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April 13th, 2017

How often should we post on Facebook?

By MakalaArce

Whether an organization posts to its Facebook page once per month or once per hour, that post frequency will affect subsequent account engagement or lack thereof.

What's the "right" frequency? It might be higher than you think.

A subset of our Social and Digital Innovation team set up a study to examine optimal post frequency on our enterprise Facebook page.

Objective:

Compare post frequency to determine the frequency that yields the most engagements.

Method:

  • Post 4x, 8x, and 12x per day for three weeks each (504 posts in total).
  • Measure the associated engagement trend metrics (based on dates of engagements).

Results:

  • While the average engagements per post went down when we increased our number of posts per day, the total engagements increased. We received the fewest total engagements when we posted 4x/day and the most total engagements when we posted 12x/day.

Post Frequency Results - Visual

  • Due to concern over follower post fatigue, we also measured post negative feedback. As expected, when we posted more, we saw a small increase in total post negative feedback. However, when increasing our post frequency throughout the 9-week span of this study, the rate at which total engagements increased was much steeper than the rate at which Facebook negative post feedback increased. The benefit outweighed the drawback.

Post Frequency Results graph

Conclusions:

  • Many page administrators fear post fatigue by followers who don’t want to get ‘spammed’ by 12 posts per day, but we need to remember the extremely low organic reach of organizational Facebook pages. If we relied on organic posting only, given a sample organic Facebook reach of 3% (this varies), 12 posts would at most reach 36% of our page followers per day.
  • Transparently, many of us (and you) probably wish a lower frequency would have won. We recognize that it requires more time to create more posts and to monitor the increase in resulting comments received. While our team has not committed to posting 12x/day going forward, we have decided to aim for at least 8x/day, including on the weekends, which performed strongly during the study.

Special thanks to Audrey Laine Seymour, Taryn Offenbacher, Margaret Shepard and Stacy Theobald, who worked with me on the small workgroup for this study.

Makala Arce is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic and a member of the Social and Digital Innovation team. She has a special interest in analytics and leads the implementation of Mayo's social media management system and social listening platforms.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook, metrics, Metrics & Analytics, Post Frequency, Strategy, Tactics & Best Practices

Liked by Cindy Elliott, Sr Marketing Specialist, Jeremy Jensen, Senior Specialist, Danielle Thompson, Erin Donegan

Comment


Kevin Fonger
@kevinfonger

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 16, 2016
Posted by @kevinfonger, Fri, Apr 14 9:09am

This is great information. Thank you so much for doing some of the heavy lifting for us all and sharing your results.

Can you share if any of these posts were used more than once in the test period?

Did you measure which types of posts perform better? Video, link, photos, text, etc.

I’d be curious to see if you get similar results for smaller hospitals with far less followers, say 1-10k fans that receive less engagement within post. Given the brand strength of Mayo Clinic, I also am curious if lesser known local hospitals would be able to have the same success.

I’d also be interested to see the results after 6 and 12 months. A few months may be okay of a higher number of posts, but will there be a breaking point for a person after a certain number of months with a lot of post? I know that I personally hide posts from people who over after a while.

Thanks again for sharing these results!


MakalaArce
@MakalaArce

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posted by @MakalaArce, Wed, Apr 19 11:25am

Hi Kevin – I’m glad you found the post helpful. You asked some good questions…

1. No, we did not repost any of our Facebook posts in this test.

2. The post types measurement was not part of this study, but we do track that separately already. You’ve given me a good idea for another blogpost sometime. For now, I can share that video posts perform best for us on both Twitter and Facebook.

3. We only conducted this study on the Mayo enterprise account, so I do not have any data to offer you for this study from smaller accounts. It would be great to see a parallel study come from a smaller Facebook page. I think the central question would be whether enough engagements are obtained to make up for the increase in negative post feedback. Another thing to keep in mind is that the organic Facebook reach of a smaller account is on average likely a little higher (so I’ve heard)…it would be great to hear if others’ experiences corroborate.

4. As for the length of a study, that can always be a limitation. In our case, we hypothesized that three weeks would be a sufficient representative sample with enough time to gain momentum and let Facebook get used to our new posting frequency. As for your questions about people reaching a breaking point with too many posts, I’m not sure that the same people are getting a ton of posts each day in their newsfeeds, since organic reach is so low. (Paid efforts would affect reach differently.) Make sense? I’m not aware of the following data being available to us, but it would be interesting to see the breakdown of how many of our followers received 1, 2, 3, etc. of our posts in their newsfeeds on a given day.


Lia Medrano
@lmedrano

Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 06, 2016
Posted by @lmedrano, Wed, Apr 19 10:13am

How did you curate enough content for 12 posts a day? @MakalaArce


MakalaArce
@MakalaArce

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posted by @MakalaArce, Wed, Apr 19 11:24am

Great question, and probably one a lot of people have! On a daily basis, we have a couple posts resulting from media hits that quote our physicians. We also have many blogs where we publish a lot of content, so we often post some of those links onto our social media sites. We also receive submissions from around Mayo. So, admittedly, the weeks where we went down to 4 posts per day was a challenge. On the other hand, posting 12x/day was also a challenge, as we needed to proactively look to create more consumer health posts using evergreen content to fill the gaps.


Cynthia Floyd Manley
@cynthiamanley

Posts: 77
Joined: Mar 09, 2011
Posted by @cynthiamanley, Wed, Apr 26 5:43pm

Do you boost any of your posts or is this all organic activity?


MakalaArce
@MakalaArce

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posted by @MakalaArce, Thu, Apr 27 7:44am

During the study, we promoted some and left some organic. We tried to account for about the same boosting spend in each time period of the study. Technically, we ended up spending the most in the 4x/day period, and the least in the 12x/day period. So, if the spend were entirely evened out, the data would make an even stronger case for total engagements in favor of 12x/day over 4x/day and 8x/day.

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