Carefully Crafted on July 20

Improve Facebook Engagement by Incorporating Data-Backed Best Practices

FacebookFacebook page engagement is believed to be a key metric in Facebook’s EdgeRank — the score that determines which people and pages appear most frequently in news feeds. So, what can you do to increase engagement, and ultimately, exposure? We haven’t discovered the magic wand that increases network size or engagement, but we can look at the data to identify some best practices (and read all the way through to get to the most important takeaway!).

Looking at the Numbers

Last week, Digital Royalty posted a stat from Buddy Media that said Facebook posts 80 characters or less in length have 27% higher engagement rates. One of our goals for clients is to increase engagement on Facebook pages, so of course, this piqued our interest. TAKEAWAY: 80 characters is sometimes too short, but use the stat as a reminder to do some experimenting with post lengths. Do you test longer updates vs short or mid-length posts? Have you found one kind sparks more engagement than another?

Similarly, Facebook + Journalists recently shared some interesting data about levels of engagement on reporters’ Facebook pages. The data is meant to help other reporters use Facebook more effectively; however, it highlights some best practices that page administrators should consider. Some highlights:

  • “Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday had the highest amount of feedback — with Sunday receiving the highest amount of feedback at 25% more likes and 8% more comments above average.” TAKEAWAY: Consumers don’t limit their Facebook activity to Monday-Friday, 9-5, so admins can’t just post during typical work hours. For example, we know early mornings on weekends and Sunday evenings are the most effective times to post for one of our clients.
  • “Posts with questions received two times more comments and 64% more feedback overall than an average post.”
  • “The analysis showed that 4-line postings received a 30% increase in feedback over average posts and 5-line postings showed a 60% increase in feedback over average posts. However, 1-line posts show the greatest fluctuation, receiving the highest maximum feedback observed, at 15X higher than the average post. 5-line posts were a close second, showing a maximum of around 10X the average post.”
  • Photos received 50% more likes than non-photo posts.
  • Posts about education, politics and behind-the-scenes insights & analysis from journalists received a higher amount of feedback on average. TAKEAWAY: This is obviously very specific to journalism, but it’s a reminder to assess what topics drive the most engagement on your own pages. What subject-matter grabs people’s attention?

The Most Important Takeaway

According to InsideFacebook.com, “the most important finding is that posts saw 20% more referral clicks when personal analysis was added to a post’s description, opposed to just publishing a headline, blurb, and thumbnail.”

What’s that mean for us? If you’re auto-posting blog posts or articles to your Facebook page, you’re missing a huge engagement opportunity. Stop the auto-posting and include some analysis, ask a question, reiterate a key point … something to add some context and initiate a discussion.

What are your Facebook engagement best practices?

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Photo credit: stoneysteiner

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