Often when people set up their Facebook Page, one of the first things they want to know how to do is how to pull in their blog feed so that blog posts will automatically post to their Page when published. Many people will use a third party application to do this such as Networked Blogs, RSS Graffiti and others. In addition to using these applications to automatically post a blog feed to a Page, admins will also use other tools to auto post updates using applications outside Facebook such as Hootsuite, Involver, Stumbleupon and Tweetdeck and even via Twitter.
Here’s the Problem
It has long been suspected and has most recently been confirmed that posts which are posted manually to a Page have higher visibility in the News Feed than those which are posted by a third party app. Facebook gives more weight to an update that is posted manually and therefore gives it greater priority for showing up the in the news feed of fans or friends. Having your update showing up in the News Feed is very important because the vast majority of users interact with a Page via their News Feed and data has shown that almost 90% of fans never actually return to a Page for interaction.
How often your posts show up in users’ News Feed is not just related to manually posting to your page but also has much do with Facebook’s Edgerank (which is explained more here on TechCrunch). However, it’s clear that using a third party application is certainly not going to help to increase the visibility of your Page’s updates.
One of the things I’ve been seeing more recently is a consolidation of posts by third party apps as they appear in my News Feed. As you can see from the screen shots below, when a page I follow has had an automatic post by a third party app, Facebook will give me the option to see “Other posts from that app” by clicking on a link. This means that I have to take the extra step to manually click on that link to see what other posts I’m missing that Facebook has essentially hidden for me in my News Feed.
If you go to Pages and compare those which are posting manually to their Page versus those which are using an application to autopost, you will most likely see that those which are manually posting have greater engagement with their fans than those who are auto-posting. Getting your fans to engage and interact with your post is not only good for building your Facebook community, but it also helps with your Edgerank (see link above to TechCrunch post).
What Can You Do?
You can still you the Networked Blogs to help with visibility for your blog within Facebook as using the application means that you will be listed as part of the Networked Blogs Directory but you can also add a tab to your Page where it will post all of your blog posts as a place to archive your posts for your fans to access easily from your Page. But post links to your Wall manually with some commentary for the best chances of having it seen by your fans.
The only applications that I’ve not seen this type of consolidation or hiding in my news feed from so far is for those that are posted using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. I do know though that with posts done via Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, I don’t often seen much interaction with them.
The best practice is to post to your Page manually. The point of using Facebook Pages is to create community and a place where you can interact with people who are interested in your brand or business and so it makes the most sense that you would need to interact personally with your fans.
Have you noticed different levels of engagement when posting automatically or manually to your Facebook Page?