I have noted before that journalists and news organizations should be conversational in social media. Here’s another reason why: Facebook clusters autofeeds together in its News Feed, which means that fewer people might see them and click your links.
But I think there’s another reason for doing this that you may have overlooked. Facebook seems to have recently “downgraded” status updates coming from other applications. For example, people who have set up their blogs to auto-post to Facebook have been reporting that, whereas they used to get plenty of comments on Facebook about their updates, they’re not getting them to the same degree. It is thought that Facebook is trying to encourage people engaging ON Facebook, so is not making these auto-updates from other applications quite as visible as before.
My personal experience seems to support this theory, and I’m now going to Facebook and linking to things like blog posts, instead of having them auto-update Facebook.
I asked Vadim Lavrusik, journalist program manager at Facebook, about this and he provided this response:
Posts that are posted from autofeeds get clustered in the News Feed. This has happened for some time and it has nothing to do with outside application and has everything to do how something is being posted (automated or authentic).
Authenticity tends to get more exposure because the content is seen as more valuable and so it is treated as such not only by the News Feed, but also how users respond to autofed stories. For example, in a study we did of how users interact with news organizations on Facebook, Pages that used autofeeds got 2-3X less engagement from users. Mostly such stories don’t get as much exposure because users don’t engage with them and the News Feed favors such engagement for wider distribution.
If something is posted via a third-party app but manually, it is treated the same as if it originated from Facebook.
The other factor is that some of these apps don’t use our API effectively. So for example a post with a link is posted as a status update rather than teaser with a link preview and so it doesn’t have the nice thumbnail image and link preview blurb. Posts with link previews that include a thumbnail image also get higher click-throughs, mostly because they include a visual component and users are more likely to notice them.
There’s a couple of factors involved, but the bottom line is that the structure favors authenticity, which usually means higher quality content.
I’ve asked Tyler if his updates from apps are autofeeds.
Bottom line: Conversation means authenticity to Facebook (and Facebook users), so it’s probably worth the time to write a conversational update rather than autofeeding headlines and links.