Facebook posts by brands live longer on Timeline than they did prior to the social network’s massive overhaul, according to a study released Monday.
While the analysis by London-based social media analytics firm Sotrender is limited in scope, covering just 130 brands headquartered in the U.K. and 5,000 posts, it is the first such empirical review since Timeline became mandatory for all Facebook brand pages at the end of March.
Before April 1, half of all comments made on a brand’s Facebook post were made within the first hour. Since all brands were required to switch over to Timeline, that window has extended to 2.5 hours. The study also found a 13% increase in the average number of people that interacted with a brand’s post, from 158 before the Timeline switch to 179 after.
The study also found that 80% of comments on a post are made within the first 8.5 hours, about two hours longer than the window prior to the switch to Timeline.
“It’s important information from the marketers’ point of view,” Sotrender's Jan Zajac, one of the study's authors, said in an email. “If a company writes too often, the new posts may cannibalize users' engagement of the previous ones."
The study did not, however, find significant changes in the number of fans for a brand’s overall page. Other factors that held steady include the number of posts per day that brands make, the content distribution, the average number of likes, posts and comments per user, and cross-page engagement.
Some brands had reported a dip in fan engagement immediately after Timeline for brands became mandatory. The Sotrender study suggests those concerns may have been short-lived.