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Shocking New Data about the Lifespan of Your Facebook Posts

September 10, 2013 - 07:00:15 by
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lifespan-of-facebook-postsLet me guess…

You’re a fan page owner & you think that when you post something, all your fans are supposed to see it.

Right?

WRONG!

In fact, most experts speculate that fewer fans are seeing your well-crafted posts than ever before.

Why?

The answer could lie in some interesting stats I found today — which I’ve shared below.

How Quickly Does a Facebook Post Die?

I’ve seen a lot of different answers to this question.

Some social media “gurus” say a post dies within 3 hours, while others say 5 hours… while still others say it takes days or even weeks.

Who’s right here? What is the true lifespan of your Facebook posts?

Well, with the intro of Facebook’s new News Feed algorithm & “Story Bump” feature, page posts could theoretically live a much longer life than they have in the past.

In any case, here are the stats we have today — (put together by the brainiacs at WiseMetrics):

Lifespan of a Facebook post

Let’s break down the Engagement, Impressions & Reach stats we see here.

Engagement

According to this chart, 75% of the engagement you get on your posts happens within the first 5 hours.

After that, engagement pretty much dies off.

Impressions

Impressions hit their climax much sooner than engagement.

After just 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes), your post will have made 75% of its lifetime impressions.

Which means your post has made the majority of impressions it will ever make — in less than 3 hours.

Reach

This is the stat that should shock page owners most!

After just 1 hour 50 minutes (110 minutes), your post reaches 75% of its potential reach!

In other words, if your page has 1000 fans & you’re reaching the average of 16% of fans (claimed by Facebook), your posts will reach 160 people.

But 120 of those fans will be reached in the first 2 hours — while the remaining 40 see your post over the hours that follow.

Sure, your average Reach could be higher or lower depending on your page size — but you get my point.

Social Bakers has a great study on Reach as it relates to page size:

Average Reach of a Facebook Page according to Social Bakers

Why Planning is SO Important

Should you care about your Reach?

YES, you should! — despite what the “experts” may say.

facebook posting planIn my opinion, Reach is the foundational stat of your page — because when Reach increases, Impressions & Engagement increase as well.

So ignoring your page’s Reach numbers while trying to optimize Engagement is kind of like ignoring the air pressure in your tires while trying to optimize gas mileage.

Ie. dumb.

And this is why you need a clear plan for your page’s posts.

You need to figure out the optimal times to post on your page — so you have a better chance of Reaching more people & thereby getting more engagement.

To figure out the best times to post, just look at your Insights & find out when your fans are online.

Every page will be different, but your Insights graph will look something like this:

when your fans are online

By looking at this recent graph for the Post Planner page, I can see that Wednesday is the day when we have the most fans online viewing Facebook (25.5k of them) — and that the peak time of day is around 11am.

I can also see that 6pm has fewer fans on Facebook than 3am — which is probably because we have a lot of fans in Europe, Asia & Australia.

Now What?

Well, you should start testing posts at the optimal times — when the highest number of your fans are on Facebook — to see if you get more Reach & Engagement.

You may find out that just because more of your fans are on Facebook at a given time doesn’t mean your engagement increases.

eyeballs on facebookThis is probably because your posts have more competition in the News Feed at peak times!

When more people are using Facebook, more posts are hitting the news feed from family, friends & pages.

This crowds up the News Feed & makes posts move down the feed faster.

So it’s possible that during times when fewer people are on Facebook, your posts will actually get more reach — as there’s less competition for eyeballs (but also fewer eyeballs)!

TEST! TEST! TEST!

The only way to figure out what works for your page is to try different times of day & compare the results.

Don’t simply assume that posting at 1pm on Wednesday is always the best time to post!

Rather, mix it up & see if you get better results at other times.

Resources for Planning Your Posts:

The takeaway here is to remember that after about 2 hours, your Facebook posts disappear from the News Feed — never to be seen by fans again.

So make sure those 2 hours happen at the right time!

About the Author:

Co-author of Facebook All-In-One for Dummies and "Ambassador of Awesome" at Post Planner, Scott became addicted to social media before even MySpace (the first time around!). Any given day he spends 20+ hours on Facebook! He's been married for 20 years and has 3 kiddos who are his world! Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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576 Shares Facebook 387 Twitter 105 LinkedIn 38 Google+ 30 Pin It Share 16 576 Shares ×