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The top 20,000 brands on Facebook aren’t shying away from the platform: in fact, by the second quarter of this year, they had upped their post volume by almost 20% year-over-year, according to an analysis from Buffer and BuzzSumo. But even all the increased competition that more posts bring to the newsfeed can’t account for the large drop in engagement seen by these brands.

Facebook Interactions Declining Significantly

The stats shared in the report show that the total number of interactions on these pages’ posts had dropped by more than 45% year-over-year in Q1 2018 and by a similar 44% year-over-year in Q2.

But those declines in total interactions came amidst that increased level of posts!

Adjusting for that, we can see that total interactions per post have dropped by more than half in the space of just one year.

Specifically:

  • Interactions per post fell from 4,490 in Q1 2017 to 2,047 in Q1 2018, a 54% drop; and
  • Interactions per post fell from 3,376 in Q2 2017 to 1,582 in Q2 2018, a 53% drop.

Engagement Down for All Post Types

Is there a panacea to this declining engagement? No. Looking at a 5-quarter period from Q1 2017 through Q2 2018, the analysis indicates that engagement per post was down across each type.

Over that 5-quarter period, engagement declined by:

  • 63% per post for image posts;
  • 48% per post for video posts; and
  • 70% for link posts.

Does that mean that video posts are the way to go, since they had the smallest decline? Maybe not. Images still averaged 20% more engagements per post in Q2 than videos. (Social media marketers seem to be almost equally invested in image and video posts over the next year, for what it’s worth.)

Some kind of visual element is still key. Link posts average the fewest engagements per post: these types of posts averaged 78% fewer engagements per post than image posts, and 73% fewer interactions per post than video posts.

It’s Probably Not Worth Posting Too Much

During the second quarter of the year, the analysis reveals that the 20,000 pages analyzed posted an average of 135 posts per month, which works out to roughly 4-5 per day.

There were wide differences in posting frequency among these pages, though, with some averaging fewer than 1 per day and others more than 10.

Interestingly enough, pages that posted fewer than once a day averaged the highest number of engagements per post during the second quarter of this year, at 3,127. By contrast, those posting at least 10 times a day had by far the fewest engagements per post, at 1,202. (That’s logical – how many of a brand’s posts would you like or comment on per day? That’s if you see them…)

Of course, posting fewer than once a day means that overall engagement numbers won’t be quite as high. The sweet spot in terms of the largest number of interactions is 5 times per day, per the analysis. It also depends if engagement per post or total engagement is the goal…

One other reason why it might be worth avoiding over-posting? Pages averaging at least 10 posts per day have seen the largest percentage decline in engagement over the past 5 quarters. (Maybe start posting more in Instagram Stories?!)

Find the full analysis, including recommendations for improving strategies, here.

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