Does Facebook Post Engagement Create Reach?
The last few months at Web Liquid New York might be remembered as the Summer of Research after we got our hands dirty in a number of studies. Things kicked off with a study of Marketers Use of Social Media Monitoring and then a Social Media Monitoring Buyer’s Guide and now we’re pleased to publish this Facebook Reach Analysis for your data delights.
Just prior to the the recent unveiling of the new Facebook Insights we got curious about how user engagement with a Brand’s Facebook posts would affect the resulting reach of that post as dictated by Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. And we were made more curious by these findings which indicated that more engagement does not equate to more reach. We weren’t particularly convinced given the sample of that study so we conducted our own, enlisting a large number of brands to participate in something more definitive.
We gathered 3-months of data (March-May 2011) from 16 brands and a total of 1,527 brand posts through that period. Collectively they have over 3.5 million Facebook Fans. The participating brands represent everything from consumer products to fashion icons and major international sports leagues, with Fan counts from a few thousand to well over a million each, and many in between. All of which makes this the largest known analysis of Facebook reach on behalf of marketers.
This report aims to shed some light on how people interact with brands’ Facebook content and whether their behaviors affect the number of other Facebook users who see that content. Put simply there are three specific insights in this analysis:
- The correlation between post engagement and reach – it’s there and it’s strong
- Affects on reach by post frequency – posting more generally equates to more reach
- Affects on engagement and reach by post type – some posts are more engaging and drive more reach than others
While straightforward, the analysis is anything but simple. It carries implications for anyone managing a Facebook page with the intent to reach and engage as much of the Facebook audience as they may be able to. [The complete Facebook Reach Analysis can be download in PDF format.]
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