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Facebook Deletes 865 Million Posts: Why You Should Focus On Quality Over Quantity

Can you imagine deleting millions of posts from your online content?

Earlier this month, Facebook published a report indicating that the popular social media platform deleted approximately 865.8 million posts throughout the first 3 months of 2018. That is an average of 288.6 million posts per month!

Even though these types of numbers may cater to your pipe dreams of future growth, chances are that you may never reach the level of having hundreds of millions of posts at all – much less having to delete that amount.

To put this figure in its proper perspective, consider that there are 510,000 posted comments, 293,000 statuses updated, and 136,000 photos uploaded every 60 minutes. Deleting 865 million posts that are mostly spammed may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to this massive amount of generated content. However, there is still a valuable lesson that can be appreciated by anyone in the world of content regardless of size: Quality always beats quantity.

Photograph by fizkes  via Bigstock

You Do Not Need to Post “Everything”

Just because you can post something does not mean you should. This may seem like a simple principle, but the mark is missed by a growing number of online content creators every day. Try to count the number of times you have seen controversial posts that should have never made it to the information superhighway as you scan through your daily news and social media posts.

Think about the number of friends you have had to hide, block or even report to Facebook simply because of the low-quality content they have posted online. Odds are that you stopped counting a while ago, right?

Facebook deleting over 865 million posts may be an alarming statistic, but not at all surprising when you consider the number of posts you wish were deleted months or even years ago.

It is important to create a regular stream of posted content to build your online presence and overall reputation. However, posting content without focusing on the quality of what you post can backfire with an adverse reaction that you were not expecting. One high-quality post will do much more for your online presence than one hundred low-quality posts.

 “Bad Publicity” Does Exist

For years, an old saying has indicated that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

To refute that myth, you must review the following list of recent headlines:

  • Mark Zuckerberg Failed to Address European Concerns about Facebook (CNN)
  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Has a Tough Road Ahead in Europe on Data Privacy (CNET)
  • Congress Grilled Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for Nearly 10 Hours
  • Facebook Deleted 583 Million Fake Accounts in the First 3 Months of 2018 (CNET)

Do those headlines shine a positive spotlight on Facebook’s reputation? The viral hashtag #DeleteFacebook made waves back in late March when the news that a political data firm that worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign used Facebook to access private data. The New York Times reported that the hashtag appeared over 10,000 times on Twitter within just a 2-hour period.

What are people saying about your online presence? Has one (or several) of your recent posts drawn more controversy than curiosity? Are you inadvertently repelling more audience members than attracting them? You cannot breathe life into your online presence with low-quality content designed to essentially pull the plug.

Focus on Engagement and Traffic Will Follow

It may seem nearly impossible to reach the first page of Google search results or become a trending topic without controversial and/or chaotic content. Contrary to popular opinion, studies have shown that engagement is the golden ticket to ongoing traffic – not controversy.

Think about it. What causes controversial content to spark and spread online like a wildfire? Engagement! A vast number of people click it, comment on it, review it and share it with others. They may even create video messages and testimonials in response to it. Why? The content captivated their attention and engaged their involvement. The sample rule of engagement applies to any type of content – not just controversial spam that could be easily deleted and forgotten. The key is to figure out how to captivate and engage your audience the correct way with quality content that will keep them coming back for more.

Without creating your content right, you may very soon not have any audience members left.

You Do Not Need to Reach “Everyone”

As mentioned above, there is no need to post “everything” – or get in the habit of posting content just to post it. It is imperative not to allow the “law of large numbers” to turn your online presence into a content machine programmed to pump out whatever words and phrases come to mind. Since you should focus primarily on engagement, you must take the necessary steps to achieve that goal. You can engage a massive crowd of people with just one high-quality social media post, blog, article or eBook. However, this opens the door for another principle that must be applied regarding crowd control: You do not need to reach “everyone.”

A significant number of people want their content to go “viral.” You may see those blogs, articles and posts with tens of thousands of posts, comments and shares and become jealous. You may see those YouTube videos that generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of views and say to yourself, “I can do that with my videos!”

Unfortunately, this unbridled desire for viral content has led many content creators down a dark path past the point of no return. It is true that it would be nice to have a post read by one million people. However, what about the rest of your content?

An effective and skilled content creator knows that the best approach is a targeted approach. Designing and developing content with a specific audience in mind will help you to hit your target every single time.

It is much better to have 100 engaged readers from your target audience that will follow, comment on and share your content for years than to have 100,000 readers that will do absolutely nothing with it after a single day or post.

Transparency is Vital

Developing quality content is essential, but transparency is vital. You cannot hide anything from your online audience. With a little time and resources, the average reader or viewer can find the truth. Chances are that you want their findings to draw them closer – not push them farther away. Your content must be 100% transparent – honest, clear and crisp. If you try to serve some type of hidden agenda, it will not stay hidden for very long. If you are simply creating content with the sole intent of driving sales instead of engaging your audience, they will see right through it.

The bottom line is that your content will be transparent to your audience whether you realize it or not. Your online presence will thank you for your upfront & unsolicited honesty in this regard.

Quality Content is Built to Last

Quality content is not designed as temporary posts that will draw a quick audience followed by red flags that will force its inevitable deletion, removal or impaired search engine optimization. You should develop your quality content the same way that an architect builds a beautiful skyscraper, or a sculptor creates a chiseled masterpiece – build it once, build it right, build it to last.

If you only take one point away from this post, take away the following point: Lasting content leads to lasting growth. However, without quality, there can be no growth.



Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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