Facebook is becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for South African brands, with many organisations investing heavily in creating content to share on Facebook and dedicating resources to engage with their audiences.
As the usage of Facebook becomes more sophisticated, marketers need to start thinking more carefully about the content they post, when they post it and how they package it. But luckily there is an abundance of real-world data that marketers can use to craft Facebook strategies that better meet their overall business objectives.
Buddy Media – a Salesforce.com company – analysed user engagement from more than 1 800 Facebook Pages from the world’s largest brands over a two-month period. Here are some best practices for Facebook posting, gleaned from its data, that can help nearly any brand to improve Facebook engagement:
- Some days of the week are better than others for social media engagement, but this may vary according to the type of industry you are in. The data shows that mid-week is the best time for clothing companies to engage, while Mondays work well for retailers and weekends for entertainment, automotive, food and beverage and telecom brands.
- On the weekends, there is less clutter and competition for the user’s attention from news media and other brands.
- During the week, post between 8pm and 7am to present fans with content when they are not busy.
- Post once or twice a day at most, and space posts out to avoid posting more than seven times a week.
- Shorter posts of 80 characters or less get more engagement.
- Use photo attachments or text-only status updates to increase interaction.
- Show users a display URL on posts including a link, but track link clicks internally with a shortened URL.
- Ask questions and seek opinions to drive dialogue among the community – and put the question at the end of the post.
- Use ‘caption this’ and ‘fill in the blank’ formats to drive more comments.
- Use calls to action, as well as ‘gateway’, words like ‘winner’, ‘win’, ‘deal’ and ‘giveaway’.
- Don’t hard sell – use softer language to drive interaction.
As a closing note, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media engagement that will work equally well for all brands, all markets, all industries, and all social media channels. These best practices are a good starting point, but using a good social media monitoring tool to track social media engagement against the brand’s business objectives can help any organisation to create winning social media content.
Gordon Geldenhuys is head of online reputation management at Acceleration Media
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