Benjamin Rey
Co-founder & Chief Scientist at Wisemetrics : with a background in mathematics & statistics, Benjamin has been crunching data and developing statistical algorithms for 15 years, mostly for e-marketing optimization (Principal Research engineer at Yahoo! labs, and now Wisemetrics)

Data Science blog post series

At Wiselytics, we have been gathering a huge amount of social media data for over a year and thought it was time to share some insights we are getting from it. This post is part of a Data Science short blog posts series we hope you will find interesting.

We know it’s short

Facebook posts’ lifetime is known to be very short. Several studies have found that most engagement with a post happens within the first few hours (see for instance nice studies done by Edgerank Checker’s, Optim.al, Sotrender).

Having our hands on the right data, we’ve decided to take a peek at this lifetime thing. And yes, we found, just like others, that 75% of engagement occurs within the first 5 hours. But we’ve also looked at Impressions, and Reach.

How much shorter can it get?

On the graph below, we present median Engagement, Impression and Reach, over time with a confidence interval of +/-5% (to show variance among posts)

 

Impressions are even shorter than Engagement, with only 2 Hrs 30 min to reach 75% of its max, and Reach is even worse: 75% of your audience sees your message in less than 2 Hrs!

Can it get worse? Well if you care most about your fans, it takes only 1 Hr 50 mins for a post Reach to get to 75% of it’s potential (not shown on this graph).

There is quite a bit of variance between posts, but for short period of time all posts show the same behavior, and it takes a mere 30 minutes for a post to get 50% of its global Reach.

Modeling

The idea behind looking at posts’ progress over time is to be able to predict, as soon as possible, if a post will fail or beat all expectations to adjust community management efforts (e.g.: rushing in order to publish a new post or waiting a bit more).

In terms of modeling, the log-log shape of posts progress over time is a nice discovery. However even though all posts do seem to share a common shape, variance is very large (as we could see with the large tubes from our initial graph). Using a linear log-log fitting, we thus couldn’t map each post into a “as-usual” or “killer-post” category just by looking at performance from the very first few minutes of a post.

Going a step further, through a machine-learning approach based on derivatives of the curve (speed of increase) to predict end-point, we’re finally getting OK results, but it’s still not quite convincing. It needs to be coupled with models predicting a post performance even before it is published. But that’s another story.

Takeaways

Many brands care for fans’ Reach, sometimes more than for Engagement. Optimizing the timing of your post is thus mandatory.

Facebook’s new Insights allows one to see when his fans are on Facebook. That’s a start, but as pointed here, it won’t help you compete with other posts.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly analyse your posts history, as well as your peers & competitors, looking at dozens factors at a time, and predict the optimal timing, just for you (good news, it can be done through machine learning).

Next Data Science blog post coming in a few weeks

“Paid posts: will the thousands of likes & comments you get boost your future unpaid posts?”

 

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65 Comments

  1. The most important Social Media- and Marketing-Studies from 2013 -

    […] Facebook posts lifetime.. even shorter than you thought! – Only […]

  2. allfacebook.de | Facebook-Seiten: Die Halbwertszeit eines Statusupdates liegt bei 30 Minuten und 75 % der Reichweite wird in weniger als 2 Stunden erreicht -

    […] Gemessen wurden die Statistiken von Wisemetrics, die auch noch weitere interessante Details verffentlichen. Die Interaktionsrate hngt natrlich direkt an der Reichweite des Posts. Dementsprechend erfolgen die meisten Likes, Shares und Comments innerhalb von 90 Minuten, genauer gesagt 50 % der Interaktionen entstehen in diesem Zeithorizont. Weitere fnf Stunden spter werden dann 75 % aller Interaktionen erzeugt. […]

  3. -

    […] den letzten Tagen konnte man verschiedene Beitrge ber die Statistik von Wisemetricszu den Halbwertzeiten von Beitrgen lesen. Die Statistik zeigt auf, dass der Median fr […]

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    […] Facebook-Statusupdates: 75 Prozent der Reichweite entsteht in nicht einmal zwei Stunden. (Quelle: Facebook-Statusupdates / Wisemetrics) […]

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  11. The Shelf Life of Your Facebook Posts Is Shorter Than You Thought [Data] ,Vancouver Island, Canada -

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  12. How Long Will Your Post Last? | The North Blog -

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  13. The Shelf Life of Your Facebook Posts Is Shorter Than You Thought [Data] | Atlanta Web Traffic -

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  14. The Shelf Life of Your Facebook Posts Is Shorter Than You Thought [Data] | Progressive Office Marketing -

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  21. The Shelf Life of Your Facebook Posts Is Shorter Than You Thought [Data] | BethLocalSEO | Beth Jackson, Internet Marketing and SEO -

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  22. -

    […] lien de larticle de Wisemetrics […]

  23. -

    […] estudo da Wisemetricscalculou a vida til de uma publicao em uma fan page no Facebook.A principal concluso do […]

  24. -

    […] Vida curta para seus posts no Facebook (Fonte da imagem:Reproduo/Wisemetrics) […]

  25. “Vida” de um post no Facebook dura 12 horas, diz pesquisa | borimbora.blog.br -

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  26. Immer zur richtigen Zeit: der Erfolg eines Facebook-Posts | Second Elements -

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  27. -

    […] AWisemetrics, empresa especializada em mtricas para oFacebook, reuniu ao longo de um anodados da rede social e seus posts. Assim como outros estudos j apontavam, a “vida til’das mensagens curta, epode chegar a nomximo a12 horas. […]

  28. 4 Ways To Extend The Life Of A Facebook Update – Convert With Content -

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  29. -

    […] o prazo de validade dos posts, tanto por pessoas quanto marcas. Um estudo feito pela Wisemetrics, ento, buscou resolver esta questo, e apontou para um dado interessante: as publicaes tm […]

  30. -

    […] *Wisemetrics […]

  31. -

    […] ju? mowa o ?ywotno?ci facebookowych postw, warto przytoczy? wyniki badania przeprowadzonego przez firm? Wisemetrics, specjalizuj?c? si? w monitorowaniu Facebooka. […]

  32. Fighting Over Frequency: How Often Newsrooms Should Post to Facebook | Social Media Strategy for the Journalism Business by Kim Wilson -

    […] of impressions on Facebook happen within the first 2.5 hours the post is online [STUDY]. So if a post isnt racking up engagement by then its probably dead in the water. […]

  33. Velame WEB » “Vida” de um post no Facebook dura 12 horas, diz pesquisa -

    […] Sociais Segundo estudo publicado pela Wisemetrics, empresa especializada em mtricas para redes sociais, a “vida” de um post no Facebook […]

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  35. Facebook Posts Get Most Engagement in First Five Hours / Infotech Solutions | Web Hosting, Web Design, Graphics Design, SE0, Online Marketing Services -

    […] the firm that did the latest of these studies and recently shared the results, dug a little deeper. Here’s what they […]

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    […] em uma rede social tambm estar sempre disponvel para quem fizer parte dela. Porm, um estudo da Wisemetrics revelou a vida til de um post no Facebook e o resultado surpreendente: segundo a anlise, o […]

  37. Facebook News Feed Updates, How Marketers Should Respond to Story Bump | Social Media Examiner -

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  38. Facebook News Feed Updates: How Marketers Should Respond to Story Bump » Rural Media Marketing Rural Media Marketing -

    […] Arecent study by Wisemetricsshowed that it only takes 2 hours and 30 minutes for a post to get 75% of its total impressions and less than 2 hours to get 75% of its maximum reach. So you have a very short window of time to get engagement. […]

  39. SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media: The Best Of August 2013 | @aseohosting -

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  55. 26 Ways to Engage Your Fans on Facebook | Jessi Linh -

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  56. 26 Ways to Engage Your Fans on Facebook | RNC Consulting Firm & Associates -

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  57. 8 Simple Ways to Start Social Media Marketing Right Now | -

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    […] Our recent study found that the half-life of your tweet is only 24 minutes, and of your Facebook post, only 90 minutes. […]

  64. Content Marketing and Content Differences – MENA MARKETING HUB -

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