Since Facebook wall posts play a key role in engaging fans, Facebook marketing specialist Buddy Media did a recent study to determine the best practices for posting on Facebook brand pages. The study analyzed the Wall posts on the Facebook pages of more than 200 Buddy Media clients from Jan. 30-Feb. 12. It also examined the comments and “Likes” related to these posts. The analyzed companies covered a range of industries, from automotive to healthcare to entertainment. MediaPost.com recently discussed the following findings.
The main finding of the study was that wall posts should be short. Posts with 80 characters or less had an approximately 27% higher engagement rate than those with more than 80 characters. This makes Twitter’s 140-character limit seem long-winded.
Yet the study also found that full-length URLs in posts had triple the engagement of posts using a URL-shortener. The study rationalizes this by reporting that the indicators a user normally receives from reading the text in a full-length URL are absent with a shortened URL. To avoid that problem, the report advises using a condensed URL that includes some brand identification in the Web address rather than just a series of numbers and letters.
Thursdays and Fridays were determined to be the peak days for interaction in the form of comments and Likes around posts, which reflects recent Facebook findings that their Happiness Index jumps up 10% on Fridays. While engagement rates increased by 18% on Thursdays and Fridays, they fell 3.5% below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday.
The study showed that 86% of brand page posts are made during the work week, but the interaction rates each day vary greatly by industry. In regard to time of day, the study revealed that engagement rates are 20% above average outside of normal business hours, even though 60% of posts go live between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“By posting within business hours, brands miss the critical opportunity to get the visibility they need for maximum engagement,” according to the study. “So schedule posts to appear early in the morning or late at night. Don’t publish simply because you’re in front of your computer.”
Marketers are advised to be straightforward in asking for “Likes” and comments. They should ask also questions at the end of a post to increase the response rate. In fact, posts that end with a question have a 15% higher engagement rate.
Lastly, Wall posts that promote contests have become common, but a softer approach is preferred to a hard-sell. Buddy Media suggests using the terms “winner” and “event” rather than “contest” and “prize.” It’s one of many subtle distinctions that can make a big the difference in how well your wall works.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante