Optimizing Facebook Engagement: What Message Content Works
In recent weeks we've discussed that there are many things you can do to increase the engagement levels of your posting activity on Facebook. Post Type, Frequency, Size and Timing all impact how people respond to posts.
However the most critical aspect of a post is surely what it actually says.
Should your brand self-promote? Answer: Perhaps.
Can you raise your engagement by asking questions? Answer: Not really.
Can you blatantly ask for Likes and Comments without alienating your Fans? Answer: Definitely.
Every brand, product and target audience is different, so perfecting type of content is a unique process for each brand. However Track Social has studied the message content of posts of 100 of the most engaged large brands on Facebook, looking for patterns that might be broadly applicable.
Not surprisingly telling your audience what to do does have a significant impact.
Explicit calls to action get the best response.
The best way to get people to comment is to ask them to caption, or fill in the blanks, followed by asking them to comment explicitly. The best way to get people to Like a Post is to ask them.
Mentioning a Brand's name in the post had a mildly positive impact on response level, though we saw this vary a lot from brand to brand.
Surprisingly, posts that asked questions performed worse than average, because despite resulting in more Comments, people were not disposed to Liking a question.
As always, we need to reinforce that these are aggregate results. We observe a lot of variation between brands, and it is critically important to consider each specific situation and analyze each brand on its own merits.
It is also key to understand that individual posts should not be viewed in isolation. While caption posts may be the best performing post we have identified, if all a brand used was caption posts their audience would probably tire and stop responding.
Here are some general rules of thumb to help create your perfect messaging mix:
- View Facebook content as an integrated program, incorporating variety
- If you want an action, often asking for it directly is the best way to get it
- Captioning is a way of encouraging engagement less explicitly
- Questions do encourage increased response via Comment, but actually reduce response via Like
- Mentioning your own name can be a positive
Morgan J. Arnold is a marketing entrepreneur with a PhD in Engineering. Morgan is CEO of Track Social, the leader in Engagement Optimization.
Track Social monitors, aggregates and analyzes the Social Media accounts of thousands of businesses across multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Track Social provides a self-serve Analytics Platform as well as ...
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