Case Study: Tricks of the Trade for Facebook Link Exposure

In a previous post, we discussed ways to optimize your Facebook posts, in order to make the most of every post.

We talked about how to use links, images, posting times, scheduling tools, and other tips to make sure your post is seen by the greatest audience.

Now we’d like to add to that with a few examples specifically surrounding link sharing on Facebook.

Facebook Links

There are 3 different ways that links appear on your Facebook page;

  1. FacebookIn Comments – post a status update with some information about the link, but share the actual link in the comments section of the post
  2. Live Link, no preview – share the link in your status update along with a description of why your followers may find it interesting
  3. Live Link, with preview – share the link as a status update along with a description of why your followers may find it interesting; and the auto preview created by Facebook will include a thumbnail.
    This is commonly what appears when using the sharing buttons on an article or blog.

Now, you may think that the third option would be the best option for exposure and engagement.  It provides a visual, it’s clear, and it’s easy for your followers to access the information. You’d be wrong!

Believe it or not, the third option gets the least amount of exposure due to the Edgerank algorithm used by Facebook when they determine the content that will be displayed in people’s newsfeed.

The first and second options are actually the best way to share a link and ensure that the widest audience is reached.

Facebook Link Study

To prove our point, we did some tests.

In this case study, we used a business Facebook Page with about 175 ‘likes’. The average exposure per post is about 60-65 views. We experimented with this on 3 different occasions by sharing the same link in all 3 manners.

Results #1 – Link in Comments

Average views maintained around 60-65. Unfortunately, when posting the link in the comments section like this, you are limited on your ability to pre-schedule the post. We also did not notice an increase in the amount of traffic that the post created to our site, (we believe it is )because of the extra step of having to view the comments section of the post.

Results #2 – Live Link, no preview

Average views maintained around 60-65.  We were able to pre-schedule these; plus, we did notice an increase in traffic as a result of these posts.

Results #3 – Live link, with preview

Average views hovered around 18-21. We were able to preschedule these, they make our page look nice by adding images and colors, but they were generally ineffective.

Our conclusion

We suggest using the live link in your post, but remove the live preview that is generated by Facebook. This gives you the greatest exposure while still allowing you to pre-schedule your posts. Of course, timing and content still play a big part in your results; and if you really want to boost exposure, consider a promotion or advertisement.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts and results.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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