The biggest question: how much should I be posting to Facebook?

I get asked two questions all the time: is the beard real, and how often should I be posting to Facebook? First, I can tell you yes, it’s real, now please stop touching my face. Answering the second question is not so simple. Well, it’s simple in a way, but you have to do some research.

Zero-engagement posts (ZEP) have zero-engagement.

The answer lies in something I call ZEPs, or “zero-engagement posts.” Take a look at your Facebook metrics for the past month. If you are a Social News Desk client, our new Dashboard 2.0 will make this very easy to do. Just go to your Post Manager, set a filter to display the previous month, and then reverse-sort your posts by Engagement. You should be seeing your ZEPs first.

If you are still waiting for 2.0 (as most of us are as of this writing), you’ll need to export your post report from Facebook Insights. You’ll have to fiddle with the spreadsheet a little: go to the third tab in the workbook, “Lifetime Post Stories by Action” and reverse sort by Likes. That will give you an idea of what ZEPs look like. Don’t count any post that has received any engagement at all: any Likes, Comments or Shares. These are your losers. These are your ZEPs.

There’s nothing you can do about it, everyone will have at least a few ZEPs in their record. And some of us will have a lot of them. How many are too many exactly? Your Client Strategy Specialist at Social News Desk will be happy to have that conversation with you. But right now, ask yourself if you think you have a lot of ZEPs, or only a few. If you think you have too many ZEPs, that means you’re posting too much.

Here’s the deal. Facebook is constantly trying to offer engaging new content for their users. Facebook analyzes these very metrics to determine whether or not you, as a content provider, are offering engaging content. If too much of your content is not engaging, then you aren’t going to do so hot when Facebook is trying to decide how much initial priority your next post is going to receive.

So what it comes down to is not so much “am I posting too much by quantity,” but “am I posting enough by quality.” Examine the content of your ZEPs. Do you see a pattern? Are posts of similar content consistently not receiving the engagement you hoped for? Maybe the problem is a certain time of day? Talk to us at Social News Desk about your results and we’ll help you find creative solutions for either enhancing the content you’re using to get better reach and engagement, or making another change to get the best results.