With more than 900 million active users, Facebook is the leading platform for brands to connect with consumers. To increase fan engagement, brands should post content that fans want to share.
Here are 10 tips for writing effective Facebook wall posts.
1. Keep it short.
People scan Facebook; they don’t read it. The longer the post, the less engaging fans find it. Buddy Media research shows that Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive 66 percent higher fan engagement, and posts that are less than 40 characters in length receive 86 percent higher engagement.
2. Avoid complicated wall posts.
Interesting content can be added to wall posts in the form of links, photos and videos. The data shows that simple posts achieve the most engagement for the retail industry. The two most effective types of brand posts contain a single photo or use only words. According to Buddy Media, status-only posts receive 94 percent higher than average engagement.
3. Consider your audience.
Make sure you draw people into what you are saying by asking questions, editing and revising with the audience in mind. Discuss topics people love. Think that you are talking to a person, not a group. Even though you are speaking to your entire network, only one person reads your words at a time. Use personal pronouns and contractions and maintain a relaxed, friendly tone.
4. Ask questions.
People are twice more likely to comment on a post that poses a question. To drive comments, ask a direct question and ask for the response. This approach can help attract people who like to give their advice, opinions, or ideas. The key guidelines are brevity, ease of reading and answering, and interesting topics. Fill-in-the-blank posts are also extremely popular. They receive a great number of comments.
5. Use an eye-catching image.
There is no type of content that elicits a better response than photos. Posts with good pictures get better visibility in the news feed due to the higher EdgeRank score. When you share photos, make sure they’re eye-catching in a smaller version, as most people will see a reduced size in their news feed or mobile app.
6. Add links.
If links are good, topical, and regular, you’ll have friends clicking on them and leaving comments and likes. But avoid URL shorteners. Engagement rates are three times higher for wall posts that use the full-length URL. Use full URLs and let users know exactly where they’re going when they click a link.
7. Keep variety in your posts.
Don’t use images or links in every post. Keep it interesting by mixing in links, videos, questions, polls, and text-only updates. Don’t post about the same thing every time, especially if no one is responding or interacting. Mix up the type of text posts, too—some personal, fun, and some about current events.
8. Choose the right time.
The best time of the week to write is toward the end of the week. Weekend posts have higher engagement rates than other days of the week. Post one to four times per week. Wall posts written between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. have 20 percent higher engagement rates. More people are on Facebook outside of business hours, so make sure to think of the time of the day when publishing. Posting one to two times per day produces 40 percent higher user engagement
9. Tell fans what to do.
Your fans will follow your instructions; the simpler the instruction, the better. Ask fans to share, comment, or tell you something—fans will listen and respond by commenting. Driving likes happens by asking for them. Simple calls to action such as “Click like if you agree” often work well. Tell users what you want, and your Facebook page will grow.
Interact and respond with users. For example, if someone asked for a photo, give it to them! Say something like “you asked for it, so here it is!” Acknowledgement is really important. It’s not only polite to acknowledge people’s interest, but it can take things to a new level if you continue to interact about a particular topic. You never know what you might learn or what good might come from it.
Annette Bondarenko is marketing coordinator at aheadWorks. A version of this article first appeared on aheadWorks.com.