Here’s the Proof: How You Post on Facebook Fan Pages Affects Views

How you present your posts on Facebook Pages impacts the number of viewers that see your posts.

Here are the results of an experiment I did this morning on my business’ Facebook Page. I posted an article about what drowning really looks like (BTW, very important information, please read: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning on Slate.com. It could save a life).

The following article was posted in two different formats within 5 minutes of each other.

First, I posted a commentary about the article with a link. I removed the preview at the bottom of the post that Facebook automatically produces when you post a link.

Within the first 53 minutes, 36 people saw the post including one “share.”  Of those:

  • 17 (47% of views) were Organic views, meaning, the number of people who views my post in their newsfeed, ticker, or on my Jumpset Strategies Facebook page.
  • 20 (56% of views) were Viral views, meaning, people saw my post as a result of others sharing or liking my post.
  • Note: According to on Facebook’s calculations, the numbers add up to one extra viewer or 103%, because the share was also counted as a view / interaction in the organic vs. viral breakdown, but not as an overall additional viewer.

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Next, I posted the same link again in a different way. This time I posted the link, waited for the preview to show up, then deleted the link in the text. It displayed as it does below (without the statistics provided for illustration purposes).

In the first 47 minutes, only 16 people viewed the post. This post also had one share.

Of those sixteen viewers:

  • 13 (totaling 81% of views) were Organic views.
  • 3 (totaling 19% of views) were Viral views.

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After I wrote the last paragraph, I took another screen shot of the preview style post above. This was about 20 minutes after the first screen shot.  The new numbers increased slightly:

23 people had then seen the posting. Of those:

  • 15 (65% of views) were Organic views.
  • 8  (35% of views) were Viral views.

FacebookViews#3a

Notice that given 20 minutes more time, the posting with the preview still did not receive as many views as the original posting that did not contain a preview.

By posting your own text, you will receive more engagement and rank higher in newsfeeds than by posting links without your own comments.

Why is this?

The reason has to do with the way Facebook prioritizes what you see in your newsfeed and ticker.

Facebook uses Edgerank, a newsfeed algorithm that makes decisions on what people see in their newsfeed based on sponsored posts, your interests, interactions, popularity, and predictions based on past behaviors. Getting top billing are those posts that have paid to advertise, sponsor or boost a posting. Next in line are status updates which are more highly ranked than articles shared via a preview. Your own photos and videos are also more highly ranked than links with a preview but not as high as text-based status updates. By adding comments you additionally increase the ranking.

According to Edgerank.net the easiest way to optimize your Facebook Fan Page is to engage your audience by asking questions, asking people to click like if they agree with you on something, produce polls, and encourage comments. The more people engage with you via your Facebook postings the more views you will receive because they take priority in Edgerank’s algorithm. Comments are also more highly weighted than “likes.”

Using social media is part art, part science. Know the basics on what, how and when to post is the science part, but don’t stop there. Following the advice from the experts, is wise but it won’t necessarily increase your engagement. That’s where the art comes to play. Knowing your audience, what topics interest them and delivering it on a timely and consistent basis will help you over time. No one can tell you what content to post; that is as unique as the personality and brand of your product or company. Keep plugging away, analyze what is happening, change what isn’t working, and try new things. Eventually you will get it right.

For more information on increasing Facebook engagement please read: 8 Essentials For Facebook Engagement

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