With over 1.23 billion active users (including 71% of online adults in the United States), a 94% increase in shared content since 2012, and enough spending money to buy several small countries, it’s clear that Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon. Smart marketers are already using Facebook’s impressive reach to their own advantage, but the network is still relatively new and constantly evolving. It’s hard enough to keep up with Facebook’s changing algorithms – how can marketers be sure they’re using Facebook strategically, not just “marketing at random”?
In addition to arming yourself with a rock solid social media tactical plan (click the link for a comprehensive sample plan, including high-level objectives and granular action items), marketers need to approach their Facebook strategy with the most up-to-date insights and stats.
With that in mind, I was excited to read a new report from competitive intelligence platform TrackMaven: The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook. This report analyzes 5,804 Facebook pages, spanning a total of 1,578,006 posts, and examining patterns in Likes, Comments, and Shares. As a marketer, this kind of data is invaluable – read on to get a prime sample of their findings:
Is There a “Best” Day to Post on Facebook?
TrackMaven focused their investigation on Facebook pages with – at minimum – 1,000 Likes. Of the 5,804 pages they analyzed, posts were published almost evenly throughout the workweek, but then then dropped off during the weekend.
The least popular day for Facebook posts is Sunday, on which only 8.73% of total posts are published. But if you look at effectiveness by day of week, weekend posts actually get a lot more engagement than those published on weekdays:
In fact, posts published on Sundays – the least popular day for posting – are 25% more effective, in terms of engagement (or average interactions per post), than posts published on Wednesdays. So while there’s no “best” day to post on Facebook, if you’re looking to tap into a little more engagement per post, why not experiment with some posts on the weekends? If you see increased engagement, make weekend posts a habit.
How to Make Facebook Work “After Hours”
To get a little more granular, TrackMaven also looked at the time of day most people post, and the time of day posts get the most engagement. Surprisingly, Facebook posts published after work hours (between 5pm and 1am) seem to get the highest engagement.
Keep in mind that because TrackMaven limited their report to official pages, rather than profiles, these posts were coming from brands, not people. So the numbers above show that we’re more likely to engage with brands (not just with our personal networks) during our own free time.
Marketers can find two key takeaways from that fact:
1) Schedule your posts. If you’re not using Facebook’s scheduler function to publish posts after work hours, you should definitely start. Scheduling posts ahead of time will keep your cadence steady throughout the evening.
As you can see below, scheduling posts on your Facebook Page is easy. Simply click on the clock icon below your message, and choose the date/hour. You can actually schedule these out as much as six months in advance.
2) Facebook is a “social” network, not a business network. As we’ve mentioned, consumers are now engaging with marketing messages on Facebook during their free time – in the midst of their personal social networking interactions.
So when you’re posting on Facebook, think about how your sales pitch will look amongst the wedding pictures and new baby photos…that’s right, not so good. Instead, use a conversational (maybe even humorous!) tone, and post content that is fun, entertaining, and human.
Higher Word Count Equals Higher Facebook Engagement
But while a simple, conversational message is key to successful Facebook marketing, you don’t want to dumb your message down. Although TrackMaven’s report found that the average length of a Facebook post is between 10 and 19 words (posts with between 0 and 9 words were the second most common), posts with between 80 and 89 words were actually the most effective:
In fact, posts with over 80 words they had twice the amount of engagement of any other post. This may be because of that intriguing “Keep Reading” link, but it also may be because Facebook users are interested in lengthier, more valuable content that tells a story — not sales pitches.
This has been only a small sampling of the practical, actionable data in TrackMaven’s new report. To read more Facebook statistics that every marketer should know, download The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook!