Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Create a Great Facebook Post

After reading a few blogs from Constant Contact, Social Media Today, the Social Media Examiner, and from my personal experience, I've been able to come up with these "guidelines" as to what makes a great Facebook post. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, every business is different, and you must cater your social media to your customers. This is why you must experiment and find out what works for you business and what doesn't.

Photo from Perry Manku, Social Media & SEO Consultant
Click Here for Photo

-Keep it short. It has been proven that people don’t read anything over 140 characters. Last month on the Constant Contact Facebook page, posts with less than 140 characters received an average of 215 percent more engagement than longer posts (192 percent for the last 8 months.) When posting focus on what is the most important aspect or what will grab people’s attention that they will want to click on it. If you want to check how many characters you are at paste it into Twitter or Microsoft Word first.

-Pictures, Pictures, Pictures. Facebook has reported that photos, photo albums, and videos get 120 percent, 180 percent, and 100 percent more engagement than links and text-only posts. This is crucial. Instead of just posting a link, you need to post a photo first and then add the link. People love pictures and are more likely to engage versus links or text. Let a photo do the talking.

Tip: 403 x 403px is the perfect image size for Facebook Timeline BUT Facebook recommends that you use higher quality images that are 600 x 600px. You can always re-position a photo though to show the best part.
Tip: You can also use http://www.picmonkey.com/ to create collages and Facebook cover photos.

-Tell your fans what you want them to do. Posts that ask fans to…
Comment = 3.3x more comments
Share = 7x more shares
Like = 3x more likes
Caption this photo = 5.5x more comments
Think beyond literal calls-to-action. Try asking fans to fill-in-the-blank, give you a “thumbs up,” or answer a true or false question.

-Have conversations with your fans. To have a successful Facebook Page, it’s absolutely critical that you genuinely care about your fans. You need to comment back or respond to their tweets. The more engaged a business is with their customers, the more a customer will engage with them. 

-Post at Times Ideal for Your Fans. The optimal time to post on Facebook is between 1:00 pm and 3:00
pm, when Facebook traffic peaks. Links posted between 1 and 4 pm get the highest click-through rates, with Wednesday at 3:00 pm being the best time to post all week. Links posted before 8:00 am and after 8:00 pm are less likely to get shared. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday.

-Make sure you post enough content to stay visible in the news feed without annoying your fans. The average Facebook post lifespan is 3 hours, although this varies by page. A post is considered “alive” when it’s occupying the news feed or is a Highlighted Story and receiving a continuous stream of engagement. A post is considered “dead” when its engagement stops growing more than 10% per hour.
How do you find your average post lifespan? http://edgerankchecker.com/edgerank/gopro

-Use the Right Words for Higher Engagement. Buddy Media found that action keywords like “post,” “comment,” “take,” “submit,” “like” or “tell us” are the most effective. Be direct in your request, and fans will listen. Softer-sell keywords such as “winner,” “win,” “winning” and “events” will make fans excited rather than feeling like they’re being sold to. Aggressive promotional keywords like “contest,” “promotion,” “sweepstakes” and “coupon” will turn them off.

-Ask Questions. Questions placed at the end of a post increased engagement by 15% over questions placed at the beginning. “Where,” “when” and “should” drive the highest engagement rates, with “would” generating the most likes. Avoid asking “why” questions, which have the lowest like and comment rates.

So there you have it folks, the secrets to creating great Facebook posts. I really hope that some of these tips help your small business succeed! Good Luck! 

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