If you've been on Facebook at all recently, either for personal use or to promote your business, you've no doubt noticed radical changes to the newsfeed. Posts by friends and family have been given pride of place, while others' pages appear less frequently. What does this mean for brands and companies looking to promote themselves on the site?

To figure out the best strategies for businesses after Facebook's latest algorithm changes, BuzzSumo and Buffer recently teamed up to comb through their trove of data for answers. Together the two companies crunched data on 43 millions pages from 20,000 top brands.

The complete results, delivered via an in-depth Buffer post, are well worth a read if you do any sort of Facebook marketing. But perhaps the headline finding is that at this point, more definitely is not always better. In fact, the analysis showed that a modest five posts a day is actually the ideal frequency for businesses to post.

The diminishing returns of frequent posting.

The fact is more brands than ever before are producing more content than ever before for a decreasing number of slots on users feeds. Competition for customer eyeballs on the site is growing increasingly fierce.

"There has been a 24 percent increase in the number of posts per quarter from 6.5M posts to 8.1M posts over the past year. That's an increase from 72,000 posts per day in Q1 2017 to 90,032 posts per day in Q2 2018," reports Buffer.

No shock then that engagement is declining sharply. "Our findings show that engagement has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last 18 months," notes the post.

Businesses are seeing less interaction with each individual post, which probably is tempting many of them to ramp up posting to increase overall engagement. But that quickly becomes a losing strategy, according to this analysis. Here's the bottom line when it comes to ideal posting frequency in the new Facebook reality:

As you increase frequency of posting, overall levels of engagement rise, but only to a point. Pages posting five times per day received an average of 2,466 engagements per post (a total of 12,330). Pages posting ten or more times per day received an average of 1,202 engagements per post (a total of 12,020 engagements). In other words, posting five times per day appears to be the optimal Facebook posting frequency.

Numbers don't lie. For most brands and marketers more really is less. Five quality posts per day will get you more of users' attention than a slapdash ten or a dozen.

The Buffer piece includes plenty of other useful insights for marketers -- including the less-than-cheerful news that your engagement is likely to sink dramatically no matter what you do; best practices will just make it shrink less -- as well as surprising data on which types of content are performing best. Check it out here.

Published on: Aug 13, 2018