Facebook posts are categorized by the social network and different post types get different treatment in how (or if) they are shown to your fans. Although it is not overly intuitive or obvious when adding posts to your Facebook page, they are categorized as Links, Photos, Shares or Status Updates. Each post type receives different treatment when it comes to the number of impressions and the number of your fans that it will be shown to.
Types of Facebook posts
Link: A link is a post that contains the link only (without additional content written by you). This may contain a thumbnail image, if you choose to include it, and the information that Facebook pulls from page that you are linking to.
Share: A share post is one that contains a link (including the optional image and content from the page) along with your own comments about the content.
Photo: This is pretty straightforward, when you upload an image or photo to your Facebook page.
Status update: A status update contains only text written by the page admin without content brought in externally for sharing a link or image.
What posts get the most views?
Based on data from the 50 most recent posts on the PromoSimple Facebook page we’ve seen that status updates get the overall highest impressions and are viewed by the most unique users. Although Facebook seems to have gone more heavy on the image posts lately (when viewing your feed) it seems that posts without images are being seen by more than double the number of people as Shares or Images.
An important aspect of this data is the number of ‘stories’ generated by each link type. A story can be created when users comment on, ‘Like’ or share the link from their timeline or your Facebook page. Both status updates and photos generated stories 100% of the time. Links only generated stories 90% of the time and Shares were at a lowly 50%.
What posts get the most clicks?
A big factor when deciding how to post information to your Facebook page is what you’re hoping to accomplish with it. Are you simply trying to disseminate news to your fans? Are you trying to get users to take an action or click through to your website? The various post types had quite different click-through rates. While status updates may have been seen by the most people they are not as likely to get users to take action as a link, photo or share. Unsurprisingly, the link posts had the highest click-through rates at 2% with both photos and shares coming in around 1.6%.
Choosing your post type
When you are posting to your Facebook page take into account what your goals are before deciding the format in which to post your information. If you are hoping to get your Fans to take action and click through you may want to post a straightforward link. if you’re hoping for a more viral aspect to encourage comments or shares photos and shares are your best bet. If you just want to get the word out about something or spread some news about your page or product stick with the bland status update to optimize the impressions that your Facebook post will receive.
If you plan on sharing many pages from your website (or are encouraging your users to do so) you may also want to invest the time in adding and optimizing your open graph tags. Learn more open open graph tags for presenting this data to Facebook. Learn more about open graph tags in this article by David Walsh.