Even though it feels like Facebook has been part of our lives forever,
Facebook "pages" for business have only been with us for just three
Businesses are still learning the most effective ways to engage with fans. The questions often being asked are:
1. How often should we post?
2. What type of posts will drive fan engagement?
3. When should we publish our wall updates?
Research by Buddy Media has
the answers. Although the data is taken from user engagement of the top
100 retailers during a six-month period in 2011, some of the lessons
can apply to many types of businesses.
Here are the findings:
1. Best time to post: 8 p.m.-7 a.m.
The analysis showed it was best to post when fans were not
at work; between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. Post during these
"non-busy" hours to increase likes and comments.
2. Best days to post: Wednesdays
Although most of the brands posted regularly throughout the
week, it's best to publish on Wednesdays and Sundays to boost
3. Daily posts: one to two
Quality, not quantity, counts when publishing to your wall.
Posting once or twice a day results in a 40 percent higher engagement
rate compared with posting more than three times a day.
4. Weekly posts: one to four times
Don't overcrowd users' news feeds with too many posts during
the week. Posting one to four times weekly produces 71 percent higher
user engagement than five or more posts in a given week for retail
5. Length of posts: 1-40 characters is best
Posts less than 80 characters in length receive 66 percent
higher engagement than longer posts. More concise posts—those between
one and 40 characters—generate the most engagement. Only 5 percent of
all retail brand wall posts are less than 40 characters in length, even
though these receive 86 percent higher fan engagement.
6. Best way to spark a dialogue: ask questions
Ask questions to get fans talking. Posts with questions
generate more than double the amount of comments than non-question
7. Best structure: fill in the blank
One of the most underutilized post techniques is one of the
most engaging. Data shows that brand posts employing the fill in the
blank strategy (e.g. I like …) generate comment rates nine times higher
than other posts. Less than 1 percent of retail brands use this tactic.
8. Best keywords for deals: "coupons" and "$ off"
When it comes to deals, fans look for a straightforward
offer. The top 10 sales keywords were analyzed to determine which
receive the most user engagement. Posts containing the words "$ off" and
"coupon" receive the highest fan engagement. Posts containing "$ off"
receive a 55 percent higher user engagement rate, followed by posts
containing the word "coupon," which is 39 percent above the average.
Popular words, such as "sale" and "% off," received the lowest fan engagement.
9. Best coupon offer: cash discounts
Fans prefer tangible cash discounts, even if the dollar
amount is low. When offering coupons, don't make fans do the math. The
data indicates that "$ off" offers generate twice the engagement than "%
off." Even small "$ off" discounts—less than $10—receive 17 percent
higher engagement than "% off" promotions.
10. Post type: text only
Simple posts achieve the most engagement. The two most
effective types of retail brand posts contain a single photo attachment
or use only words. Status posts—posts that contain only words—receive 94
percent higher engagement than average.
Avoid more complicated posts, such as those with attached links and thumbnail photos.
Jeff Bullas is a digital media coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. He blogs at JeffBullas.com, where a version of this article originally ran.