Stop for a second. Are you sure you should Post that on Facebook?
Have you ever been disappointed by a Facebook Post you thought would do really well? Have you ever wondered why?
In this article I’ll give you 8 simple questions that you need to ask yourself before you Post that Facebook Post. I’ll give you concrete examples so you know exactly what I’m talking about. And I’ll explain why asking these questions can mean the difference between a Posting success and a Posting flop.
Pay attention, because I’ll also be dropping more than 20 Facebook Posting statistics, as well as four top tips that could change how you market on Facebook. Competitors please stop reading now.
1. Am I posting at the right time?
Posting times, frequency, and the day you Post have serious repercussions for the success of your Posts. Ever wondered why a seemingly Likeable Post flopped? Bad timing could be why.
How can I know when my fans are online?
Facebook’s new analytics program Insights has a handy ‘When your fans are online’ tab, making it simple for businesses to get specific data about their Followers. You can view data for both time and day, making it easy to Post when most of your Fans will see it.
For global companies like Converse, timing is even more important to reach people in different timezones at optimal times. They’ve found that Posts between 10:30am and 12:00pm work best in both the UK and North America. This is why two of the four Posts below were Posted at 4:00am PST.
An easy way to consistently Post at optimal times, like Converse does above, is by using Facebook’s Scheduling tool (here’s a how-to). You can also use an app like Buffer. Buffer allows you to set the times per day that you want to Post, and then fill up each timeslot when you ‘Buffer’ a new piece of content.
Studies are also showing (and these I believe) that the optimum amount of Posts per week may be less than you think. One or two Posts per day receive 32% higher “Like” rates and 73% higher comment rates when compared to three or more per day. BuddyMedia did a study suggesting that Posts on Thursdays and Fridays resulted in an 18% increase in engagement and weekend Posts get 69% higher interaction. But again, test this for your own business.
It’s tempting for social media users to think of brand Posts as spam (because you can’t show them a picture of their adorable nephew), so I recommend keeping your Posts rare and awesome.
Top Tip #1
2. Is my Post Shareable and Likeable?
Getting your Fans to Like and Share your Posts with their friends is the best way to generate awareness and new Fans. A Like or Share is a social recommendation between friends. And more than anything, this is what will bring you new Likes and customers from Facebook.
So what makes a Post Shareable and Likeable?
- It provides a solution to a problem your Fans have
- It makes your Fans laugh
- It discusses a recent event or trend that your Fans are interested in
- It has a call-to-action that encourages participation
- It makes an appealing or personal statement that your Fans can’t help but “Like”
Most importantly, ask yourself, ‘Would I share this Post myself?’ If not, change it!
M&M’s used the popular “This vs. That” Post formula, asking Fans to comment on which M&M recipe they would like to see in an upcoming national TV event. The recipe with the most comments wins.
4 examples of how you can make your Posts Shareable and Likeable:
- Holiday-related statements (‘It’s World Architect Day! How are you celebrating?)
- Did you see Peyton Manning’s sprained ankle? Should’ve been wearing our AcmeOrthotics [link]!
- TGIF! This weekend our staff are going to be relaxing at the beach. How are you spending your days off?
- Advice for the Cubicle Life: Tip #174: Don’t forget your cubicle wall isn’t a real wall. People can hear that phone conversation.
3. Is my Post too long?
Posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher interaction rates than longer Posts. If you want to go even shorter (around 40 characters in length) you’re looking at around 85% engagement. Just make sure you’re getting your point across.
John Deere’s Post below relies on a great photo and a few witty words. This is Post optimization at its finest. It promotes their brand (the DEERE logo isn’t exactly hiding on the side of the tractor…) without screaming it. I also love putting their product in an appealing context – in this case a lumber yard. This appeals to their fan base.
Tips to shorten your Posts:
- Use bitly generator to shrink your url’s
- Cut out the unnecessary: Turn ‘We at AcmePharmaceuticals are huge March Madness Fans. Which university do you support?’ into ‘AcmePharmaceuticals are Duke fans. What’re your colors?’
- Use Hashtags to put your Posts into a quick context: Ouch! Did you see that sprained ankle? Should’ve been wearing our AcmeOrthotics! #SuperBowlXLVIII
Top Tip #2: If you thought emoticons were only for 12 year olds, think again. Not only do Posts with emoticons get 33% more comments, they also get Liked 57% more often than Posts without emoticons. That said, I’d test this for your brand before implementing it across the board.
4. Does my Post have a CLEAR Call to Action (CTA)?
Checking for a clear CTA is the best way to make sure you’re getting something out of each Post you make. I’ll include 5 of my own top Facebook CTA examples below the example.
There are many great CTAs on Facebook. It’s not just about getting people to buy from you.
- Getting people to comment, Like or Share your Post
- Clicking a link
- Moving your Followers to another social media platform like Twitter or a landing page
There is no hard and fast rule for what a CTA looks like. The big lesson here is to make sure it’s super obvious what your CTA is.
Walmart uses the ‘Share vs Like’ competition (below) as well as any brand on Facebook, and they get fantastic engagement as a result. The competition is a win/win situation for any company. Remember to include products similar enough to make sense, and competitive enough for people to support only one.
CTA’s are a many-headed creature. On your landing page they may be ‘call 1-800-XXX-XXX for information’. On your marketing email they may be ‘click here to subscribe to our RSS feed’. On Facebook Posts, however, they can be as simple as Walmart’s above.
5 Great Example CTA’s for Facebook:
- Click here to find out more
- Get involved in the conversation on Twitter
- Share if you prefer A, Like if B’s your fave
- How are you spending your lazy Sunday?
- A/B test a trust symbol for your next entry form. See more top tips: bitly.Chl45
Check out these articles for more CTA optimization on Facebook:
- 5 Ways to Turn your Facebook Cover into a Call-to-Action that Converts
- The Top 8 Methods to Generate Email Leads Through Facebook
Top Tip #3: A couple of weeks ago Facebook updated their Edgerank Algorithm. Now, all Posts that ‘beg for Likes’ will be downgraded. Keep this in mind as you’re Posting.
5. Is my Post relevant to my audience?
Make sure your information isn’t out-of-date or boring. Make sure it’s something your fans would care about. A recent statistic, that only 16 % of Pages organically reach fans on Facebook, makes it all the more important that what does come through to your fans is worth seeing.
So how can I make my Posts relevant?
- Keep an eye on Twitter for the stories that are trending
- Pay attention to the news (both entertainment and world) to keep up on what your fans care about
- Take a look at your competitors Posts to make sure you’re not falling behind
How can I target my Posts?
I’ll discuss targeting more specifically in section 8. Stay tuned!
The Indianpolis Colts are a great example of an organization up-to-date with what their social media Followers care about. Each post they make during the NFL season is based around that day’s events. Their Facebook Fans want the most up-to-date information about players, injuries, trades and game highlights.
Just because you’re not a national football team doesn’t mean you can’t provide in-the-moment updates for your business.
Try out these templates:
- Our newest development that will change the way you track your demographics is in final code-tests. Are you ready?
- Conference in Florida is this weekend. Can someone check if we should bring storm gear?
- As of March 23rd at 1:10pm, the average Facebook business profile costs $ 5.26/Follower. Learn how to bring that number down: bitly.73jfr
Top Tip #4: Photo Posts get 120% more engagement than text Posts, and photo albums actually get 180% more engagement.
6. Have I directly promoted my product?
Of course a brand is on Facebook to promote their products. We as marketers know that, and the fans know that. But you never want to make it obvious.
You don’t want to make your Posts completely about your business, but you don’t want to make them completely irrelevant either. Try making Posts that are a great segway into what your company sells. For example, if you sell furniture, you should make Posts about home decorating techniques. Accountant? Make Posts about how frustrating it can be to fill out an income tax form.
The great image Home Depot uses below shows idealized images of their products (decking, gazebos, chairs, etc.). When coupled with a competitive question and only 66 characters, this post is a fantastic way to strengthen your brand’s Facebook profile without spamming your Fans with an advertisement.
How can you promote your products without… promoting?
- Use an image of your product in a fun scene (a nightclub, a bbq, the beach) with a question or fill-in-the-blank related to the scene, rather than the product
- Post a great statistic about your product without naming it: ‘A 2.9ghz dual core never looked so beautiful’ with an image
- Post images or descriptions of how difficult life can be without your service
- Include idealized images of your business’ subject: Showing the world’s most expensive hot tub will encourage people to buy a 2,000 dollar one from you
7. Have I targeted my Posts?
Targeting your posts using Facebook’s built-in targeting features is becoming essential. it means each Post you make is used as efficiently as possible, and not wasted on the uncaring (293,000 Posts/minute) masses. Targeting allows you to boost your Engagement Rate and overall Edgrank by only targeting your Fans who will be the most interested.
In order to target your Facebook posts, click on ‘Control who sees your posts in their newsfeed’ and then choose the demographic you’d like to target:
Other ways to target your audience:
- Target your audience with jargon or specific subject matter
- Use Facebook Promotions to boost a Post’s engagement
- Use hashtags and partnerships to further your Post’s reach
Coca-Cola’s Post (below) uses very specific subject matter to call upon a section of their demographic. Targeted Posts like this use the passion of a Facebook Fan for their hometown, religion, sports team, product loyalty, etc, etc. They can be extremely effective if used properly.
Keep in mind this strategy only works if you have a large enough following. If you’re still in the building stages of your brand’s social media profile, go for universal appeal instead.
3 examples of targeting your audience:
- Calling on all NFL fans! Do you prefer A) Our November Golden Ale or B) The Snowy Porter with the game?
- Hey Seattle, we’re hosting a Q&A with your hometown hero Steve Allen next Friday. What will you ask him?
- Congratulations to all June graduates! If you’re looking for work experience this summer, why not try Acme Accounting?
- ¿Estás listo para el fútbol americano? Encuentra todo lo necesario para ver el juego antes de que den la patada iniciál – example source
Asking these questions before you Post will help you see results on your Facebook Page. Remember to use Insights or A/B testing to learn the time and structure your Fans prefer. Try switching up your Posts with questions, fill-in-the-blank, product promotions and ‘Share vs Like’ competitions to keep your fans interested.