In a recent article we gave you a rough posting on a small time budget outline, and how to engage users in social media whilst keeping alignment with your brand. This week, we’re going to put the rules of engagement to the test and give you the facts of what does and doesn’t work in Facebook posts. We will give you something that you can use with a simple engagement plan to have a strong long term presence without worrying that a smaller time capacity will limit your abilities.
Size Matters – Timing is Everything – Be Social
When posting to Facebook it is important to share interesting and engaging content (and don’t forget the golden rule – be social) that you yourself would get involved with. People tend to skim through their Facebook newsfeed even more so than twitter, so making lengthy wordy posts won’t help your cause.
Buddy Media did a study on the top 25 brands on Facebook and returned key guidelines to posting.
Size of Facebook Posts
· Posts with less than 80 characters are much more engaging than anything longer. Due to the real estate they take up, photos are the most engaging thing to post on Facebook.
· Using URL shorteners: websites such as bit.ly or hootsuite that can shorten your URLs are very popular but think twice; users are more likely to click through on full htmls. Why? Usually this is because the link will contain a known domain or words that they are looking for so they know what they’re getting themselves into!
Best times to post
· Posting between 8 PM and 7 AM showed the greatest engagement, however do not take this rule too close to heart, instead find what works best for you. Make it a habit to think back to what you’re trying to achieve; if it’s important for clients to click on your links then business hours might work best. If you want people to read through an article or read an update in their own time then go for 8pm. Some people shy away from scheduling posts as they’re not at their desk, but programs such as Hootsuite allow you to schedule whilst still choosing images and crossing multiple social platforms. People generally understand that staff cannot get back to questions at all hours of the day.
· 2 posts per day is a healthy amount of posts, doing more than this should be saved for special occasions as it may annoy certain viewers. With this in mind, posting up to 4 times per week receives the highest engagement.
· The most engaged day to post was shown to be a Thursday, so consider making your more important or prominent posts on this day. You don’t have to delve too deeply into Facebook insight statistics to find out what your best days have been, so experiment!
· Engage users with questions, and call to actions. Try not to post a hard sell, Facebook is not the ideal place for this. If you do have promotions of interest to your key group, $ off statuses receive far more interest than % discounts or clearances. For getting other calls to actions, actually asking people to do things works best. Getting people to “Like,” “Post” “Submit,” “Comment,” and “Watch” work the best and coincide with the Facebook language people are used to, then terms such as “Share,” “Become a Fan” or “See” receive less attention.
· Don’t forget: if you’re posting about current news or events; try to create necessity which can link to your product.
· Don’t be afraid to comment on other pages’ statuses. Look for pages that may contain interested parties if they are active and also engaged. You don’t want to overdo it or barge in and link to your page, have something to add to a discussion and give your insight. Give people a reason to listen to you not a demand.
· In essence: post what you would read and respond to, keep it simple, be timely and up to date, build up an identifiable rapport with your audience and remember – Facebook is an extension of your brand with added personality.