When your organization posts text or photos or video on social media, who sees what you posted? Answer: It depends on which social media you’re using.
Know the differences so you can invest your social media time wisely.
Facebook is huge, but the percentage of your followers who see your Facebook posts is small. If you have less than 10,000 page likes, on average, it’s about 7%. That’s right, 93% of your followers won’t see a particular post! (And the problem is even worse the more followers you attract.)
Why? Because Facebook doesn’t show everybody everything.
Let’s say that you have a follower named Sarah Thompson. What will Sarah see in her News Feed (the main page where people spend their time on Facebook)?
- She is more likely to see your story if she has recently liked, commented upon, or shared another of your posts.
- If she likes text-only posts, those are your posts that she’s more likely to see. If she likes photos, she’s more likely to see your posts that contain photos, and so on.
- She’s more likely to see your post if other people have liked, commented, or shared, and less likely if they have complained about it.
Plus, Facebook keeps tweaking its algorithm (the rules by which it decides which of your posts get seen), sometimes from week to week. The only guaranteed way to get seen is to pay Facebook for the privilege.
Bottom line: If you are a small organization, you will need exceptional content over a long period of time to get your Facebook posts seen.
Twitter is different from Facebook: it shows every tweet you tweet to everyone who follows you. The trouble is that there are so many messages on Twitter, and they all rush by so fast, Sarah may not notice your message!
You will need to tweet the same basic message multiple times to give Sarah a better chance of actually reading it. Again, plan on taking time to build a loyal following.
Google+ gives you the chance to target your message to the people you choose. You can send to specific communities (where everyone will receive it) or to circles that you have created (where they will receive it only if they have followed you back).
Check carefully to see whether the people you want to reach actually use Google+. Is Sarah there? If not, she’s never going to see that brilliant article you posted!
LinkedIn gives you three ways to post: by updating your status, by participating in a group, or by writing a long-form post for LinkedIn Pulse (essentially, blogging on LinkedIn).
- Status updates potentially get seen by everyone who has connected with you (unlike status updates on Facebook, and more like on Google+), but they tend to get pushed way down the page quickly (as on Twitter).
- Groups allow you to post to a more selected audience…but it depends on them to check messages from the group and to click on yours. Will Sarah pay the attention and take the time to open your post?
- Posts are more likely to be seen by people who have connected with you, but they are available for everyone to see. All these ways of putting content on LinkedIn will be there and easily accessible to anyone who comes looking for you.
We could go on adding examples from YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., but the point would be the same:
Know where your audience is on social media.
Know what it takes to get your message seen on that particular medium.
Take time to build a loyal audience–so THEY come looking for YOU.
Mary Cassidy says
Very helpful post. Thank you!
Dennis Fischman says
I’m glad, Mary. I run into so many people who are thinking of using social media or already using it casually but don’t understand who sees their posts, or why they see only some things their friends post and miss others. I figured this information would be useful.