Most of us see quite a few posts on Facebook each day, whether they’re messages from friends or brands.
Some Facebook posts register with us (adorable photos of kids doing hilarious things) and some simply pass us by (your friend’s 36th wedding update).
What makes a well-crafted Facebook post stand out?
When analyzing what makes a well-crafted Facebook post versus what makes a message that gets buried in a user’s newsfeed, we must first consider Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm.
The newsfeed algorithm determines what content shows up where in a user’s newsfeed.
A post’s placement in the newsfeed more or less depends on three things:
- Engagement levels
- Relevance to the user (Has the user interacted with this brand or person before? How frequently?)
- The timeframe between when a person posts two posts.
There is no way to trick the system. However, you can follow a few best practices to provide easily consumable content to engage your followers.
Here are a few guidelines for a well-crafted Facebook post:
1. Stay in line with your strategy and brand identity.
You should have a good mix of fun posts and promotional messages that are in line with your overall objectives for your brand. Try to remember the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the content you post should be entertaining or of value, while twenty percent should be promotional.
2. Post quality content.
Don’t post just to post. Be real. Only post updates that provide value to your followers.
Will this post entertain, educate or offer something else of value to your followers? Also keep in mind that over-posting and flooding your followers’ newsfeeds can actually hurt you.
Check out this well-crafted Facebook post by California Home & Design. Notice the photo, shortened link, call to action and, in turn, engagement levels. Though this post went live13 hours before I wrote this article, at the time I was writing it was pretty high up in my newsfeed.
3. Use photos.
It is widely accepted that photos get more engagement and are more appealing to Facebook users. The ideal photo size for a Facebook timeline is 403 pixels by 403 pixels.
If your photo is not the ideal size, make sure you use the “reposition photo” option after you post the photo to rearrange how Facebook displays it on your timeline.
Even if you are sharing an article, use a photo that visually represents the article, and include a link in the copy.
4. Use shortened links.
When you share a link, either delete the link in the text copy or use a shortened link. To delete a link but still get the article to show, (which you shouldn’t be doing if you are abiding by tip No. 3) just paste the link in the post copy and wait for it to populate. Once it shows up you can delete the link from the text copy.
If you are abiding by tip No. 3-using a photo but still including a link-use a link shortener like bitly.com.
5. Include a call to action.
- “Click here.”
- “Like this.”
- “What do you think?”
Whatever the objective of the post-get higher levels of engagement or direct traffic to another website-make sure you include a call to action for that objective.
6. Use hashtags and @mentions.
Use relevant hashtags to categorize your posts. Use @mentions to provide a live link to the company or news website you are referencing. (Type the @ symbol and then start typing that company’s Facebook page name.)
Using hashtags and @mentions will help others interested in similar content find your post.
7. Keep the copy short.
There is a direct correlation between post copy and engagement levels on Facebook. Posts with zero to 70 characters get much higher levels of engagement. I suggest you don’t post more than 140 characters of copy.
Test different times of day, and days of the week. Facebook’s engagement reports offer valuable data. Don’t ignore it! Check it out from time to time to see if a certain post did better than another and why.
All of these tips are best practices for creating a well-crafted Facebook post. However, the most important piece of advice I can give is to simply create good content for your target audience.
A version of this article originally appeared on MelissaLeiter.com.