This is a guest contribution by Nick Stillman from If You Build It.
Facebook is an unbelievably potent marketing tool when used correctly. It is the largest social network in the world, with almost 1.60 billion active users every months – that’s nearly 20% of the entire global population.
Squeezing The Most out of Your Facebook Posts
Many of these people spend more than an hour a day on Facebook – more than any other social network. This is because it relies heavily on input from other sources and most of the users on Facebook are actively seeking out for external content. This is why it could be the most powerful tool on the web for driving traffic to your blog.
Facebook is an unbelievably potent marketing tool, however there are a few key things to remember to ensure its full potential is reached. Your content will thank you for it.
It’s All About Timing
When you make a post on your Facebook account, only those who ‘like’ your page will see it, but not all of them. Only a certain number of those who ‘like’ your page will see your post and this will depend on what is called your ‘organic reach’ – there are many different factors that can affect this. One of these is how many other posts your post has to compete with, and this is why timing is everything.
While the engagement that your posts usually get is very important in growing your organic reach, timing your posts correctly is crucial in making sure as many people see what you’re sharing as possible. Your Facebook feed can only show a limited amount of content, which means that if you are trying to post when there is a high volume of ‘competition’ on your audiences’ feed, there is a lower chance that your own post will make it on there.
While it may seem that the best time to post is when the most users are online, it’s actually when the least amount of posts are being made that you will actually get the most engagement.
This means that during the daytime, when more users are posting online, there is too much ‘competition’ on Facebook feeds. In reality, the best time to post to get a greater organic reach is between 9pm and 11pm.
Picking Your Days
Though you need to be posting regularly (everyday preferably), you still need to pick days to deliver your key content when they are likely to be engaged with the most.
Contrary to popular belief, weekdays are not the best days to post. In fact, weekdays yield significantly lower interactions that weekends. Sundays are the best days to post, with Saturdays not trailing far behind.
This could be for a number of reasons, including people’s attitudes on weekends, the time they spend on social media and the time they have free to engage with content. There is also likely to be less competition on weekends, seeing as most businesses post more during the week.
Though you need to keep a constant flow of activity on Facebook, it’s a good idea to pick your most powerful, engaging or most important content and save those for the weekend.
Upload Your Videos
Videos are powerful tools on Facebook – they are engaging, easy to digest, easy to access and promote sharing between users.
However, a recent study from Buzzsumo revealed that videos that were uploaded directly to Facebook from your computer – rather than an embedded link from third party sites such as YouTube or Vimeo – yielding significantly better results.
This might mean that if your business is creating video content is it best to upload directly to Facebook as well as a third-party site such as YouTube, ensuring higher social media engagement and a wider reach.
Thinking About The Best Type of Content
Facebook is an extremely fleeting stimulus source. This means that your content has to be engaging and, most of all, eye-catching.
The types of posts that you can make to Facebook can be broken up into 6 categories: questions (text), images, videos, links, giveaways, coupons/discounts. Studies have shows that questions are an extremely effective way to both catch the eye of an audience, and also invite a response.
However, questions on their own perform the worst out of all 6 categories. These kinds of posts are the most potent when coupled with engaging imagery or a video, and tend to be commented on, liked and shared the most.
Don’t Be Too Wordy
The length of your Facebook posts need to be as carefully considered as any other facet of your social media outreach. Seeing as the majority of text posts will be coupled with a link, image or video (as they are they most effective types of posts), there is little need for lengthy, superfluous text in your Facebook posts.
Overall, the shorter the post, the better. Posts with under 100 characters tend to be the most effective (5-20 words – that’s the sweet spot). Anything over 300 characters is too much.
We understand you need words to grab your audience, but they key is to inform in the most concise and enticing manner possible. The more words you use, the quicker you’ll lose your audience.
Consider Your Use of Hashtags
Hashtags have become an incredibly powerful social networking tool throughout a number of platforms. They are excellent means for directing traffic to a post (blog post, Tweet, Instagram post – you name it), honing in on a very specific audience. On many different platforms posts without any hashtags lose a lot of impact and visibility, however, on Facebook, they tend to be quite detrimental to your posts’ engagement.
Facebook isn’t a particularly ‘hashtag friendly’ platform – not in the way Instagram or Tumblr is – and as a consequence, they can actually damage the appeal of your posts to the general Facebook audience. Unless they have a purpose (i.e. irony, or a hashtag campaign) they tend to be viewed as superfluous and even unprofessional, so save them for your ‘hashtag-friendly’ platforms.
Using External Tools To Post To Facebook
The power of social media lies in its connectivity. Most networks rely on the ability to share between different platforms, because the majority understand that most users spend time on multiple platforms each day.
When it comes to Facebook, there are a number of different ways to post content onto your feed. One of these is through external sources such as Instagram and Twitter. While both of these platforms are popular external platforms, Instagram is far more effective in engaging audiences.
When it comes to posting images, doing so via Instagram’s post to Facebook option can be a very powerful tool for inviting interaction. In fact, a study by Buzzsumo revealed that it was even more effective than posting to Facebook itself when it comes to boosting likes on a post.
There is no ‘correct’ way to manage a Facebook account. However, there are a few simple rules to ensure you are harnessing the full potential of its incredible capabilities as a marketing tool – otherwise you are really just shooting yourself in the foot. The guide above is a great starting point to make sure your Facebook activity is as optimised as possible. They are by no means strict rules as such, but are more like fundamentals that should be at the back of your mind when using the platform.
There are countless variables which will affect how you conduct yourself on Facebook, and some of the guidelines above may be utterly useless in what you are trying to achieve. However, following even just a few of them will ensure you are boosting the unprecedented potential that Facebook has as a crucial way to drive traffic to your blog.