A few months ago, Facebook announced they would be punishing “meme content.” There was a lot of concern on how Facebook would actually enforce this. Facebook hinted at using machine learning to identify meme content, while others suggested that it’s too hard to differentiate. But it appears that we may have an understanding of how they categorize meme content. Facebook has recently started to ask for more direct user input into how they display objects in the news feed:
This survey is appended to certain objects in the news feed to provide a sort of check-and-balance system. Facebook also implemented a more robust dialogue when hiding an object in your news feed:
Facebook marketing has evolved. Long gone are the days of posting something at a particular time of day and repeating as often as possible. Social media marketing is about identifying the essence of engagement. Why do people take time out of their day to Like, Comment, or even Share your commercial message? An overcrowded news feed with millions of brands vying for exposure to users has lead to an emphasis on quality.
We feel it’s our job to identify what is quality content, and using our findings to help you distribute it optimally.
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:
Have you ever wanted to group a bunch of posts together to quickly examine their effectiveness? We found ourselves wanting the same thing and built Post Visualizer to do just that.
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.