3 Myths About Posting Too Much Content On Facebook

by Dennis Yu on Feb 18, 2015

3-myths-facebook-frequency

Let’s bust some myths, shall we?

We’ve aggregated a year’s worth of data on some entertainment brands to let the data tell the story.
Of course, results vary by industry, technique, timeframe, and geography, but the main principles hold true.

MYTH #1: Posting more frequently will irritate your fans

If you’re irritating, yes.

If you’re interesting, fans can’t get enough.

So let’s look at negative feedback as one measure of “irritation”, though you could certainly examine sentiment and newsfeed reach.

Negative feedback is a Facebook metric tallied from these user actions:

  • Clicking ‘Hide this post” or “I don’t want to see this”
  • Clicking ‘Hide all posts from PAGE”
  • Marking a post as spam
  • Unliking a page from the newsfeed

Negative feedback chart 1

Some pages post 30-40 times per day and actually get less negative feedback as a proportion of total engagement.

And their total negative feedback is shrinking, too, which helps organic reach.

This is despite these pages doubling in user bases over the last year.

Negative feedback chart 2

MYTH #2: Facebook is out to fleece brands

The fact that Facebook has made the newsfeed algorithm smarter hurts the spammers, while helping the good guys (which I’m assuming includes you).

In other words, Facebook is less likely to show your content to people who won’t enjoy it, so they’re doing you a favor by whittling down to the right reach.

If you’re self-promotional, then you get whittled down to almost nothing in today’s newsfeed reach.

Hence, the complaints about reach decline, blaming Facebook as a purely paid mechanism, and so forth.

Marketers, behave yourselves!

If your negative feedback is greater than one per 100 interactions (download your CSV insights file to measure this), then something is wrong.

The top brands are down at 0.3 negative feedback per 100 interactions and declining.

The enemy is not the Facebook algorithm — it might actually be you polluting newsfeed with promotional content.

MYTH #3: Posting more frequently means you get less engagement

It would seem to make sense that you wouldn’t want to inundate your fans, right?

The reality is that there is so much content out there that usually single digit percentages of fans are seeing your content anyway.

That’s not a license to post more frequently to counteract reach decline — the equivalent of yelling louder.

But it is trusting that if you have worthy content, Facebook is getting smarter about delivering it to the right people.

Total interactions per day increases linearly with posts per day:

negative feedback chart 3

You’d expect this and maybe assume that your reach and engagement per post declines correspondingly.

However, if your content is solid enough, doubling post frequency gives you nearly double the engagement.

What will you do about this?

Post as often as you like, even 10 times per day, so long as you have excellent content.

But if you don’t have great content, don’t feel compelled to post something, any more than you would eat another plate at the buffet just because.

Check your negative feedback to see if you may be inadvertently over-promoting, instead of engaging users. Are you practicing the AEC funnel to make sure you have a balanced content strategy?

Funnel Graphic2 V3

Benchmark yourself against similar brands/companies.

While you might not have access to their insights data, you can certainly look at their PTAT divided by their fan base, how much you overlap with their fans, and how often they post.

Not to say that you should take competitors’ actions as a proxy for good performance.  But you should measure it, if for no other reason than to benchmark for your boss.

Post Author

Dennis Yu is the CEO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He...

  • http://www.sheersocial.com Alice Fuller

    Great post! But I so tire of them because in a few days or months a post from a respected “expert” site with statistics proving ITS case for posting less frequently will get circulated. At this point, we don’t know what to believe and whom. In the end it’s all trial and error with Facebook, using split testing, and learning how to best utilize ads. Technically, it’s becoming true for most of the social media platforms.

  • Jeremy Jin

    From my experience, it certainly follows that intelligent targeting and control can make negative feedback nearly invisible when coupled against the benefits of posting frequent, appetizing content. Still wows me that some people are posting 30-40 times in one day without irritating their customers. Just shows you what established businesses can do with strong strategies.

  • http://blitzmetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Alice– you might get seemingly conflicting or misguided info from “experts” all over the web. Focus on solid content and you’ll never worry about frequency. That’s what you should put your trust in– not split testing or hard-set rules.

  • rup

    hello dennis im currenly experimenting with FB right now it seems like posting lowers organic reach im posting very powerful hot on the trend articles new ones and old ones that NO one knows about, i just started MY fb page and put a total amount of 10 to 15 min max of actual work and reached 38 real organic likes…mind you these likes were not funneled from any social channels or friend invites it was all through my page directly using certain methods that practically seem to work can you touch up on post frequency? cause i posted too less then my reach was going down…when i first started i was getting 20 in a day and now up to 40 not sure the algorithim is a pain….when i scheduled post when i was sleeping my reach went down so i posted about 6 within 24 hours about just the other day lol

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    Pairing your posts with questions is a great way to accomplish this. You’ll get more engagement and better response if you post a link with a question or call to action, rather than just posting a link solo. Invite conversation whenever possible, with each post you do.

  • http://lorenweisman.com/ Loren Weisman

    I like the detail and all the concepts that you’ve researched Dennis. My only issue is the detail of what was researched when you say entertainment brands.

    If these are higher profile, higher budget brands, their engagement rules differ from someone running a more grassroots or start up type entertainment brand.

    While, I am in one hundred percent agreement that you are dead on for the brands you researched and the data you compiled, I find that in areas like posting tempos differ on the existing presence of a brand and what that brand is presenting and sharing. Less of a one size fits all scenario.

    And as you state, its all about the good content over posts and post of crap to be seen…well paraphrasing a bit, you put it a lot nicer.

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  • MZ13

    If you post too much, even your friends will unfollow you. Even the good friends. You miss what others post cause that one person posts 12 times a day. Unfortunately, those that post too much are sometimes most in need of some friendship, so the unfollowing will alienate them even more. When I unfollow a friend, I check their status every few days. And I even tell them to try to post less, although often they still don’t get it. And for “some” family member that manages to offend me with nearly every word, I might check every couple weeks (or months).

  • http://blitzmetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Note that there is no limit on posting frequency so long as you have good content. That caveat is key. Doesn’t matter if you’re an entertainment brand or small biz– same rules apply on post frequency.

  • Alice Carey

    I’ve had to unfollow friends that post as much as 30 or 40 times a day. I wish 12 posts is all I had to deal with. Some of these people must not have anything better to do because they don’t have a job to keep them busy. I don’t have a job either as I’m retired. But, I don’t post much either. A month may even go by before I post anything. I have other things that interest me much more. My world don’t revolve around facebook.