Are you using a 3rd party application to post content to Facebook? Last week, EdgeRank Checker released a report revealing 3rd party applications like Hootsuite or TweetDeck decreased Facebook engagement by a whopping 70%. The report announced that these applications damage your EdgeRank, the metric Facebook uses to establish post visibility in user feeds, and in doing so prevent posts from being displayed on news feeds. Gah!
Shortly after, Adage published an article by Michael Lazero, CEO of Buddy Media, clarifying some of the claims made by EdgeRank Checker's report. While the article is somewhat biased towards Buddy Media's 3rd party publishing tool, the data doesn't lie. Below are some of the key take aways:
1. Some (mainly free) 3rd party applications will decrease the amount of engagement on your Facebook pages. Free applications like HootSuite and Tweetdeck often collapse Facebook posts, preventing many of them from being shown and therefore decreasing engagement - you can't "like" what you can't see! Single tenant branded applications also have the tendency to collapse posts. But all is not lost. According to Lazero, Multi-tenant enterprise products (like Buddy Media) do not collapse posts - and thus do not decrease engagement. Take Away: Check with your provider to make sure posts are not being collapsed.
2. Facebook does not appear to penalize posting via 3rd parties. While Facebook has not spoken on this directly, the data released by Buddy Media speaks for itself. When comparing engagement on posts via Facebook direct, free apps and Buddy Media, Buddy Media and Facebook direct posts scored similarly, while free apps scored approximately 50% lower. Take away: 3rd party posting isn't the direct the cause of lower engagement, 3rd parties that collapse your posts are.
3. Content performs better when optimized for specific channels. This should be a no-brainer but a lot of brands set up automatic posting between channels like Facebook and Twitter and are surprised when engagement is low. If you aren't engaged with your content, your audience probably won't be either. Take Away: To optimize Facebook content, think about the length of the posts, questions vs. statements, timing, etc.
What has your experience been posting to Facebook via 3rd party applications?