This post summarizes some findings from a recent research report about increasing engagement on Facebook and a couple of conversations about applying the research over on my blog Facebook page. I also tested some of the tips suggested by the research. Here’s what I learned:
After Hours Posting
I have been looking at different research studies, like this one “Posting Strategies That Encourage Engagement on Facebook” to see if there were more tactics to try. The screen grab above suggests that short posts, posts outside of business hours, posts at the end of the week, and posts that end with a question work best to increase Facebook engagement.
For giggles, I posted after business hours and noticed an uptick in comments. In the comments, Debra Askanase pointed to her post that detailed the study’s findings in the research study. Laura Lee Dooley posted the link to full study. So, I not only got more comments, but they added a lot of value.
Don’t Automate All Your Facebook Posts
If you’re thinking about using one of those helper apps that lets you pre-schedule posts to Facebook, don’t do it. Mari Smith explains why in this thread about scheduling apps:
I very occasionally use HootSuite to schedule posts on Facebook. I do 99% of all posts manually as it gets the best EdgeRank score (News Feed visibility). Facebook gives less weight to posts made via third party apps. They also can get collapsed in the News Feed (e.g. “see xx more posts by Twitter”) and I’m certain people don’t really click that link. 🙂
PostPlanner seem like really good peeps and a great app; they are in my hopper to take for a test drive. They assure me posts from their app don’t get collapsed in the News Feed… but that could be just because not that many people are using it yet.
Zane Mccolloch-Lussier suggested this post if you want to read more about EdgeRank score. Mari Smith also has a post here.
The research also suggests that asking questions works best for increasing engagement. John Haydon did a pattern analysis of different Facebook Wall posts that were questions “16 Ways To Get More Comments on Facebook” that illustrate different examples of questions. I riffed on the post to brainstorm questions for a fictional Mozart Festival since I was listening to Mozart while writing this post. Here’s the checklist.
Always Be Commenting
A few weeks ago, I came across a wonderful post by Guy Kawasaki, “How To Use Facebook To Enchant Your Customers” and having testing out some of the tips. The I love is “ABC: Always Be Commenting” – that you need to comment quickly, often, and respond to everyone. Jo Johnson over at the London Symphony is a master of this technique.
Repeat the Proven Stuff
Another tip is to repeat the proven stuff. I’ve been approaching this as reviewing your metrics, analyzing what scored well and posting similar types of content or at similar times. The article also suggests that you re-post the same winning Facebook content – that not everyone reads everything that is posted. I tested this here (June 1) and here (May 12).
What tactics have you tested to increase Facebook engagement?