Earlier this week, Buddy Media released a whitepaper entitled “Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review”. For a two-week period, the company studied Facebook Wall Posts that were published by 200 clients (mostly large brands) that use the Buddy Media Platform. They examined a variety of factors: verbiage, post length, time and date of posts, engagement with each post. I read through the white paper, which you can download on the Buddy Media website and wanted to share the top three takeaways with you.
1. Size Matters!
People these days are notorious for having the attention span of a goldfish. Twitter maxes out single messages at 140 characters, SMS/text messages can only be sent 160 characters at a time. Facebook, however, allows for slightly more long-form communication. The texts of Wall Posts can be up to 420 characters long, but at about half of that Facebook clips the message and forces you to click “see more” before reading the full post.
Buddy Media suggests an alarmingly short post length, just 80 characters. They state that posts between one and 80 characters long had a 27% higher engagement rate. Now this isn’t an excuse to start removing vowels, throwing grammar out the window and using leetspeak. Your messages should be coherent and easy for your audience to read, but try to get your message across using as few words as possible.
2. Want an answer? Ask a question!
This seems like such a simple solution, but it is surprisingly underutilized. If all you’re doing is sharing information (making statements, broadcasting messages, posting content) then your audience may consume it, but they probably won’t engage with it. Your audience doesn’t know that you want their feedback unless you tell them or ask them for it. Additionally, placing the call to action or question at the end of the post will, according to their research, receive a 15% higher engagement rate. If you place the question/call to action anywhere but the end, in the few seconds it takes to read the rest of the post that request will get lost and forgotten about. What are other techniques you use to increase engagement on your Facebook Page? (see what I did there)
3. Facebook isn’t a 9-5.
A great portion of the report discussed the best times and dates to post content on Facebook. This is something I’ve discussed here on FBadz before. Buddy Media even broke down the information by industry. While I certainly don’t agree with a one-size fits all solution, the goal of determining optimal times to post content is a valuable one. The report stated that 60% of Posts were published between 10 am and 4 pm (EST), but posting outside of business hours garnered 20% higher engagement rates. Your job maybe to sit at your computer posting content on Facebook, but chances are your audience is off doing their job and they probably don’t have Facebook up on their screens.
There are several tools that allow you to schedule posts to publish outside of business hours including CoTweet, HootSuite and many others. By posting various types of content (text, photos and videos) at different times you can get an idea of what resonates with your audience most. This can be especially tricky if you have an international audience so you can either publish content at one specific time that works for most of your audience or you can target posts per country/region.
Did any of these techniques help you increase engagement? Leave us a comment and let us know.