Facebook recently tied up social ad-management software provider Buddy Media to study posting patterns on Facebook and identify the impact of posting habits on user engagement and popularity of posts.

The study by Salesforce Buddy Media attempted to find several aspects of customer behaviour and engagement on posts made by businesses on Facebook including comments and likes generated by different types of posts.

he main findings of the study are presented below. You can take advantage of these trends to get the most of Facebook for your business. The results show simple strategies businesses can implement to increase fan engagement with posts.

1. Shorter posts Receive 23% Higher Interaction

Posts containing 80 or fewer characters had 27 percent higher engagement rates than posts longer than 80 characters.    In spite of this, more than 75% of posts by businesses are longer than 80 characters.

Take Away:

Adjust your posts and make them concise in order to improve engagement.

2. Don’t Neglect Weekends:

Posts made over the weekend enjoy 14.5% higher interaction rate that posts made on weekdays. In spite of the higher interaction rate on weekends, it appears that businesses are not taking advantage of this trend. Analysis has revealed that only 14% of posts are published on Saturdays and Sundays.

Take Away:

Don’t neglect posting on weekends. This does not mean you need to work on weekends. You can take advantage of tools to schedule your posts.

3. Early Week Posts Drive More Engagement Than Midweek

While Monday and Tuesday receive decent interaction rates, brands should avoid Wednesdays, when interactions is 7.4% below average.

4. Out of Office Hour Posts Drive 14% More Engagement

Posts published by businesses during typical out of business hours i.e. between 8 in the evening to 7 in the morning receive 14% higher interaction than content posted during typical business hours i.e. from 8 AM to 7 PM.

In spite of the higher engagement during non-business hours, only 18% of posts are made during this time.

Take Away:

There is an opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this trend and boost engagement by posting during out of business hours in addition their normal posting schedule.

5. Posting 1 or 2 times a day Drives 19% Higher Engagement

The posting frequency on your Facebook page has an impact on engagement. The study found that businesses that post one or two times per day receive on an average 19% higher interaction rates than businesses that post three or more times per day.

Additionally, interaction rates are highest among businesses that post seven or less times during the week. Pages that post more than seven times per week see a 25% decrease in interaction rates.

Take Away:

The key is not to bombard fans with too many posts.

For best results, you should monitor your Page’s statistics to identify when your fans engage the most, and then post more frequently on those days (and less on the others).

6. Images Get 39% More Engagement Than Average

Posts that contain an image receive 39% higher interaction than average. Surprisingly, even regular text only status updates receive notable interaction rates i.e. 12% higher than average. Meanwhile, posts with links or videos drive fewer likes, comments and shares than average.

7. Full URL’s Get 16% Higher Interaction than Shortened URLs

This may come as a surprise to most. The study ghas found that long URLs receive 16% higher interaction rates than shortened URLs. This is likely to be because full long URL’s give users clear indication of the destination page.

Shortened URL’s however are better for tracking your performance which is a very important aspect of social media marketing.

Take Away:

Use both long and shortened URl’s together.

It is possible to use a combination of both long and shortened URL’s together. Tools like ConversationBuddy allow customisation of display URLs when publishing, while using shortened URL in the background to track clicks.

8. Posts With Questions Get 92% higher Higher Comments

The study has found that posts containing questions receive slightly lower overall interaction if you take all engagement methods into account e.g. likes, shares, clicks, etc, however they generate 92% higher comment rates than non-question posts.

Take Away:

If the main objective of your post is to generate comments from users, then take advantage of posts with questions.

9.  Placing Questions at the End Gets 15% Higher Interaction

Placing Questions at the end gets 15% higher overall interaction and a 2X higher comment rate than   in middle. The findings also suggest that where you place your questions in your post also has an impact on the interaction rate.

Posts that have a question located at the end have a 15% higher overall interaction rate and a 2X higher comment rate than those with a question asked in the middle of the post.

Take Away:

If asking a question, place your question at the end of the post.

10. Asking Users to Caption Images Gets 5 Times Higher Comments

The “caption this” strategy refers to asking users to add their own captions to an image posted on Facebook. Posts that use this strategy generate 5.5X higher comment rates than posts without this. In addition, “caption this” posts increase the overall interaction rate by more than 100%.

Take Away:

Use the “Caption This Image” strategy to boost interaction but take care not to overuse it.

11. “Fill in the Blank” strategy Gets 4 Times More Comments

Using a “fill in the blank” strategy, in which brands ask fans to add their own words or phrases to complete a sentence, is a great way to start a dialogue within a Facebook community. Posts that use a “fill in the blank” strategy receive 4X as many comments as those that do not. Therefore, if the goal for your post is to drive comments, leverage this clever strategy to learn more about you fans and drive conversations on your wall.

12. Posts With Emoticons Get 52% Higher Interaction Rates

Emoticons, in which users create facial expressions using punctuation.

Posts that contain emoticons receive 52% higher interaction rates. These posts have a 57% higher like rate, 33% higher comment rate and 33% higher share rate. Depending on the tone you take on Facebook, emoticons can be a great way to humanize your brand while increasing interaction (just use in moderation).

Conclusion:

Facebook marketing has become an essential component of any successfull Internet marketing strategy today. However, it takes time and effort to build your Facebook fan-base.  Businesses can take advnatage of the trends highlighted above to drive more engagement from users posts and get more out of their posts on Facebook.

What About You?

Do yo use Facebook for your business? Are you taking advantage of the posting strategies and trends above to get the most our of your posts? We would like to hear from you. Please add your response by leaving a comment below.