Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Edgar have grown wildly in popularity as the growing number of social networks makes life complicated for digital marketers. While these third-party tools may help you stay organized and on top of your social media presence, they’re likely killing your reach and engagement on platforms such as Facebook.
One of the biggest problems small business owners, lifestyle entrepreneurs, and digital marketers face is managing their social media presence.
Not only does each platform have a unique audience and culture, there are various content styles to keep track of. Facebook is text, image, and video heavy where Pinterest is big on tall-format images.
Even if you just want your business to have a presence on the big three (Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest, and Instagram), managing your social profiles, staying active, and engaging can feel like a full-time job.
That’s where tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Edgar (known by many as “Meet Edgar”) come in.
These tools serve as central hubs to manage your social profiles. They connect to each social network, giving you the ability to post to any social network from the tool itself.
It’s not just about generating posts for all your social networks in one place. These tools also give you advanced scheduling capability, team management, and can even curate content for you from your own site and other sites.
They’re very powerful tools and I’m not knocking them one bit. I’ve personally used all three of them (and many others).
The problem with these tools is that they’re at the mercy of the social platforms…
The algorithm says no.
Facebook knows the difference between a post made natively on their platform and a post made in a third party tool and published through their API.
If you know what Facebook cares most about – active users on Facebook – it’s obvious that they’d rather you not publish through third-party tools.
Since they can easily determine the origin of any Facebook post, it’s easy for them to “algorithm-out” content published through their API.
They don’t completely blacklist this content, obviously. You’ll still get some reach and some engagement. But, it’s clear that the algorithm is harming the reach and engagement of posts published through tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Edgar.
I’ve verified this personally as with many other people and have looked at data collected by various tests on this subject.
I was paying $79/mo for Edgar and getting some of the worst reach and engagement I’ve ever seen. When I switched back to publishing natively on Facebook, my reach and engagement were restored.
What about Instagram and others?
I’m not sure how much this applies to Instagram or Twitter. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t apply to Pinterest at all.
But, that doesn’t mean it won’t start to apply to these other platforms. This is especially true for Instagram as that platform is owned by Facebook and has already seen some major algorithm overhauls as of late.
What’s the fix?
You’re not going to like to hear this, but I would recommend going to back to publishing on Facebook natively for now.
If you need to schedule posts, Facebook offers that feature on both brand pages and groups.
What do you think? Is publishing natively too inconvenient? Have you used these tools and noticed the same reach and engagement issue? Let me know in the comments.
Kevin Michael Geary is the founder of Digital Ambition. After building three successful online businesses in three separate niches in less than five years, he turned his attention toward helping men and women all over the world start an online lifestyle business so they can escape the rat race, make an impact, and live life without limitations.