Guest post by Cari Bennette.
Are you getting the kind of response you want from your Facebook posts? You know, the kind where you get lots of reader engagement, ‘likes’ and clicks on your calls to action?
No? Then you’ve come to the right place, because we’re about to share some of the best online tips for writing successful Facebook posts. Ones that will help to increase your readers’ involvement, brand your business, drive traffic and convert into sales. Interested? Then please, read on…
Some Facebook Posting Basics
- Be yourself. Remember what Facebook is all about – it’s about being social. It’s an atmosphere that’s (mostly) fun and relaxed. When you’re posting, write as though you’re speaking to an individual, not a group. Find your voice, and share what interests and excites you, and build relationships for the long term.
- Be succinct where possible. Keep your posts short. The ideal length for retail brand posts is a very crisp and concise 1 – 40 characters, for reader engagement up to 86% greater than average. And posts of between 41 – 80 characters receive 66% higher engagement over the median.
- Post at optimal times. The majority of users don’t get on FB until after work, so plan accordingly. Between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. have been determined as the best time to post.
- Acknowledge and interact with fans. Just like your blog posts, if you want to be successful you must respond to your fans in a timely manner. Answer questions where you can, and a simple sign of appreciation is always appropriate.
- Master frequency of posting. Data shows that quality over quantity is more effective for reader responses. With the golden mean being 1 -2 status updates per day, for 32% higher ‘likes’ over more frequent posts of 3 or more per day. And weekly postings of 1 – 4 times per week receive 71% higher reader engagement than 5 or more weekly posts.
The bottom line is, show your fans some appreciation by not cluttering up their news feeds with irrelevant or trite information.
- Use images, but with discretion. The use of collages and stand-alone photos that are self-explanatory have been found to outperform single photos that need accompanying descriptive text.
- Use full-length URLs. Unlike Twitter, shortened URL’s on Facebook result in 3 times less reader engagement. They’re hard to relate to and look spammy, so ensure full length addresses for your readers’ peace of mind.
Some Advanced Ideas for Successful Facebook Posts
- Leverage your other channels. Determine what’s popular on your other social media channels, and devise a plan for incorporating them into your Facebook posts. And if a post is doing well on FB, give consideration to developing a series of related posts.
- Beware the Facebook hashtag. There is a difference in how a hashtag is used on Twitter and on Facebook – they don’t serve the same purpose or function.
On Twitter, a hashtag is a tool used to search for information. And on Facebook, it’s used primary to unify a series of posts and as a cross-platform tool to promote a campaign or contest. Some studies have shown a decrease in reader engagement when using hashtags on FB, so use with caution.
- Place your question at the end of your post. Asking a question can increase comments by 100%, and where you place the question is just as important. Posing your question mid-post can be distracting and confusing for your reader, who may think they need to respond immediately. Give them a chance to finish reading first, and then ask your questions.
- Use emoticons. When used “properly and sparingly”, emoticons can increase reader engagement up to 57% for likes, and 33% for sharing and comments. Strange, but true.
- Use sales keywords in your FB offers. When making your fans an offer, use the keywords they’re most likely to respond to. “$ Off” and “Coupons” lead the list of the top 10 sales keyword for reader engagement.
Readers seem to like having a specific dollar amount for cash discounts over the more elusive ideas contained in “% Off”, “Discount” or “Bargain”.
- Don’t be predictable. Change the routine and format up your posts with video links, photos, infographics, podcasts etc. Keeps your readers’ interest by offering a variety of content using different mediums.
- Create a little intrigue. Use emotions, curiosity and active words to sway and persuade your readers to join in and interact. Countdowns, posts revealing ‘secret’ or ‘key’ information and giveaways can all be used to pique your readers’ interest. Use them to create a “content journey” for them to actively participate in.
The Content Marketing Institute found that active and exciting keywords such as “revealed,” “unveiling,” “promised,” and “coming” builds interest and suspense about the brand and its product news.
- Brand your biz. Don’t be afraid to show a personal side to your business page. Share links, photos and shout-outs to information you find valuable and that your readers will as well. Sharing links for a local restaurant with a great lunch menu, an inspiring or educational book, or time saving software are all ways to expand your territory by sharing useful information.
In a nutshell, the best way to write successful posts on Facebook is to offer your readers content they’ll find useful, interesting and sharable. Make it consistent and relevant for greater reader involvement. And try to incorporate some of the above tips to create posts that with rock your Facebook page and maximize your readers’ engagement, interaction and enjoyment.
Cari Bennette is an experienced blogger and writing expert for Jet Writers – service that helps to improve and edit various pieces of writing. She likes to create engaging articles and provide social media tips. Circle her on Google+.