I use Hootsuite to automatically send new blog posts to both Twitter and Facebook. That is, until May of this year, when the Facebook integration failed. I’ve tried to reconnect the two accounts a few times without success (yes, following Hootsuite’s instructions), and then I forgot about it until last week. It’s been almost three months since the blog posts appeared automatically on our Facebook page.

This creates a few interesting questions:

  • What’s been the impact on traffic to the blog?
  • What’s been the impact on the Facebook page?
  • Should I get the posts flowing to the page again with or without Hootsuite?

Here’s what the data says . . .

According to Google Analytics, traffic to the blog from Facebook didn’t change much at all. Apparently, not that many people were really clicking through before, or people are finding the blog links elsewhere on Facebook now. The amount of traffic to the blog from Facebook is really, really small (less than 1% of our total traffic), so I’m not that concerned about this either way.

I’m much more concerned about what Facebook Insights says.

Our active users have been growing steadily from the beginning, but you’ll see that when the blog posts stopped (which represents the majority of our wall posts overall), our active users started declining. If I had made a concerted effort to post to the page every day after the outage, perhaps the decline wouldn’t have occurred. But the reality is that I posted non-blog updates to the page just about as much before and after the outage. So I do think the differences here are attributed directly to the blog posts no longer appearing.

Facebook Active Users

The page interaction data is even more startling. In the three months prior to the blog posting outage, we had a total of 242,636 post views and 312 post feedbacks.

Interactions Before Outage

In the three months after the blog posting outage, we had only 71,777 post views and 180 post feedbacks.

Interactions After Outage

Again, if I had changed my manual posting behavior, and updated the status of the page personally every day, perhaps the drop wouldn’t have happened. But I didn’t, which tells me that a lot of the interaction on the page was around the blog content.

This data tells me to get this fixed, but I wanted to get some anecdotal support too, so this afternoon, I asked directly on the page if I should put the blog posts back on — and 100% of the people who commented in the first two hours said Yes!

Response of Facebook

 

So we have our answer! I’ll get the blog posts back on the Facebook page, with or without Hootsuite’s help. It will be interesting to see if/how the numbers recover over the next few months.

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