How often should you post on your Facebook business page?

This does seem to be one of the raging questions in the social media world. Leaving aside, for the moment, of post quality – what is the optimum number of daily posts for a Facebook business page?

Before you answer – keep in mind that once most of your fans have liked you they rarely come back to your page for a visit. Generally, they interact with you via the postings in their news feed. So, given the complete random nature of postings and when people pay attention the chances of your fan base seeing every one of your posts is pretty slim.

As we delve into answering the above question I refer you to a recent blog post from Dan Zarrella. I am a huge fan of Dan’s writings and this one not only piqued my interest – it inspired this blog post. According to his research, Dan found that the number of likes a Facebook business page has is inversly proportional to the frequency of the posts.

Taken at face value you really have to consider a ‘less is more’ policy when posting to your Facebook business page. Then, there is this:

Does this mean that if you post every other day you can expect to get a million fans to your Facebook business page? Uh, not so fast.

This study is not necessarily a straight cause-and-effect comparison. He is only comparing two of many factors that affect how people will like your page. Not to oversimplify…but I can’t resist. This would be akin to linking the length of green lights to the rate of accidents at an intersection. It ignores other significant factors like weather, time of day, terrain effects, etc.

The same analogy can be used on Dan Zarrella’s study. It does not factor in the following:

Content – We’re going to keep on saying this – it is not about quantity it is about quality. If your content stinks, you can be in your fans’ faces on a consistent basis driving your top-of-mind awareness to the point where they will tune you out. There are many factors that go into creating great content but the fact remains that this will determine the success of your Facebook business page more than post frequency.

Marketing – To link ‘likes’ to posts on a Facebook business page ignores what vehicles a brand is using to attract those likes in the first place. Note that this study is not about fans liking individual posts. It is about page likes. It would be logical to assume that in order to reach a million likes a brand would have to had done some level of external marketing to alert potential fans to the page’s existence. People are not wandering Facebook looking for cool pages to like. They need to be prompted. Post frequency will affect how a fan interacts with your page but is not the reason they liked you in the first place.

Tenure – The odds of a two week old Facebook business page reaching a six or seven digit fan base are pretty slim. I think we can be reasonably sure that the older the page the larger the fan base…all things being equal.

Awareness – Think of the Facebook business pages that have a million fans. They aren’t the mom-and-pop soda shop or the regional nonprofit. They tend to be major consumer brands or lightning rod celebrities. Chances are – you don’t have that built-in advantage. You will reach your million (or whatever your target number is) by slow, steady, hard work.

The debate over post quantity will continue to rage. For my money, I believe you should plan on posting – on average – once a day. It is a good idea to vary your times to reach different segments of your audience. And, by all means, monitor your Facebook insights! See what your fans are liking. Find out how many of them actually check into your page every month. Watch how often they comment and share what you post.

Their participation in your Facebook world is a priveledge they are granting you. Use it – but don’t abuse it.

Your thoughts?

Steve Allan

Social Media Specialist

SMThree

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About Steve Allan

I am a Social Media specialist uniquely focused on the management, messaging and marketing of social media platforms for non-profits and small businesses.
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9 Responses to How often should you post on your Facebook business page?

  1. Mohan Rao says:

    Steve,

    I agree with your analysis. I do some consulting for a large company and manage all of their social media. First and foremost, I don’t pay all my attention to the Likes alone. It is the feedback rate that I measure. Social Media is for intearction and that includes, comments, clicks, likes and shares. In my observation, our feedback rate is good if we stick to 2-3 posts per day.

    • smthree says:

      Thanks for the comment, Mohan. I agree – it is about quality. How are people responding. Are they visiting your wall or passively watching on their news feed. 2-3 posts a day is ambitious but if the content is solid it works.

  2. Yannis says:

    I think that this “posting” plan does not count the “replies” but only the posts.
    Very useful research and analysis!
    I have a question about the frequency of posting when the fanpage is newly established and there is no content, no connections, no many “likes” and “shares”.

    • smthree says:

      You want your Facebook page to look well used and well attended as you build your fan base. You wouldn’t invite someone to your new home before you furnished it, would you? Same holds true for your Facebook page. When the new visitors arrive they should see something that makes them want to ‘like’ and interact. It can be frustrating creating content for a page that has few followers but if you don’t build it they never will come.

      • Yannis says:

        based on your reply, (and my tiny opinion) we agree that the first period of “furnitures” in facebook page, is a period not taking into account in planning posts and this “1 post per day” concerns a mature age of the fanpage. :-)

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