Does it matter if you post on social media natively or through a third-party app?
There is a belief among many social media professionals that posting on social platforms through third-party apps shortens the reach of posts, limiting interactions. The belief is social media algorithms can tell if you shared a post through another app and will penalize you for it by bumping you down in feeds.
If this is true, it’s a serious problem for all users of tools that allow them to share posts on social media.
But is This True?
Are we trading in reach, engagement, and higher social media KPIs for the ease of scheduling a post through a third-party app? Should you keep sharing posts through these kinds of tools?
These are important questions because the answers will greatly impact how you manage your social media presence.
Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of merit to the belief that posting via third-party tools limits the reach and interactions of your posts. Social media companies do not frown on you for using third-party apps to post on their platforms, and there is no mechanism built into their algorithms that penalize you for doing so.
Some Facebook partner companies go as far as calling this belief “a myth.”
So, if it is indeed a myth, why are we talking about it?
Well, this is an issue because so many people believe it. Agorapulse ran a survey of over 12,000 social media managers and found that over 93% of them believe third-party tools hurt reach and social interactions.
Why do so many people who work in this field believe something that isn’t true?
Well, prior to 2011, Facebook really did penalize posts from third-party apps but decided to change its ways. The company released a statement about ten years ago saying that it “made a fix” and will no longer do this.
Did Facebook Live Up To Its Word?
The next step is to run an experiment to see if this checks out, so that’s exactly what Agorapulse did on Facebook.
You can read the details of its experiment here.
In short, the company scheduled various types of posts on multiple third-party apps at different times of the day. It also posted the same types of posts at the same times of day natively on Facebook.
After comparing the reach and engagement numbers, Agorapulse found that posts from third-party apps performed better compared to native posts. The team members who ran the experiment noted that these results will not be the same every time, and people should not decide between posting natively vs. via third-party apps based on potential reach or engagement.
Buffer also ran an experiment comparing posts from third-party apps and native posts. The experiment was similar to that of Agorapulse, except it ran its tests on LinkedIn and Twitter, in addition to Facebook. The results are quite detailed in comparing different types of posts shared to each social network.
Following this experiment, Buffer concluded it found no significant difference in reach or engagement between posts shared via third-party apps vs. native posts.
Now, should this come as a surprise?
Would it make sense for social media companies to punish third-party tools for making it easier for users to be active on their platforms? Doing something as simple as scheduling a post and measuring your results on a dashboard can’t be done natively on many social media apps. Why would these platforms design their algorithms to punish tools for offering this?
The truth is, they wouldn’t. Social media companies want your posts to get a high volume of engagement so you’ll keep using their platforms. Having tools that help you organize your posts and measure your engagement ultimately improves your KPIs. That gets you using social networks more, which is good for social media companies.
Sharing Posts Through GaggleAMP
There are hundreds of companies that extend their social media reach and boost their KPIs with GaggleAMP. Employees share marketing-approved content through the platform, expanding the brand’s overall reach in a more personable way.
It’s good for employees to be active on social networks natively, but posting via the GaggleAMP platform helps as well. This way they can share suggested messages and carry out requested actions.
Here’s an example of a post that I shared through our Gaggle in early January.
As you can see, it did quite well in terms of engagement. This was a timely post that was quickly picked up by LinkedIn News and shared to its feed.
My post was not penalized by the LinkedIn algorithm and was still able to be recognized by LinkedIn News. My connections even received notifications that people were engaging with my post, meaning LinkedIn did not penalize me at all for sharing a post via a third-party app.
Sharing this post via our Gaggle really got me noticed. I received many connection requests, way more engagement, and my profile views went up 1000% in a week.
This was not a fluke or a one-time instance. I recently shared another post that was suggested to me via our Gaggle, and the same thing happened.
This was another timely story that LinkedIn News picked up. It received a good amount of engagement, including comments.
It’s not important whether or not you post via a third-party app. What is important is if your post is interesting. Timely posts bring new information to people by informing them of new developments. That will turn heads.
You don’t have to share a timely post in order to stop people from scrolling in their feeds. You could share something insightful. The key is it has to be an interesting post.
Once you do that, you’ll receive engagement from people and get comments. Likes are great, but shares and comments are most important to the LinkedIn algorithm. You can share something interesting and get this type of engagement organically or through a third-party app. Either way works.
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