If you follow the “post only one item per day” on your business Facebook page that some social media “experts” suggest, the you should be aware of this fact.
According to a recent study by EdgeRank Checker, content you publish on Facebook has a lifespan of just over 3 hours – this is the time where it is most visible to your fans and you will see people engaging with the content.
The chart below shows the lifespan of an average Facebook comment:
In part, thanks to the newsfeed feature that Facebook released earlier this year, the content you are publishing is only seen for a relatively short period of time. There are some factors that can alter this too, such as the traffic level of your fans’ pages – if, for example, they don’t have a lot of friends on Facebook, or friends that are actively posting, your content may hang on longer in their newsfeed, giving them more time to see it and potentially interact with it. When your fans interact with the content in some way (like, comment, or share), it is then visible to their fans, which buys you a little more time for your content to be viewed by others.
One thing I have noticed is that sometimes, but not terribly often, is if you have someone who views your post hours after you publish it and they comment on it, it sometimes pushes it back up to the top of the newsfeed. I’ve not seen this too often though, so it’s best to assume that what you’re saying isn’t visible very long.
You may be thinking – “So what if it’s invisible after three hours? Fans can still see it when they visit my page.” That’s true, if they actually visit your page. Most people don’t return to a brand’s page once they have “liked” it.
By now you should have heard the statistics that show most fans don’t return to a brand’s Facebook page once they’ve liked it. However, this completely depends on the industry you’re in – there are some pages where people will return to the actual page, whether it’s because there are deals they can get off the company’s wall, or there is information they are waiting to see, or the site has information or tools that people use on a regular basis. For the most part, though, you need to rely on your content getting to fan’s walls on a regular basis to be truly visible.
Allfacebookstats recently released this illustration showing a breakdown of your fans and what they see and don’t see once they’ve liked your page:
As you can see, we’re still at a point where a good chunk of your fans aren’t seeing what you’re publishing, and those that do aren’t interacting with the content as much as you’d like.
This isn’t meant as a “doom and gloom” Facebook report, but it’s good to understand what is happening within Facebook so you can better understand how to use the social media site to make the most of your interactions.
Here are some suggestions to help you:
1. Make sure you are posting content on a regular basis – If you go by the information above, posting at least twice per day will help make your page more visible. Because Facebook users log on at different times and live in different areas of the world, it’s best to vary the times you are publishing content to increase your chances of being seen. From time to time, it’s helpful to increase visibility by actually asking fans to “like” a status – sometimes just asking increases the chances they will do so.
Keep in mind that the more often you post and people interact with your content, the better chances that future content will become more visible. Similar to SEO tactics with your website, Facebook has an algorithm to determine which posts are “important.” Similar to trying to get your website to show on the first page of a Google search, Facebook has a similar system in place, and keeping in mind “Facebook SEO” is a good idea when planning out your content calendar.
2. Check your Facebook insights on a weekly basis – insights can give you information on your fans that may help you decide the best times to publish content. As we’ve discussed in previous postings, there is no “magic bullet” for the best day or time for this. Insights can show you how people are interacting with your content based on how often you’re posting, as well as what type of content (questions, tips, articles, etc) are generating the most interaction. Additionally, you can find information about your users – gender, age, and location. If you haven’t taken a look in a while, it’s time!
3. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – social media covers a vast space; there are different social media sites for a reason. People like to interact with others in different ways and on different social media venues. While a good majority of people are on Facebook, they may prefer community forums or Twitter. By being involved in a variety of social media sites, you increase your chances of getting your message out to the (internet) world.
Social media is a great tool for businesses, but it changes almost daily. Once you gain a better understanding of how it all works, you can use it to your advantage to reach customers and get your message out more effectively.
Do you have your own tips and tricks for content management on social media sites (not just Facebook)? If so, please feel free to share!