The Longevity of a Social Media Post
Longevity of a social media post. So, as a photographer, I like to have, I like to have the value of anything I do to be exponentially longer. So, I create an image, as we talked about. That image might go into advertising for Creative Live, and then it might go into an eBook, and then it might help me sell a workshop, and then it's going to do "X" and it's going to do "Y." And, I'm going to continue doing that because I want to extrapolate every single ounce of value I can out of everything that I do, so I'm maximizing my time. And the same thing kind of happens with social media. And, I'm using the analogy of a website, because that's why I still think websites are important. So, you go to my website and maybe you look at one of my URLs, like stuff that I post online from a year ago or two years ago, are still getting 10,000 views a month. I mean, I get, you know, 100,000 to 300,000 unique visitors to my website a month, and that's stuff that I've created in the past that has value. ...
That longevity has value which is why I still think websites are super important. But, when it comes to social media, that value is exponentially shorter, exponentially. And the reason for that is people's attention spans. Again, with the algorithm, trying to determine how users are going to interact and engage in what's going to happen. The idea that I, you know, Darren White here, posts on Facebook, and he got 1.5 thousand Likes, 64 shares, a bunch of comments. It's a good post for him. Maybe he sold some prints for it, and like it worked out well. But that value for him is probably maybe a few days. And then he's done, and then he's got to feed, you know, keep feeding the beast. And so, let's talk, well, yeah. So not all posts have that that indefinite value. And that's important, again, to understand for time management and what you're doing to creating the right strategy. So, Facebook, generally the posts have a lifespan of no more than five hours. Now, this is saying that the vast majority of the stuff that, the engagement that you're going to get, is going to happen within that window. Now, on average, a user in Facebook could see over 1500 stories every time they log on to the network. That's a lot. So that's part of the reason, again, why you're stuff is not getting seen. You have a lot of competition. So, the lifespan of a post going out there before it's buried underneath the other 1500 posts that people just posted instantly the second that you shared yours, is an important aspect to understanding the value of a Facebook post for how long that value is going to last for you, in terms of that direct value for engagement. That's not indirect, we're saying, "Oh, I have, you know, 10,000 interactions per posts on Facebook, and I can sell that idea to a company, to do like a marketing campaign." That's a different valuation. We're talking about direct value here. Seventy-five percent of impressions for people that are actually just seeing your content, not interacting, happen within the first 2.5 hours of it going online. So, in the first 2.5 hours after it's posted, 75% of the people that will see it through their stream, will have seen it. Seventy-five percent of engagement happens within that first five hours. You'll still get trickle engagement. I still get trickle engagement overnight when I post at like 1:00 in the afternoon and then for that 24-hour window, I'll still be getting some stuff, but it's much, much less. Most of your engagement is that first window. Instagram, lifespan of a post, generally around 18 hours. Now, this is essentially saying that through those 18 hours, you're going to be getting a decent amount of interaction, but still, I generally find that users scroll through their stream so much that most of the time, most of my interaction, the vast majority, probably 50% of the interaction that I get for most of my posts, happen within the first 60 minutes. Post goes live on Instagram, 60 minutes. Fifty percent of interactions, the other 50%, over the next 23 hours. Fifty percent of comments happen within the first six hours. Seventy-five percent of comments happen within a total of 48 hours. So, just something to expect when you post on there, knowing what you're getting into. Highly visual content has a longer lifespan. That's kind of a given. So, if something's super visual, it might last a little bit longer because of algorithms, because of how people engage, because we're visual creatures, all sorts of stuff. Twitter, lifespan of a tweet, 18 minutes. Why? Twitter is built for quick and simple interactions. Most people post to Twitter exponentially more than they do on any of the other social platforms. There are more tweets per user per day than most other social networks. That's true. Most people average, I think it's five, somewhere around that, five tweets per day. Snapchat, lifespan of a Snapchat, ten seconds. Now, this is for a simple Snap where you're sitting there and you're sending a Snap. Generally, this is more of a smaller conversational group. Otherwise, you have Snapchat stories which are similar to Instagram stories, and that's 24 hours, where literally the life of that content is living and breathing online for 24 hours, and then it's erased. You can't access it anymore. That's kind of the idea of scarcity and why that's important and that's something that, again, we'll talk about here in a little bit. Snapchat is built on scarcity. Focus on real time experiences. So, Snapchat, Instagram stories, it's like, "I'm here. This is what's happening now." That's why it has value. And, yeah, we'll extrapolate on that in a little bit. So, diminishing the life of a post, so how do you lower the lifespan of a post? By not sharing engaging content. Self-explanatory. You post crappy photos, you're going to get crappy engagement, well, to an extent. Obviously, that's subjective. Sometimes, you know, bad cell phone photos for me, but it's like a nice content. So, it's like a bad cell phone photo of me, but of my son, and it's on my personal profile, and people love that. So, there's subjectivity. Posting at odd hours of the day, again, you post in the middle of the night, your followers might be online. Makes sense. You're sharing content that your followers aren't used to. Again, this comes back to consistency. I will have, generally, more interactions for the stuff that I'm known for, that I've built my following on, than I was if I kind of share humanitarian stuff, because I don't do it all the time. By posting multiple times in a single day, now there's a caveat to this. Some platforms, and we'll talk about how much you can post, or how much we recommend, or I recommend that you post per day. But, if you post more than a single content, a lot of the times you're eating into the interactions that could happen on the content that came before it. So, if you post to Facebook, and then an hour later, you post to Facebook again, you've drastically lowered that lifespan of that post, because you now have something on top of it in terms of people, your followers, to see. Now, if you spread it out, and there's a good, you know, distance between the two, you could still get away with it. But if you post things in sequential, you'll realize that your first post might do all right. And your next two or three or four are going to start diminishing very quickly, very rapidly, in terms of who's going to see it, because the algorithms, again, don't want you to be spamming your followers.