Explaining the lifetime of Facebook posts

Do you know what the lifetime of an average Facebook post is?

Do you know what it looks like when drawn on a graph?

Do you know what it tells you?

In this short post we’ll take a look at the two most commented upon posts from Ford’s Facebook page. Conversation is hugely important for increasing organic visibility on Facebook as well as deepening relationships with fans. The most popular post in terms of generating conversation was this pop quiz asking about a car part.

It's a water pump apparently.

Let’s take a quick look at the lifetime graph for this post:

This is an entirely typical looking lifetime on Facebook. The vast majority of organic posts, (posts that have not been sponsored or promoted) have this ‘half a witch’s hat’ look. What is unusual about this post is the amount of conversation it generated in relation to likes. This post actually has more comments than likes.

As you can see, posts die in a day pretty much. This is true for the vast majority of content on Facebook. One place we see exceptions is when there is breaking news that is posted late at night and people catch up with it the next morning. Occasionally a post will go viral and experience a second surge of popularity much greater than the initial one – this can happen organically on Facebook when a post is shared by a particularly influential brand or person, or traffic can come from elsewhere.

Back on subject – the second most popular post from Ford this month was this one drawing attention to the new model of Ford Expedition.

This post has a different looking lifetime – which spreads over several days. Due to this it’s been flagged as ‘Long Lived’ by our tool.

What does this tell us? The first guess is that this post has been promoted. This means money has been paid to increase the reach of this individual post and expose it to a larger audience than ordinarily achieved organically. Let’s look at the proportion of likes to shares to comments:

The split is a lot more typical – lots of likes compared to a (good) amount of shares and comments.

Assuming this post was sponsored, was this a good post to put money behind? Short answer: yes. The numbers certainly appear to support the claim. Money can buy reach but doesn’t guarantee any activity. Any brand will get far better value buying reach if they can also generate activity on the post.

This is a crucial point to make, even though it will be obvious to some of you, so I’ll make it again:

“Any brand will get far better value buying reach if they can also generate activity on the post.”

This is an area where EzyInsights can really help you – so be sure to tune in next time. or simply get in contact with us!


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