not appear Facebook penalizes this tactic. In fact, it still increases Viral Reach and overall Engagement.
// We originally posted this on Social Fresh, as an exclusive //
Mobile is quickly dominating just about everything, including posting to Facebook. When looking at EdgeRank, we know that Facebook has been giving additional value to newer features or post types. How does Facebook treat posting from a mobile device?
We dug deep into our data set to break out the differences between posting via mobile or a non-mobile method. We found that only 5% of Facebook Page posts are via a mobile device. Brands aren’t heavily leveraging mobile posting. However, the brands that are leveraging mobile are seeing a 39% increase in engagement per post!
It’s obvious that Americans use Facebook less on holidays such as the 4th of July. However, brands still have many opportunities to succeed within the news feed on holidays. We decided to analyze data from our other tool, PostAcumen, to determine when people used Facebook this past 4th of July. This data also provides insight into how to approach future holidays.
There are many ways to define viral aspects of a Facebook strategy. Facebook has a few terms that address this issue: Viral Reach, Viral Impressions, Viral Impressions Frequency Distribution, and Virality. These metrics only paint part of the picture, so we decided to dig deeper.
We decided to study Viral Uplift to look at the relationship between Viral and Organic Reach. We define Viral Uplift as Viral Reach / Organic Reach, which essentially measures whether Viral Reach exceeds Organic Reach, therefore suggesting significant virality (not necessarily Facebook’s definition). Examining this relationship for a larger set of Facebook Pages may provide insight into the relationship between Viral and Organic.