Facebook’s algorithm has always been tricky for marketers to figure out. And now a new study by Applum, the developer behind Page tool EdgeRank Checker says that using 3rd party apps like Hootsuite to post Facebook updates decreases comments and Likes by 70%. Yikes!
Applum ran their analysis on 1,000,000+ Updates on 50,000+ Pages that influence over 1,000,000,000+ Fans. “We took each individual post and analyzed the engagement (comment & likes) along with how many fans the Page had at the moment of updating,” said the study.
The difference “is likely due to Facebook reducing the prominence of posts published by third-party APIs, and Facebook collapsing updates from the same API from across a user’s friends and Liked Pages, said Josh Constine over at Inside Facebook. “As Likes and comments increase a post’s prominence in the news feed, driving more impressions and clicks, all Pages using auto-posting apps should look to switch to manual posting if possible.”
If Facebook is not taking 3rd party apps seriously in their algorithm this probably accounts for one of the key reasons why so many organizations experience such low page views and interactions. According to the recent eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, most people don’t visit a page often after “liking” it – in fact the number of actual page views per 1000 users was very low at 4-7 per day, Frogloop reported last month in our article Facebook Metrics Nonprofits Need to Know.
Why is Facebook Discounting 3rd Party Apps?
Good question. There are a lot of variables. Does Facebook think that 3rd party apps are used a lot more for robo-posts rather than manual posts in real time. Are they rewarding page owners for increasing Facebook’s own web traffic by visiting the site more often? Lisa Thorell, Principal of Off the Grid Public Relations says what would be really helpful in interpreting the data would be more information on how the total Likes and comments for API posts compared to manual Facebook posts.
For now it does appear that Facebook is rewarding those who manually update their pages vs 3rd party apps. “Take the extra minute it to manually craft a Facebook post rather than auto-post. This might require changes to workflows or allocation of additional human resources. Still, Page owners could be sacrificing a lot of their social media performance and return on investment to save a small amount of time and effort,” said Constine.