In the second instalment of the blog series to help you make your social posting the best it can be, we’ll be looking at Facebook.
In March 2017, Facebook had an average of 1.28 billion daily active users.
1.94 billion of Facebook users are active on a monthly basis.
85.8% of Facebook’s daily active users are outside the US and Canada.
307 million of those users are in Europe alone.
4.75 billion individual pieces of content are shared daily.
So, how do you make your content stand out?
Take a look at these seven tips:
1. Use a built-in link
Posts that use the built-in Facebook link format, rather than typing the link into a photo update, receive twice as many clicks.
When Facebook users see an image, the instinct is usually to click on it. If that image was pulled through from a site and redirects the user where you want them, then so much the better.
Obviously a link isn’t always necessary, but for the posts that need one, make sure it’s built-in, and make sure the images and text that it pulls through from the website are as interesting as the post itself.
2. Have a clear goal
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer, but in the quest to create engaging content the actual objective of a Facebook post can get pushed aside.
Think about what you want your post to do. Drive traffic to your website? Encourage people to comment and react, to build a community around your brand or spark a debate? Get users to share it?
A post with a specific objective with be more effective – it’s simple.
The objective should be obvious, too. If you want someone to click on a link that takes them to a blog post, make sure the headline is enticing. A post about a new product could include a limited-time offer to encourage interaction.
3. Have 40 characters or fewer
I will admit, it sounds a bit ridiculous to suggest you use fewer characters in a Facebook post than you would in a tweet – but hear me out.
Nobody wants to read a wall of text on their timeline. Users will either skip to the end or ignore it altogether, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for.
However, a post with text of 40 characters or fewer will receive on average 86% more engagement than a post with a higher character count.
Use your 40 characters well – it’s an intro, a teaser, supplemented by the text that is pulled through by the link itself.
4. Use off-peak publishing
It seems obvious to post at peak times. That’s when people are more likely to see your posts, right?
At peak times, you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other posts to be seen, and it’s very easy for your content to go unnoticed.
If you post your updates at off-peak times, they’ll stand a better chance of being seen your audience.
It’s something called the “Late-Night Infomercial Effect”.
Think posting on quiet weekend afternoons, and after regular weekday work hours. The best window for a weekday is between 9pm and 5am.
5. Ask for engagement
We’ve already touched on this, when looking at what the goal of your Facebook post should be. Whatever that goal is, your post needs a clear call to action that will help you achieve it.
Use language that encourages your audience to respond in a specific way, e.g. “subscribe now”, “share your ideas”, or “tell us what you think”. Ideal posts could include:
– Asking a question, that can be relevant to your product or a current trend
– Fill-in-the-blank statements asking for a specific response
– Requesting a caption for a photo, or a photo itself. Selfie challenges are very popular with brands, where the photos from users include a brand product
– Multiple choice questions to spark debate
You can also ask users to share posts, but not onto their friends’ Facebook walls, as that crosses into spamming.
6. Maintain a regular schedule
So, you have a Facebook audience that’s passionate about your brand – that’s part one.
And you’re publishing good content – that’s part two.
What completes the trilogy?
Successful Facebook pages post at least once a day, which helps to create an expectation among your audience of consistent, high-quality content. It helps if you also post around the same time of day.
There are several ways of staying on schedule with your posts, to make sure you never miss a day. You can set up a content calendar, sign up for a free scheduler like Buffer, or schedule posts on your Facebook page itself.
Just be sure to keep track of future posts, so you aren’t posting content you’ve forgotten you created.
7. Make posts newsworthy
As well as posting content that’s relevant to your brand and products, make sure you keep on top of the news.
You can capitalise on popular stories and current events to create talking points for your audience, factoring in trending topics such as a sports final or the season premiere of a popular TV show.
Facebook has a section of its site dedicated to trending topics in the news, so you can always keep on top of what your audience is talking about.