Hashtags on Facebook Do Nothing To Help Additional Exposure

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

How Does Facebook’s New Timeline Impact Engagement?

There have been reports released regarding the impact of Timeline on brands’ Engagement. Timeline does not impact content within the News Feed, where a vast majority of Engagement takes place. These studies seem misleading, and confusing, so we investigated the issue with our own data using a significant sample size of over 3,500 pages.

Timeline Median Engagement/Fan Change

Methodology
We examined over 3,500 Pages to figure out the impact Timeline has had on Engagement. To increase accuracy, we examined when each Page converted to Timeline between 2/29 – 3/26, and used this time frame to analyze Eng/Fan. For any Page that converted between this time frame, we used the switch date until 3/26 to compile “Converted” data. We created a control group of Pages that did not switch over the same time period. We compared this data against the same group of Page’s performance from 1/1 – 2/28 (the “before” period).

What We Found
Regardless of switching to Timeline or not, the typical Page experienced a decrease in Eng/Fan. Pages that switched to Timeline experienced a slightly smaller loss (-11.57% vs -10.12%). This slight variation is most likely due to the larger brands that received excessive promotion during this same time period. We believe this is not an indicator of a long term trend.

We examined the percentage of Pages that experienced an increase or decrease of Eng/Fan over this same time period. Both the control group (No Conversion) and the Pages that converted to Timeline experienced nearly identical ratios. Roughly 60% of the Pages analyzed experienced a Decrease, while roughly 40% experienced an increase. It should be noted that converted Pages did experience slightly better results again, however, the difference is minimal.

How many Pages Experienced A Decrease/Increase?

This data seems to imply that the Timeline has no direct impact on Engagement for brands. As a vast majority of all Engagement takes place within the News Feed, this data is not surprising as Timeline has no direct impact on content within the News Feed.

It appears that a majority of Pages experiencing abnormal changes in Engagement/Fan is due to the publicity that has occurred since the implementation of Timeline. Many high profile blogs are discussing the changes, how to use it, and which brands are using Timeline best.

What Does This Mean Going Forward?
Brand managers can rest assured that they are not experiencing significant losses when switching to Timeline. Nearly all Engagement takes place on the News Feed, not on the Page itself. Regardless of how Facebook changes the appearance of a Page, this should rarely have a significant impact on Engagement. This also suggests that Brand Managers must continue to focus on optimizing Engagement within the News Feed as usual.

Impressions & Engagement 2 Weeks After Facebook’s New Hybrid News Feed

As an initial disclaimer, this blog post is attempting to merely reveal what the first two weeks of post-new hybrid news feed data is showing. We expect the data to most likely return to similar levels before the new hybrid news feed, but we do feel it’s important to monitor & report the changes.

What does the data say?

After collecting data for 2 weeks, impressions remain to be below the benchmark while engagement is above the benchmark. Impressions are down 25%, Likes were reported at +9%, and Comments up even higher at +21%. Continue reading

Impressions & Engagement 1 Week After Facebook’s New Hybrid News Feed

As an initial disclaimer, this blog post is attempting to merely reveal what the first week post-new hybrid news feed data is showing. We expect the data to most likely return to similar levels before the new hybrid news feed, but we do feel it’s important to monitor & report the changes.

What does the data say?

The initial data is showing that impressions are down across the board, the average Facebook Page is experiencing
-33% impressions per post. Engagement (as we reported earlier) is up across the board. The average Facebook Page is experiencing +18% Likes, along with +17% Comments. Continue reading

How the New Hybrid News Feed Affects Engagement

Facebook unveiled their brand new hybrid news feed for all users yesterday (9/21/11). We analyzed how the new hybrid will effect EdgeRank, however now we’ve had some time to analyze the impact on engagement. There’s been widespread rumors that engagement has been down across the board, we decided to put that to test.

We actually found that engagement was actually up across the board.

The details of our preliminary study: Continue reading