Small businesses that use Facebook to get the word out and promote their companies should check out a new report from Buddy Media, a social ad-management software provider. The report is drawn from the company’s analysis of 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and “likes” spurred by those posts.
- Keep it brief – Facebook posts containing 80 or fewer characters had 27 percent higher engagement rates than longer posts.
- Use full-length URL – Engagement rates are three times higher for posts that use a full-length URL. Shortened URLS don’t tell a user where he or she is headed after the click
- Post after hours – Brands that post outside of business hours (during the times of day they are most likely checking their Facebook pages) had 20 percent higher engagement than those that posted only during office hours.
- Thursday & Friday – Across all industries, engagement rates were 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays compared with other days of the week.
- Play it by Industry – Pay attention to industry-specific engagement times. Retailers should post on Sunday and avoid Friday. The healthcare and beauty industry do better on Thursdays. The one exception to the “Saturday is bad” rule is the food and beverage industry, whose engagement peaks on that day.
- Clear & Simple Wins – If you want a Like, ask for it directly. If it’s comments you want, ask a question and say you’d like a response.
- Winning! – If you’re running a promotion, use the words “events” and “winning” instead of the more direct words “contest” or “promotion.” Give fans something to get excited about rather than the feeling they are being sold to.
- Ask a Question – Posts with question words have a 15 percent higher engagement rate. Stick to “where,” “when,” “would,” and “should,” which had the highest engagement rates. “Would” is particularly effective in spiking likes because fans use it as a way to vote “yes.” Avoid the question “why.