Straight from the horse's mouth

We post a book of the day on Facebook and on our website every day. We recently switched from posting to Facebook via the website to posting directly to Facebook. This means a little extra work: we have to create each post twice. But it turns out that content that we post directly gets nearly three times as much visibility on Facebook.

Spot the difference

This is a chart of how many people have seen our content in their timeline (what Facebook now calls "post_impressions_unique:lifetime") for 110 content posts to Facebook in the last three months. I have excluded from this any posts that we put money behind, and posts with links to stories on this blog.

I have colour-coded the bars so that the via-the-website posts (called "links") are blue and the direct-to-Face posts are orange. You can see clearly the effect of the switch to posting direct to Facebook in early June. There are also a couple of direct posts to Facebook earlier on that stand out.

The numbers confirm what the eye can see. The table below shows some basic stats on the number of impressions. In rough numbers, posting the same content directly to Facebook means that it will get on average nearly three times as many views.

Direct to Facebook Indirect via website
Total impressions 12,459 6,661
Minimum 10553
Maximum 883443
Median 254 82
Average 265106

Why would this be

The two posts appear in the same place on the page. The difference is just how much information is available without clicking.

This is the direct one.

And this is the indirect one.