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Robert Allen | Smart Insights | Tue, 11 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000

New insights reveal the breakdown of Facebook posts reaching users

Research from Social Bakers about the composition of posts on the Facebook newsfeed reveals that surprisingly little of the what people see is promoted content. In total, only 3% of the posts people see in their newsfeeds are promoted, although, as we might expect, the vast majority of posts are from users friends – as that tends to be the content users find most engaging.

Here’s our summary of some of the key insights from the research:

User posts Vs Page posts

Facebook newsfeed promoted posts

The research shows that user posts make up the vast majority of posts that people see in their newsfeeds, whilst page posts make a roughly a quarter. People use Facebook to keep up with their friends and interact with them, so this is hardly surprising.

Engagement varies by category

This chart shows that media organisations are doing extremely well when it comes to generating engagement on Facebook. But interestingly there is potential here for all manner of businesses. Brands rate better than entertainment and sport, which are hardly unpopular categories for social media users. Many brands are thus clearly doing very well from Facebook, so make sure to optmise your own Facebook marketing efforts, lest you be missing out to the competition.

Organic Vs Promoted

Facebook newsfeed organic Vs promoted page posts

We are consistently told that Facebook has become ‘pay to play’ – that you can’t really get any traction without paying to boost your posts. It certainly can feel like an uphill struggle getting your posts seen by large numbers on Facebook when organic page reach is so low, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Pages with very high levels of engagement still get their posts served to large percentages of their audiences without having to pay. Only one in ten posts from pages in the average person’s newsfeed are promoted posts, the rest have got there via organic page reach. This is not to say paying to promote posts isn’t effective, but rather than if you have excellent and very shareable content, then it can still get through to your followers without you having to pay for it.


Total interactions by category Facebook posts