Facebook: Strategies for Effective Posts

I recently read through a report from Buddy Media that provided a review of statistics from businesses using Facebook. They reviewed all posts, likes & comments from a sample of 200 clients for a two-week period and came up with some great advice. You can view the full report for free from their site.

While this might not be the most comprehensive review of data based on their sample size and limited only to their own clients, it does include some great ideas that are based on common business sense (that stats just back them up).

Here are some quick-to-implement ideas:

  • Keep posts short and simple. Posts less than 80 characters had a higher 27% higher engagement rate than longer updates.
  • Consider using full URLs instead of shortened ones. Engagements were 3x higher on full URLs than on shortened ones. If you do need a shortened on to make it fit, consider using one where you can specify the link.
  • Post outside normal business hours. While it might be easier for you to post while you’re at work, most people are engaging (commenting & liking) when they’re at home (early hours, after work & late night). Using an application like TweetDeck or HootSuite will enable you to schedule updates during non-working hours if you can’t do it yourself.
  • Consider the “Happiness Index” and Work to Facebook correlations. Facebook did a study to determine a “Gross National Happiness” index. This index shows that positive word use increases 10% on Fridays and around holidays and negative words are used less frequently over weekends. Also, engagement rates tend to fall early during the workweek, rise at the end of the workweek, fall again on Saturday and rise on Sundays.
  • Determine your own peak periods. The research they provided is broken down by industry but there wasn’t a “nonprofit” category. Personally I’d like to find a way to determine those stats, but I’m not quite there yet. But, if you look back at your Page insights you should be able to see when you’re posting versus when people are actually interacting with your page. You might be posting on Friday but people aren’t interacting until Sunday evening or Monday. So, then you might want to start posting on Sundays to increase those interactions.
  • Use clear instructions…fan will follow well. Simply asking for “likes” and “posts” or “comments” will garner exactly those results. Such as “Tickets are on sale now. Like this post to help spread the word!”. With a simple request your followers will do it!
  • Know where to place your questions and actions. Give the background information THEN ask the question or suggest an action. Posts with the action as the last piece have a 15% higher engagement rate.
  • Would you answer this? More fans will answer with a “LIKE” on a post if you add a “Would” question into the mix – they’re using the Like as a way to say Yes without writing it.

I would love to hear how implementing these ideas makes a difference for nonprofit events. Please share your feedback in the comments!


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