With Facebook Page reach ever on the decline, I wanted to see if I could boost engagement without paying Facebook.

As an experiment, I changed all of the URLs in my weekly newsletter to redirect through my Facebook Page. The point of the experiment wasn’t to annoy my readers, of course, but to see if doing so changed the stats of the Facebook Page posts in any meaningful way. The premise was simple: get all of the clicks and views from the newsletter flowing through my Facebook Page to boost impressions and subsequent traffic-based metrics.

Let’s take a look at the data.

Average Facebook Page engagement numbers prior to the experiment

  • The average post impressions was 432 overall.
  • Of the posts that were subsequently featured in the newsletter, they averaged 439 views.
  • Of the posts that were not featured (the control group), they averaged 409 views.

So far, so good!

Microsoft Excel

Average Facebook Page engagement numbers after the experiment

  • For the exact same posts the week after being featured (forced through my newsletter), the overall average post impressions was 444, an increase on average of 11 more impressions the week after.
  • Of the posts that were featured in the newsletter, they averaged 451 impressions, an increase of 12.
  • Of the posts that were not featured in the newsletter, they averaged 419 impressions, an increase of 10.

The difference between number of impressions week over week for posts featured vs. not featured? 3.00% for featured posts, and 3.03% for non-featured posts. As a popular TV show would say, this hypothesis is busted. Making everyone jump through an additional hoop of clicking through a Facebook post did nothing for the numbers on Facebook and annoyed my readers. We can officially call this experiment a failure for my audience.

Does that mean you shouldn’t do it? It means that if you’re thinking about it, you need to run the test for yourself. Your audience may behave differently than mine, but be prepared for potentially lackluster results.

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