Recent changes to the way Facebook generates its news feed may have marketers rethinking the kind of content they post from a page — but they also need to consider the means by which they post it.
EdgeRank Checker last month conducted an analysis of 1 million updates on 50,000 pages that influence more than 1 billion fans. They result?
How you post matters.
EdgeRank Checker found that using a third-party API — such as Hootsuite or Seesmic — to update a Facebook Page decreases the likelihood of engagement per fan (on average) by about 80 percent. And in Facebook, it’s all about engagement.
EdgeRank Checker offered four theories for the lower engagement numbers from third-party API posts:
- Facebook penalizes third-party APIs. Third-party APIs are assigned a lower weight in the EdgeRank scoring system to encourage content creation directly inside of Facebook.
- Facebook collapses the content. Multiple posts from the same third-party API are collapsed into one post that limits visibility.
- Scheduled content is less engaging. It’s easy to use Hootsuite to schedule posts over a weekend. But its difficult to make these future posts timely and engaging.
- Content specific to Facebook is more engaging. Third-party APIs make it simple to publish to multiple platforms at once. But every platform is different with its own features and limitations. Content optimized for specific platforms is generally more engaging.
The theories are sound, but there’s an underlying message here — there are no shortcuts to effectively engage a Facebook community.
Third-party APIs are great at organizing social media efforts and simplifying the posting process. But creating content that people like, share and discuss takes time. The benefits of an engagement community, however, are certainly worth the effort.