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Even though Twitter and YouTube are large social media networks, Facebook provides a marketing ecosystem that is multi-media rich and broad. There are literally tens of thousands of apps that can assist business with marketing on Facebook.
Even though it feels like Facebook has been part of our lives forever it must be noted that Facebook “Pages” for Business have only been with us for barely 3 years!
Business is Still Learning How to Use Facebook
Businesses are still learning the most effective tactics to apply when participating and engaging on Facebook.
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 reveals ways to create the most effective engagement for retailers when interacting with their fans on Facebook.
The findings reveal some interesting ways to increase the success of your Facebook marketing.
Even though this research was obtained from analyzing user engagement from the top 100 retailers Facebook pages during a 6 month period in 2011, some of the lessons outlined here could be applied to a wide range of business categories.
Here are the findings of the research.
1. Best time to post on Facebook
The analysis showed that it was best to post during times when fans were not at work and between the hours of 8pm and 7am. So to increase your “likes” and “comments”, post during “non-busy” hours.
2. Best day to post on Facebook
Most of the brands researched posted regularly throughout the week. To improve engagement it is best to publish on Wednesdays and Sundays.
3. How often should you post every day?
The research showed that quality not quantity counts when publishing to your wall. One or two brand posts receive 32% higher “like” rates and 73% comment rates compared to posting 3 or more times a day.
4. Most effective weekly post frequency
Achieve maximum user engagement by not over crowding users’ News Feeds with too many Posts during the week. Posting one to four times produces 71% higher user engagement than five or more Posts in a given
week for retail brands.
5. Length of posts
Retail brand Wall Posts less than 80 characters in length receive 66% higher engagement than longer Posts. Very concise Posts – those between one and 40 characters – generate highest engagement. Only 5% of all retail brand Wall Posts are less than 40 characters in length, even though these receive 86% higher fan engagement.
6. Facebook post content
To begin a dialogue with fans, ask questions. Although retail brand Wall Posts containing questions receive slightly lower overall user engagement (‘likes’ and Comments), this type of Post generates mor e than double the amount of Comments as “non-question” Posts.
Retail brands looking to get fans talking (i.e., increase their Post Comment rates) should use “question” Posts.
7. Facebook post structure
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 (eg. I like…..) generate Comment rates nine times higher than other Post strategies. The data supports that this is a proven strategy unique to the retail industry, yet less than 1% of retail brands are utilizing this tactic.
8. Key words for Facebook offers
When it comes to deals, fans look for a straightforward offer. The top ten sales keywords were analyzed to determine which receive the most user engagement. The data indicates that retail brand Posts containing the sales keywords “$ off” and “coupon” receive the highest fan engagement. Retail brand Posts containing “$ off” receive a 55% higher user engagement rate, followed by Posts containing the word “coupon,” which is 39% above the average.
Popular sales keywords, such as “sale” and “% off,” receive the lowest fan engagement.
9. Coupon offers
Fans engage well with coupons. When offering coupons, don’t make fans do the math. The data indicates that “$ off” offers generate twice the engagement of “% off” offers for the retail industry. Even small “$ off” discounts – less than $10 – receive 17% higher engagement than “% off” promotions, showing that fans prefer tangible cash discounts, even if the actual dollar discount is small.
10. Keep posts simple
While interesting content can be added to W all Posts in the form of links, photos and videos, our data ind icates that 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-only Posts – Posts only containing words – receive 94% higher engagement than average.
Avoid more complicated Posts, such as those with attached links and thumbnail photos.