Companies should consider the day, time and content when writing posts.
Companies that post content on their Facebook pages outside normal business hours see engagement rates that are 20% higher than average, according to new data from Facebook marketing software company Buddy Media.
Buddy Media analyzed the Facebook posts and engagement rates for more than 200 clients over the course of two weeks in January and February 2011. The agency measured engagement by looking at comments and “likes,” and factored in fan base size.
According to Buddy Media, 60% of posts were published between 10am and 4pm. However, many Facebook users prefer to log on to the site before or after work, and their engagement with company posts is higher during those times.
By timing content to post when consumers are poised to be on Facebook, companies have a greater chance of being seen in a fan’s newsfeed. Additionally, the study found that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday than the other days of the week.
But that isn’t to say that marketers should only post on those days. Amy Morgan, public relations and social media manager at ConAgra Foods, is part of the team that oversees a Facebook page for Chef Boyardee’s Club Mum program targeting moms. The company posts several times a day.
“When you talk about building a community and building engagement, you need to have a consistent conversation,” Morgan said in an interview with eMarketer on February 22. “As far as Facebook, we post usually once or twice a day. It ebbs and flows, but once or twice a day is usually good.”
While the timing of posts often determines how engaged fans will be, their content is also important. Buddy Media found that shorter is better, as posts with 80 characters or less have a 27% higher engagement rate. Certain words also encourage engagement, particularly those that are instructions such as “like,” “post,” “take” and “comment,” as does asking a question at the end of a post.
For the Club Mum Facebook page, Morgan said that asking fans about their children is an easy way to get them to comment on a post. She said, “It’s about making this personal and really allowing the community to help build that conversation.”