Facebook Content Only Works for Three Hours?Written by Michael Levanduski
March 25, 2013 # 10:30 am # Marketing Insights, Specials # One Comment
Whenever a company, or any Facebook Page owner for that matter, posts content on Facebook, they have to create it with the idea that the entire world will see it. This makes the content appealing to anyone who sees it, or at least that is how we would like it to be. Anybody who posts anything on the web has the idea in the back of their mind that their post will go viral, and that it will be shared by just about anyone who sees it. This is particularly true for marketers, as they want their reach to extend as far as it possibly can. It is because of this desire to send content as far as it can go that marketers often end up wasting a lot of precious time and money. A new study reported by AllFacebook shows us just how much time we should give each bit of Facebook content before moving on and letting it go.
The analysis comes from Optimal, a company in the business of Facebook advertising and analytics. The company says that marketers should give each post three hours maximum, and if it has not gone viral by then, there is little chance that it will at all. AllFacebook reports that in the study, 75 percent of all engagement on Facebook posts comes during a span of three hours after its posting. Of that 75 percent, a total of 50 percent of the engagement comes within the very first hour. That is a small window, but these are very useful guidelines to keep from wasting time on a post that will not be getting any bigger than it has become after three hours.
Naturally, timing isn’t everything, as posts with attractive and relevant content always prove to have the greatest endurance. That being said, after three hours, marketers will probably have a good idea of whether or not they’ve created a winner.
This surely does not apply to all Facebook posts, and things can go viral at any time on the web. However, in most cases the process goes as Optimal has stated it. If it is not popular with online consumers right away, then it probably will not be later down the road. Since 75 percent of engagement happens within the first three hours for Facebook posts, that is as long as one should wait. After three hours, if the engagement on the post is not particularly high, then trying another approach should be the course of action chosen.
To put it plainly, nothing about advertising on Facebook, or digital advertising in general, is definite. Advertising with the hopes of content going viral is common, and that is understandable. With that said, wasting time on a post that is clearly going nowhere is counterproductive, which is why Optimal’s findings should serve as a sort of guideline for Facebook marketers with high hopes of reaching across the web.
To see a full, three-hour timeline of engagement on Facebook posts, take a look at Optimal’s results, which have been reported by AllFacebook.