Does publishing Facebook posts through a third party tool affect your reach and engagement?

Here’s the thing that most social media managers miss, you create content, you share in out on the social web, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and that’s it. But not everyone that you share content to will see it. So if you take that same post and share it, like, five or ten times on Twitter, you’re gonna get way more than double the traffic from Twitter. So consider sharing your content over time and MeetEdgar will do this all automatically for you.

The comments below are from a video of Neil Patel discussing his experiences of using a Third Part app to post on Social Media.

“Another thing that I would do is share your content manually on certain social sites. I found that on Facebook, if you share content through Buffer and Hootsuite, the reach is way lower for that same piece of content than if you schedule it out.

‘Cause on Facebook, you can schedule out your posts. They want you to come to Facebook. That’s how they make ad revenue. They do not make ad revenue by you using Hootsuite to push a message out on Facebook. It really hurts your reach. Your reach just gets put in the shitter, I’m talking about over 100%.

I took the same content and shared it without the Hootsuite and Buffer. I got more than two to three times the views.

Over the years, some people have suspected that using a 3rd party app to post to Facebook has resulted in their post reaching fewer people. Facebook uses an algorithm to decide the order of posts in each user’s home stream. If you never engage with a friend or page’s posts, their EdgeRank score will drop and Facebook will stop displaying their posts to you. Facebook uses a number of factors in their algorithm, and it is possible that they take into account whether or not you have used a 3rd party app to post the post. However, it is a controversial topic!

Buzzsumo analysed over 500 million Facebook articles for an article by Mari Smith and the results were quite surprising. In particular, there was this “little” stat:

Posting with a 3rd party tool results in 89.5% less engagement than directly posting to Facebook.

Substantial Drop in Engagement!

That’s a substantial drop in engagement! Mari Smith’s article and infographic caused quite a storm, particularly from 3rd party tool vendors such as Buffer and Postplanner who were quick to disagree with the claims. Mari Smith then added some clarification to the bottom of her article which I agree with. The analysis from Buzzsumo found that there was 89.5 less engagement. That does not mean 3rd party apps were getting penalised. It could mean that the posts were getting less engagement because the posts looked automated.

If you use a 3rd party app to post to Facebook, you do need to make sure you are creating it specifically for your Facebook audience. It is easier to think about your audience when you post natively on Facebook, so this may account for lower than normal engagement scores when using 3rd party apps.

Buffer’s response to Buzzsumo’s analysis is worth reading. We’ll never know whether or not Facebook devalues posts from 3rd party apps. However, make your own mind up?

Here were the top 20 applications used to post to Facebook, ordered based on market share: Courtesy of Buffer


No application: 75.64%
Hootsuite: 5.12%
Instagram: 3.14%
Twitter: 2.74%
Buffer: 1.31%
WordPress: 1.08% 0.9%
Pages Manager for iOS: 0.88%
Sprout Social: 0.77%
Facebook for iPhone: 0.72%
Photos: 0.66%
Links: 0.65%
IFTTT: 0.56%
twitterfeed: 0.55%
RSS Graffiti: 0.44%
NetworkedBlogs: 0.38%
Facebook for Android: 0.37%
SocialFlow: 0.33%
Pages Manager for Android: 0.31%
Share_bookmarklet: 0.29%

A couple further clarifications:

One thing that this data does not account for is the impact of popular pages on these numbers. In looking at such a big dataset, we ended up reviewing both enterprise businesses and small businesses, each of which has its own engagement levels and own tools it uses.

For instance, here were the top applications used by individuals/small businesses, ranked by engagement.

  • Post Planner: 921.8 average engagement
  • Buffer: 180.67 average engagement
  • Sprout Social: 166.28 average engagement
  • Edgar: 83.53 average engagement
  • Hootsuite: 78.45 average engagement
  • CoSchedule: 75.53 average engagement


I am a fan of third party tools, I use Hootestuite and Buffer for some posting.  But the truth is I find it better to publish directly onto each platform that I am working on and if I am busy then I will post on one platform to multiple platforms.  For example Instagram to Facebook.  But it is very important that you work out what works for you and which way works best.  And conduct your own research into your reach. There isn’t a one size fits all approach here.

If you would like to chat further about this or any other Social Media questions then please feel free to contact me via email or phone. or 0402 280 529