Facebook, Agorapulse and the Algorithm

As someone who makes her living (partially) from running social media feeds, I am a fan of any tool that makes that job easier.

I use a variety of different apps and tools to generate  and schedule content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (I’ve given up on Google + finally).

I have long been a fan of Hootsuite, and use it daily to schedule tweets and to plan out my Instagram posts for the week.

Posting to Facebook through Agorapulse

A long time ago, though, I gave up using it to post to Facebook, and that’s because of Facebook’s algorithm.

I ran a series of experiments, using Hootsuite, and then, later, Buffer, to test my theory that using a third party app would make a difference in the reach of your posts. I felt like while I used a third party app like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule my Facebook posts, my reach was less, so I decided to test that theory.

You can read those posts here and here, but I’ll give you the reader’s digest condensed version. In both of my experiments, using a third-party app to post to Facebook meant less reach than using the Facebook scheduling tool.

I recently started using a new social media tool called Agorapulse that I like lots, because it does different things than Hootsuite, like queuing the same tweet over and over again multiple times. And yes, I have been using it for a few weeks to schedule posts to my Facebook page and to my LinkedIn.

So I was curious: had FB’s algorithm changed since the last time I did this experiment? Or would Agorapulse for whatever reason be immune?

I did two weeks of posts: one scheduled through Agorapulse, and one scheduled through the FB publisher.

I looked at two main stats:

  • The organic reach of the posts
  • The number of engaged users

I compared 13 posts that were scheduled through Facebook and 13 scheduled through Agorapulse.

Here’s the raw data:

Total reach Average reach per post Total number of engaged users Average number of engagements per post
Facebook 3018 232 83 6
Agorapulse 2049 157 60 4

So, yes, again it looks as if using a third party app does indeed impact your reach on Facebook.

However! Someone even nerdier than I did a similar experience, and you can read about how that turned out here.

What are your thoughts? Do you find your Facebook posts get less reach when you use a third-party app? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 2

  1. I think when it comes to testing the reach/engagement of 3rd party vs native posting, the answer is always going to be: “It depends.” There are just too many variables to do a true controlled experiment. Not to mention that each industry/audience/content is entirely different.

    I think the only person who could really solve this would be Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

    Normally I live by the numbers, but against my better judgement I have gone with the mob mentality that keeps telling me that auto-posting from 3rd party apps tanks the numbers. I never really bothered to get to deep into it or test it myself. I just trusted the herd.

    Like many things in life, there is a cost for convenience.

    I guess it’s a matter of how much of threshold for reach/engagement are you willing to lose for convenience. If my Facebook page were new, and in build/growth mode, I would avoid auto-posting as each individual view is precious. However, if my page were well established, I wouldn’t worry about a small percentage loss. I would instead focus on reviewing my Insights, creating more engaging content and using that extra time to learn how to play Mahjong…

    1. Yup. Just because I’ve done all these analyses, does that mean that I 100% of the time only use the Facebook scheduler to publish my posts? Nope. I use Hootsuite and Agorapulse quite a bit… it just makes me life easier, and there’s a lot to be said for that. 🙂

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