Long Run Results of Short Run Efforts

We wrote in May about some short term efforts to kick Facebook company pages up a notch. We looked at three examples of activities:

  1. A request for Likes to help the page get to the next Likes milestone
  2. An aggressive social media marketing campaign lasting about one month
  3. A couple of promoted Facebook posts

In the short term, each created a peak in activity, clearly visible in the charts showing engagement from May through July:

  1. fb1
  2. fb2
  3. fb3

As the charts show, each tactic produced a jump in engagement which returned to a more typical level of engagement once the effort ended. The blue lines show Likes and shares/comments, while the green bars show Unlikes when they extend below the line.

Promoted posts at Facebook led to a shallower peak of Likes and other engagement, but also to far fewer Unlikes; there was only one day during the three months shown when people Unliked the page at #3, while both the others saw Unlikes on many more days.

The peaks at the end of the chart on #3, by the way, show natural virality in a couple of posts. Is it possible that this was in part the result of the page being brought to the awareness of influencers by the promoted posts? It is possible.

The charts below show impressions — the overall reach of the pages over the period of three months which included the special efforts. Because of the differences in total numbers, the charts are not comparable in terms of numbers; the spaces represent different numbers. Think of them as showing the proportions of increase:

  1. fb1-impressions
  2. fb2-impressions
  3. fb3-impressions

The request for Likes showed the smallest difference from the norm, bringing two days with one or two levels of additional impressions compared with the typical reach of the account. This effort also represented the smallest investment: one Facebook post.

The aggressive campaign, which included other social media platforms as well as Facebook, showed one day with two levels of impressions higher than the usual and one day with five levels higher than usual. The account then returned to the usual levels after those days, even though the campaign continued throughout the month.

The promoted posts showed the greatest immediate effect, with three levels of increase and six levels of increase on the two days when posts were promoted. However, this account, too, returned to its pre-campaign levels.

All these pages have regular posting. The additional efforts made a difference during the time they were underway, but did not seem to make a lasting change.

Advertising generally creates effects only while it is being done, and that is what we see with these Facebook efforts. All of them had effects, but none showed significant effects beyond the duration of the campaign.

This is what we would expect. Do you have realistic expectations for campaigns?







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