How Often Do Top Publishers Post On Facebook?

November 9, 2016

Written by NewsWhip

How often should publishers be posting on Facebook? We look at the posting frequency of ten top publishers’ main Facebook pages, and look at the content formats that they tend to get more space. 
How many Facebook posts is too many?
Many publishers wonder whether posting too often could adversely affect their visibility in news feeds. On the other hand, not posting enough can reduce engagement rates, and could cause missed opportunities around popular content. There’s also the consideration that the content needs to be different and appealing to different parts of the audience in order to achieve maximum reach and engagement.
So, how often are social publishing leaders posting on their pages, and what does the content output look like?
Using NewsWhip Analytics, we looked at the posting frequency on the top ten most engaged sites’ main Facebook pages over 24 hours on November 1.
How often do top Facebook Pages post?
Remember that here we were looking exclusively at the main Facebook pages of each of these publishers. So on November 1, the Daily Mail’s main Facebook page posted 99 times to their page, followed by Goal.com, with 72 total posts.
Beyond the top publishers, there’s a lot of discrepancy in posting frequency amongst these pages. BuzzFeed posted just 28 times to its vast audience on the day in question, with Fox News just slightly ahead, with 32 posts. Most of these publishers have worked to split their distribution out using multiple Facebook pages, each targeting a particular topic or subject, rather than presenting general content.
It’s interesting to note that not every piece of content produced by the website is posted to the main Facebook page. Each of these publishers use their main page as a strategic way of amplifying the content that’s most likely to do well on Facebook. For instance, the Huffington Post published 664 English language articles on the date in question, and only 37 of those ended up being linked to from the main Facebook page that day. Of the links that they did post, there was a lively mix of opinion pieces, news, and upbeat features.
One more thing to remember is that these numbers refer specifically to larger publishers producing large volumes of original content, rather than smaller pages, for whom a less frequent posting schedule is more suitable.
Next, we looked at how the posts broke down by content format. We split out the posts from the top ten pages by post format, to see if the pages were posting more of a particular type of content. Here’s what that post breakdown looked like for the ten pages over 24 hours:
Facebook Posts by Format, over 24 Hours
Here we see that link posts (which include Instant Articles) make up the vast bulk of posts for the majority of pages. Links to owned web properties remain the number one most popular post format for publishers, who look to drive traffic to their own websites.
The Daily Mail is a notable exception, posting 51 videos, out of a total of 99 posts.
It’s also interesting to note the relative lack of image posts from the pages we surveyed. Of the ten pages, only ESPN and Goal.com, two sports publishers, were the only two pages to make use of the format. Our research has shown that image posts get higher average engagement rates than link posts.
[fb_pe url=”https://www.facebook.com/ESPN/photos/a.114588455254586.5908.104266592953439/1416919868354765/?type=3″ bottom=”30″]

How often to post?

So what’s the optimum posting frequency for publishers?
If you have a varied output of content, there seems to be no real limit on how often you should be posting. In reality however, your posting frequency will depend on analytics analysis, the content cycle on a particular day, and what your audience is responding to in real time. Instead of agonising about the frequency of your posts, focus on making sure that every post will have to compete with other elements in your audience’s news feeds.
To help make your post stand out, make sure that all the associated detail around the post is optimised with a strong image, good post copy, and critically, an interesting story for the reader.

Download NewsWhip’s guide to Facebook publishing for more best practice tips

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