Facebook may be part of your social media marketing strategy, but are you using it as effectively as you can? Just as with any other content marketing, there are good ways and bad ways to write Facebook posts.
You’ve probably seen proof of this yourself: some of your posts might get a lot of likes and comments, while others languish unnoticed as they slip down your timeline. So what makes a strong, engaging Facebook post—and how can you start using this social media titan to your advantage with more appealing content?
A Few Words About EdgeRank
If you’ve never heard of EdgeRank, you’re missing a key piece of the Facebook marketing puzzle. EdgeRank is a Facebook algorithm that controls what content makes it into newsfeeds, and which posts are left to sink into electronic oblivion.
Facebook is a business as well as a social media network, and the business that is Facebook wants users to stay engaged and active. This means EdgeRank is crucial to their business model.
What determines a post’s EdgeRank? The algorithm considers:
- Affinity: This factor considers how often the user interacts with other people and pages on Facebook, and assigns weight accordingly. The more actively you visit, comment, and like with given users, the more often they’ll show up in your newsfeed.
- Edge Weight: Facebook’s algorithm also considers the type of content that’s generated by a post. There are several “types” that Facebook recognizes beyond status updates, photos, and videos—for example, liking a page, changing your profile picture, or adding a friend to your network.
- Time Decay: The latest posts are most likely to show up in newsfeeds. The older the post, the less weight it has with EdgeRank.
There are other factors that Facebook considers when deciding which posts appear in which newsfeeds, such as relationship settings, user preferences, and more.
Tips for Writing Facebook Posts that are Most Likely to Show Up in Newsfeeds
A study from Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers Facebook statistics that can help you write more effective, engaging Facebook posts. Based on data from the study:
Shorter posts produce better results. Status updates and posts with 80 characters or less get 66 percent higher engagement than average. Those with 40 characters or less are even higher, with 86 percent more fan engagement. However, the study notes, only 5 percent of all Wall posts by retail brands are under 40 characters.
Post frequency matters. When you post to Facebook one to two times per day, you’ll see 40 percent higher fan engagement. If you post one to four times per week, the results are up to 71 percent higher user engagement.
Post timing matters, too. Engagement is higher by 20 percent on posts made between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. There’s also 8 percent more fan engagement with posts made on Wednesdays.
Interactive posts get more comments. Posts that are questions, rather than statements, have double the comment rates of non-question posts. And fill-in-the-blank posts generate exponential engagement, with up to 9 times more comments than other posts.
Discounts and deals get attention. Offering “$ off” and coupons through Facebook posts are among the highest for engagement. “$ off” post offers are twice as engaging as “% off” offers.
Direct is better. Complicated Facebook posts don’t get as much attention as status-only posts, which generate 94 percent higher engagement than average.
The good news is that creating engaging and effective Facebook posts can mean less work for you—because Facebook users prefer simple, direct messages and to-the-point status updates. How will you improve your Facebook content?
Image courtesy of Thomas Angermann
This is a guest article by Megan Totka