Are Facebook Posts With Photos Getting Less Reach?

Think Facebook success is all about photos? Think again!

I recently saw a Facebook tip from Social Identities that suggested removing the image and link preview from Facebook posts. He showed evidence of posts on his page performing better if these were removed. So I gave it a shot.

I decided to test this out on a Facebook page I manage. I continued posting as usual, but removed the link preview and stopped using as many photos. What I saw showed just that – simple text posts reached more people.

In the screen capture below  you can see that the post with a photo was seen by 24 people, while the post without a photo was seen by 89. The text post also received 2 more clicks. Both posts included a link fan could click on but the text post did not include the link preview.

Facebook Reach Experiment

I am not saying that photos don’t work on Facebook. Some of my most engaging posts have used photos.

Facebook engagement experiment

But for my everyday posts, it seems that right now a simple text update is reaching the most people. The important thing is to find what works for you. Also consider how many clicks, visits, or conversions you are getting from Facebook and how different posts affect those numbers. It is always best to test out different types of post and see what works for your fans. You might find that a healthy combination is best. And sometimes a picture is after all worth a thousand words.

Tell me in the comments below, what types of posts perform best for you on Facebook? Are you noticing similar trends on your pages?

Advertisements

Thoughts on the Facebook Newsfeed, EdgeRank and Advertising

Back in October of 2012 I noticed many Facebook pages I follow encouraging fans to add them to interest lists to make sure they keep seeing updates from them in their newsfeed. Rumor had it that Facebook was changing again and going to make page owners start advertising to reach their fans. While this was neither true nor false there was more to the story.

Bob Schneider

For the most part I ignored these posts. I made sure I had liked and selected “Show in Newsfeed” for the pages I wanted to see. And when browsing Facebook, I look at the most recent stories and not just top stories.

But recently I have heard rumblings again about drops in organic user interactions. One story I recently heard about, thanks to Connie Schultz, comes from New York Times Columnist Nick Bilton. In his article, Nick explains:

“From the four columns I shared in January, I have averaged 30 likes and two shares a post. Some attract as few as 11 likes. Photo interaction has plummeted, too. A year ago, pictures would receive thousands of likes each; now, they average 100. I checked the feeds of other tech bloggers, including MG Siegler of TechCrunch and reporters from The New York Times, and the same drop has occurred.

What changed? I recently tried a little experiment. I paid Facebook $7 to promote my column to my friends using the company’s sponsored advertising tool.

To my surprise, I saw a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a link I posted, which had 130 likes and 30 reshares in just a few hours. It seems as if Facebook is not only promoting my links on news feeds when I pay for them, but also possibly suppressing the ones I do not pay for.”

Facebook stands behind their EdgeRank algorithm that determines the content users see. What EdgeRank leaves out though is advertising, which is playing an increasingly important role in what appears in the Newsfeed. Are more ads in the feed going to dilute the personal Facebook experience? If so, this could be the beginning of the end of Facebook.

I love James McQuivey’s, an analyst at Forrester Research, wisdom here:

“It’s not just that people will feel nickeled and dimed by this, it’s that ultimately the value of the product disappears as the stream of information in your social network, one that used to be rapid and friction-free, is no longer there and now consumed by advertising.”

Suggested reading:

EdgeRank: Doing the Right Things Doesn’t Solve the Bigger Issue
Calling Facebook Edgerank What It Is: Censorship

Image credit: Hugh Briss

Image credit: Hugh Briss

Facebook Removes Cover Photo Restrictions

Facebook’s new cover photo terms simply state:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.

Previously Facebook prohibited advertising of any kind in the cover photo.

Suggested reading:

Facebook explains how 20% text overlay policy for ads is enforced

Hugh Briss over at Social Identities provides a comical look at what is now possible. But seriously..keep it classy!

64200_580739711950617_835730831_n

New Facebook Profiles

My Facebook Profile just updated. Here is a look!

Capture4

Highlights:

Posts and life events are on the right, with everything else on the left. I kind of like this because having two rows of stories was sometimes hard to read. But I do wonder how this will affect featured posts now that everything is the same size.

The About page has been updated quite a bit. The page keeps scrolling and scrolling to show all of your interests, likes, events, notes, photos, etc.Facebook Profile Updates

I also noticed that the mini feed on my homepage is missing. I wonder what that means…

Facebook’s Big Announcement: Graph Search

On Tuesday, Facebook introduced Graph Search to the world. In their words, Graph Search allows users to, “Find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections.”

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.

Capture

Facebook says that the first version of Graph Search will focuses on four areas – people, photos, places, and interests.

People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”

Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

Places: “restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”

Interests: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” “movies liked by people who are film directors,” “books read by CEOs”

Facebook Privacy

As with every Facebook announcement, many are concerned about how Graph Search will affect their privacy. The best way to protect your private information on Facebook is to not share anything you don’t want to be made public. If you do share something personal, make sure that it is only made visible to your friends, and is not a public post. For tips on how to adjust these settings you can read my post about Facebook privacy updates and tips.

Graph Search is currently available in a very limited beta program. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when you can start using the new tool.

Suggested Reading/Viewing:

Mark Zuckerberg explains the design and engineering behind the Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200156550214780

Venture Beat discusses Facebook privacy: http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/16/facebook-graph-search-privacy/

How privacy works with Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch/privacy

Facebook Privacy and Sharing Tips

You have surely heard about and experienced Facebook’s privacy and tagging changes over the past few months. These updates have changed privacy settings on user profiles as well as the ways users share content on Facebook.

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook profile controls can easily be adjusted directly from the user profile rather than navigating through the confusing Privacy Settings page. Each section of the profile has an option to select who can see this information. To change these settings navigate to your profile and click edit. In each section you will see a drop down to adjust the privacy level.

Capture

Users can also preview how their page looks to certain people using the “View Profile As” tool. You can find this on your profile under the wheel next to Activity Log.

Capture

Users also now have the ability to review tags before they appear live in the newsfeed. This means if a friend tags you in a photo, check-in or post you will have the ability to approve or reject before the post is made visible to anyone else. To enable this setting navigate to Use Activity Log – Timeline Review under your privacy settings and make sure it is enabled.

Capture

Options for removing content and tags from your profile are also more robust. When removing content that you have been tagged in you now have the option of removing the content from your profile, removing the tag itself, messaging the photo owner or tagger, and requesting the content get taken down.

Changes to Sharing on Facebook

Each Facebook post now includes options to share your location, who you are with and who you want to see the post. All directly from your status update! Your physical proximity to the location also no longer prevents you from tagging a place. After writing your status update you can:

  1. Tag who you’re with
  2. Share where you are
  3. Choose who sees your post

Untitled

As always, if you don’t want the world to know something about you, do not share it on Facebook! If you do post something personal or risque, be sure you have adjusted your settings so that only friends (or a custom group of friends) can see the post. Facebook only knows what you have told it about you so when in doubt, don’t over-share!

Facebook Timeline Updates Coming Soon

Mashable is reporting that Facebook is once again updating the look of Timeline for users. Users in New Zealand are waking up to fresh options at the top of the page and the removal of maps and thumbnail tabs.

Here is what the Timeline update looks like:

NZtimeline2-640x367

Image courtesy Flickr, scobleizer

There is also apparently another feature called Collections Manager that allows users to rearrange the boxes in the right-hand column of their profile (Photos, Music, Likes, etc).

collections

Image courtesy Flickr, scobleizer

Facebook’s only comment so far has been, “we are always testing.”

It is likely that us in the US will wake up to these changes Wednesday morning. So set your alarms!

Update (1/11/13): I still do not see these changes on my own profile.

New Facebook Page Toolbar: Voice

This morning I noticed a new feature on the Facebook pages I manage. It is a toolbar at the top of the page called Voice and it shows who you are posting as and allows you to quickly switch between yourself or the page. Here is what it looks like:

The toolbar reads, “You are posting, commenting, and liking as Algorithm – Change to Rebecca Roebuck.” When I click “Change to Rebecca Roebuck” it automatically changes my settings so that I am now posting, commenting, and liking as Rebecca Roebuck.

Page managers could make this switch before the Voice Toolbar but had to go into the page settings each time they wanted to make this change. I think this is a great new little feature that will save page managers time because it easily allows you to change your Voice directly from the page itself and allows you to more easily like and comment as yourself rather than the page when needed.

Under your page settings (Edit Info – Your Settings), where this feature used to live, Facebook has added a new option – the option to send push notifications to the Pages Manager mobile app when people post or comment on your page. The Pages Manager app is a new iPhone app from Facebook that allows you to view and manage just your pages all in one place. Pretty nice for on-the-go or live updating and monitoring!

It is important to note that this does not replace the Use Facebook as Page function. The Voice Toolbar only changes your voice on the pages you  manage. If you want to post, comment or like content on another page as a page you manage you still must switch to using Facebook as that page first. If you aren’t familiar with this function, click on the drop down arrow at the top right of Facebook. That drops down options to use Facebook as any page you manage. This allows you to like and comment on other pages around Facebook.

What do you think – will you use the Voice Toolbar? Will it make it easier for you to comment as yourself or would you rather post as your page at all times?

Facebook Page Creation and Management

I have created over 50 Facebook pages for clients worldwide. This process includes setup (name, category, info), optimization (photos, about, links) and management (content calendar, updates, monitoring).

In January 2011 I created a Facebook page to promote a Lifetime TV series filmed at Riverside Methodist Hospital. The goal of the campaign was not only to promote the show but also to promote the Riverside maternity program to Central Ohio residents. I helped develop the strategy, timeline and content for this project and executed the community development, management and optimization. The page had custom tabs, photos, video and was updated daily. Within one year the Facebook page grew to over 4,000 fans.

Results:

  • Over 4,000 people heard the message and followed the updates
  • Fans were very active and engaged with the community
  • The Facebook page reached an important and powerful audience – moms!

Facebook Timelines: Prepare Yourselves for the Evolution of Social Networking

This post was originally published on December 16, 2011 at http://www.webbedmarketing.com/Facebook-Timelines

Facebook Timelines are officially rolling out to Facebook users. Users can now enable the timeline by visiting https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline, then customize the information and layout and finally publish the timeline to their friends. Users have until December 23 to edit their timeline and choose to publish. On December 23 all timelines will be made live and will replace the old Facebook profile layout.

How to set up the new Facebook Timeline

Getting the Facebook Timeline is easy. Go to https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline and click “Get Timeline.”

Facebook then provides a tour of the new timeline and offers a 7-day preview. If you have no edits and want to publish your timeline immediately you can click “Publish Now” and your timeline will be made public. This will replace your profile’s old layout.

To edit items in your timeline, simply scroll through the page and hover over items you wish to edit. You can choose to change the date, add a location, hide from timeline, feature or delete the post altogether.

Once you have made the desired edits to your timeline, you can click “Publish Now” at the top of your profile page to share your timeline with your friends. If you do nothing, your timeline will go live on December 23, 2011.

What is so great about the new Facebook timeline?

I (virtually) attended the F8 Facebook Developers Conference in September and set up my timeline shortly after. I was inspired by the description of and theory behind the new timeline. “Your Facebook profile tells the story of your life.” The new features and layout allow you to express who you are in a very personal (or professional) way.

One of the coolest parts of the new timeline is your cover photo. This is the image at the top of your profile that is similar to a banner on a blog. It can be changed as often as you like and adds color and personality to your profile.

It is also easy to scroll through all the years of your life (or at least those spent on Facebook) and rediscover events, quotes, pictures and special memories. The year navigation bar at the side of the page makes going through the years so easy. You no longer have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find old posts on your profile.

Here are a few of my favorite memories from my timeline:

I joined Facebook (probably one of the best decisions)

I graduated from Kenyon College!

I got married!

Have you set up your Facebook timeline? What do you like about it?