Do you know the shelf life of your Facebook posts? It might just be shorter than you think. Okay, admittedly most of us already knew the shelf life was fairly short, right? We've already seen studies from the likes of Edgerank Checker, Optim.al, and Sotrender about this very subject, and they all suggest that most engagement with a Facebook post happens within the first several hours.
So when a new study from Wisemetrics was released last week, we weren't too surprised to find that it re-affirmed what we already knew -- 75% of engagement on a Facebook post occurs within the first five hours. What's more interesting though, is that Wisemetrics looked not only at engagement, but also at reach and impressions. And this data suggests that the shelf life may actually be shorter than we thought.
Take a look ...
If you're not a mathy person and despise looking at charts and graphs, here's the breakdown of what this means ...
- It only takes 2 hours, 30 minutes for a post to get 75% of the total impressions it will get.
- In regard to reach, 75% of your post's audience sees your post in less than 2 hours.
- Furthermore, it takes just 30 minutes for a post to get 50% of its global reach.
Those are all a lot shorter than 5 hours, huh? So what should a marketer do with this information?
Facebook Marketing Takeaways
The obvious takeaway here is that, because you have just a small window of time to reach your audience with each Facebook post, you might not be posting to your Facebook page as often as you should be. Considering your posts are only truly effective for a few hours, we recommend a posting frequency of about 3-4 per day.
Another great way to maximize each post's effectiveness is to increase your Facebook reach overall. The greater your reach, the more audience your individual posts will have. But don't underestimate the role of post engagement in all this either. While most marketers are mainly concerned with reach, savvy Facebook marketers understand that, because of EdgeRank, post engagement affects reach by influencing what gets surfaced in the Facebook News Feed. To learn more about how to optimize your Facebook content for better engagement, check out this blog post.
Finally, as Wisemetrics points out, testing and analyzing the timing of your Facebook posts may also be beneficial to improving your Facebook content strategy. With Facebook Insights, you can analyze the effectiveness of your individual posts by looking at metrics like reach, engagement, and clickthrough rates. And by analyzing how the timing of your posts affects these metrics, you can start to get a sense of the optimal dates and times for your Facebook content strategy.