Frequency of Daily Facebook Posts and Reach Unrelated

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I’m sure that you’re aware of the “rules” about frequency of posts you should make to your Facebook Page. Don’t wear out your fans, they say.

I’ve read that you shouldn’t post multiple times to your Facebook Page per day. I’ve heard that the optimal number of times is only two or three times per week. I’ve been told that your EdgeRank will be negatively impacted by too many daily posts.

I spit at the rules.

If you like my Facebook Page, you’re well aware that I often post more than once per day. I’ll even post three, four or five times in a day, depending on what’s going on.

If “the rules” are correct, one of two things (if not both) should happen when I post frequently:

  1. My Reach will decrease as a result of a penalized EdgeRank, and/or
  2. My Negative Feedback will increase per post.

Luckily, we have Facebook Insights to help determine whether this actually happens. So I analyzed data from April 11 through June 24 on my Page to find out if there has been a direct correlation between frequency of daily posts and negative response.

Since I advertised during this time, I isolated organic reach. Additionally, I removed any posts that targeted specific cities, states or countries since the reach would naturally be lower.

That left me with the following data pool:

One daily post 19 times
Two daily posts 23 times
Three daily posts 12 times
Four daily posts 6 times
Five daily posts 4 times

First, let’s look at average percentage reach, splitting up the results by frequency of daily posts:

facebook research percentage reach Frequency of Daily Facebook Posts and Reach Unrelated

I found this by taking the reach of each post over the total Likes for the Page through that day.

As you can see, I reached between 25.5% and 27.5% of my fans with posts, regardless of frequency. While my highest average reach occurred when I posted three times per day, the difference and sample size aren’t enough to draw a direct correlation.

Regardless, “the rules” told me that I should expect my Reach to go down as I post more often. That was not the case. It is clear that I was not harmed by a negative EdgeRank by posting more frequently.

Next, let’s look at percentage of negative feedback per post. One may expect that if I were to post three, four or five times in a day that fans would begin to get increasingly annoyed. If this were the case, the average amount of negative feedback I receive per post should be higher as frequency of daily posts increases.

I decided to go with percentage of negative feedback over total number of Likes instead of amount of negative feedback per post for obvious reasons: If one data set is more heavily weighted towards the beginning of my experiment (when I had fewer fans), the results would not be accurate.

Let’s take a look…

facebook research percentage negative feecback Frequency of Daily Facebook Posts and Reach Unrelated

Did negative feedback increase? I guess… Between one and four posts, there was a difference of four one thousandths of a percentage point. But there was a clear trend going up until getting to five posts in a day. We can probably disregard the five posts per day data here since it is the outlier and the smallest sample size.

I received seven pieces of negative feedback once, and that was on a day when I posted three times. I received six pieces of negative feedback twice, and each time it was when I posted twice. I received five pieces of negative feedback one time when I posted four times in a day.

So, sure… There’s a direct correlation between frequency of daily posts and negative feedback. But it’s minimal. When the average amount of negative feedback is two for a single post, the difference could be negligible. You simply need to ask if making that one extra post is worth the risk of ticking off one or possibly two people.

Conclusion


Based on these results, I am not convinced that there is a magic number of times that you should update your Facebook Page. Your Reach will remain the same (unaffected by EdgeRank) and the impact of negative feedback should be minimal.

Does that mean that you should post like a crazy person? Of course not. You still want to keep quality at a high level. It just means that you shouldn’t be scared to post frequently when there is good reason.

Post away!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • Chrissy Morin

    What exactly “IS” negative feedback? Does that mean that a user hid you? hit you? what? I’ve never really understood what that meant in my insights? Also.. what plugin are you using for your comments.. I like it! :)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hi, Chrissy! The tab for Negative Feedback within an Insights export displays the following data columns:

      hide_clicks
      xbutton
      hide_all_clicks

      The first and third are pretty obvious. You can hide the current post or all posts by that page. The second I assume is reporting your page as spam. These are the only three options when you click that little dropdown thing by a post.

      I use Disqus! I love it, too.

  • Brynn Snow

    Thanks for the post. This might sound like a bit of a silly comment but, where can i see “negative feedback” in my insights?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Not a silly question at all, Brynn, this information is buried. You need to export your post level data. Within the main tab, there will be a column for “negative feedback,” and there is also a separate tab with more details.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

      • Brynn Snow

        I found it! thanks :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/di.cheal Di Cheal

        There is a quicker way of getting a quick view of negative feedback without exporting the data. If you look at your insights overview graph, and then scroll down to the list of posts, and then click on whatever number is showing for engaged users, this will bring up a pie chart showing number of clicks, stories generated etc and it also has a separate line saying; “x people gave negative feedback” If you haven’t got any negative feedback for the post, the sentence doesn’t show.

        Thanks for a great website and FB page, by the way, Jon – I’ve only recently discovered you, but I am so glad I did! :)

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Thanks for the tip, Di Cheal, and WOW! I appreciate the kind words. I love reading comments like yours. Glad to help and happy you found me!

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  • Innovative Ad Solutions LLC

    I think number of posts depends on the industry you are in. However, I am with you. A few posts a day is fine, as long as you are not bombarding your fans as part of your online marketing.

  • http://twitter.com/socialrithmic Socialrithmic

    Hi Jon, I love how you use the data to debunk existing “rules” that don’t have the proper reasoning behind it. I don’t think there’s anything inherent of post frequencies that would lower reach or increase negative engagement. It is likely that the “rules” started because those that post more frequently often does not keep up the quality of the posts. A lot of the frequent posts are done via automation without careful thought and if these posts don’t get good engagement eventually the edgerank effect will probably come in to lower the reach of the account’s posts. But if you can ensure similar quality of the 5-10 posts then that’s probably fine. The only other factor that may kinda affect this is the time decay factor in edgerank, if several of the high frequency posts occur at times that don’t resonate with user activity, but the difference may be negligible depending on when the posts are done.

    -Peter

  • http://twitter.com/workwithgordon Gordon Robinson

    Hi Jon, I follow your posts with much interest. I have just found over the last few weeks I have had a dramatic decrease in my ‘reach’ although I have more likes. The question I have is around these ‘posting’ applications. I have been using Post Planner. In your experience could using these tools and doing lots of random posts ‘adverts’ to forums and groups impact my reach. I also sent the posts from my personal page and not my fan page. Its obviously the fan page reach I am concerned about. Thought I was doing all the right things but somethings not quite right …. if you have more than one fan page can that impact a fan pages EdgeRank?

    Thanks
    Gordon

  • Kapil

    We also have similar observations.

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    The reality is it all depends on your page and your audience. if you are getting engagement who cares how many times you post. But if you post 12 times in a day and no one comments or likes.. You should probably rethink things..

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Absolutely, Scott. There are limits, of course, and even if you post four times there are better ways of doing it. If you post four times within 15 minutes, that’s bound to annoy people (especially if you do it regularly). If you do it spaced out by 4-6 hours and it’s quality content, people are likely to embrace it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deni.jelincic.7 Deni Jelincic

    great article! It helped me to figure out how to behave on FB. during Dec I was posting 3,4 or 5 posts per day, but now I changed it to 2 per day and I pay more attention on time when I post someting. Since I have no more than 350 fans, I am sattisfied with +100-130 reach per post.
    Should I be attacking higher reach with “better” content?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Oh, definitely focus on better content, Deni. I’ll only post 3-4 times in a day if I have the content to support it. By watering it down, you’re likely to get more spam and hide reports, which will ultimately lower your reach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ReidRosefelt Reid Rosefelt

    I think it’s all content, content, content. You can bore people on Facebook with one post a day or delight them with four. The “rules” don’t apply to you Jon because the level of your content is so consistently high.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Well, thanks, Reid. But honestly, I think a big part of it is timing. Yes, you need to consistently post quality content. But the truth is that the vast majority of people won’t see multiple posts from you if you post six times and post them out by four hours. The average user just isn’t on enough every day to see that. But if you post back-to-back-to-back, even if it’s not terrible content, you’re going to turn people off because you will reach people several times.

      Or at least that’s my theory!

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