I have to admit, one of my favorite classes in college was Social Statistics. After graduating from Champlain College with a paralegal degree, I decided to pursue a communication degree while in Colorado at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Social statistic was the one class that made me wonder where people get their numbers from when they quote a percentage on a Poll.
How big was the poll? What are the demographics of the poll? What is the mean, median, and mode of the relationship to the question? As a paralegal and then working as a human resources professional, I was always steered toward learning the truth and understanding the facts.
Social media is very much influenced by social statistics. We want, and must know, the reason behind the numbers. To whom, and how many, are affected by the numbers? What do we do with the numbers now that we know them?
EdgeRank addresses this question in a recent post asked on Quora : What is the role of history vs. frequency in Facebook EdgeRank success? The question is driving at what has a larger impact, Affinity or Frequency? Simply put, does my affinity with a Facebook Fan have a deeper impact compared to how frequently I publish content?
Answer: It depends on your audience.
As much as we dislike the ambiguity of this response, it really is true. Let’s take a look at why this is the case. First we’ll look at raw data, and then we’ll look at why this theoretically makes sense.
We looked at the Best Post Frequency median for over 10,000 Pages. The median, in this case, is more statistically relevant and more applicable to a “typical” brand than the average Best Post Frequency.
The frequency which resulted in the highest average engagement:
- Best Post Frequency Median: 1
- Best Post Frequency Average: 2.4
At first, this seems to illustrate that the quick answer to the original question is Affinity. Post your best content, once per day, at the most optimal time of day. However, not all fan bases are created equal.
- Group A: Fans of a wide demographic that check Facebook on average once per 2 hours, throughout the day
- Group B: Fans of a similar demographic that check Facebook once per day, typically sometime after work
This brand most likely caters to a wide-set of lifestyles/interests/careers. The brand is more likely to be a large, and widely consumed, product or service. Their audience is more connected than Group B, which creates multiple opportunities to connect with said audience throughout the day. Group A’s news feeds are more likely to have a stronger chronological order than Group B’s.
For this audience, identifying key points throughout the day could serve to be extremely advantageous, as the brand will have multiple opportunities to Reach their audience. With an audience that is consuming Facebook more frequently, this will give the brand more opportunities throughout the day to post. If this is the case, posting at multiple times of the day could serve as the optimal strategy. For Group A, Frequency would be more important to success than Affinity (should be noted, Affinity is always important—in this discussion it’s more of a measure of relativity).
Do you agree with their conclusion? Will you make a change?