Over the last few years I have been experimenting with the frequency of posting Status Updates on Facebook on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page. From posting twice a day to only twice weekly, I have tested all levels of frequency in posting until finally settling on posting 4-6 Status Updates a week. At that rate “Unlikes” have minimal and the total number of “Likes” has grown at a steady rate.
But a recent change by Facebook has me reevaluating my frequency in posting. Beginning November 1, users can now unlike your page directly from their News Feed. Previously users had to go to your page and scroll all the way to the bottom left to unlike your page. If users thought your content was boring or too frequent, many just hid your Page because it was easier. Now it’s just easy to unlike:
That said, now would be a good time for many Facebook Admins to step back and reevaluate as well:
1) Have a look at your Insights to see if your Unlikes have increased since November 1. If so, try posting less. I suggest 3-5 times per week although many will tell you even less than that. I have noticed an increase in Unlikes of my Page, so I am going to follow the less-is-more philosophy over the next few months and see if it helps my Page retain more Likes.
2) If your Status Updates get very little “Thumbs Up” or “Comments”, then perhaps your content also needs to be re-evaluated. If all you post is marketing-related content (donate, come to an event, sign our petition) rather than cause or issue-related content, then expand and experiment with different kinds of content. Don’t just post for posting’s sake. Your Status Updates need to be interesting to your supporters. Your work is to find out through a process of trial and error what kind of content is interesting to your supporters. Much easier said than done, I know. It’s also worth noting that more Thumbs Up and Comments = More News Feed exposure.
3) Studies show that mornings are the best time to post on Facebook, but don’t just post in the mornings and never at the same time each and every day. If you want to reach all of your supporters, then you need to mix it up. Not everyone starts their day with Facebook (though a lot of young women do). Try a Monday afternoon, then a Tuesday morning, a Thursday morning, and Friday at noon.
A final caveat: Large national and international organizations have a different experience on Facebook and social media in general. They usually have a lot of fresh content, a cause that people can be passionate about, and a brand that supporters can whole-heartedly dedicate themselves to. These organizations can (and usually do) post two or three times a day, and yet retain and even grow their Likes through frequent posting. But most small to medium-sized organizations just will not have that same experience. You’ll have to experiment to see what works for your organization, but I strongly suggest that in light of Facebook’s recent change, you err on the side of caution.