Yesterday I shared some new research findings aimed at answering important questions about how best to increase Facebook engagement, an increasingly important objective for nonprofits. Part one of this two-part series focused on how long posts should be, and when to post them for best response. Today’s post is about what kind of content is most likely to engage people.
Today’s tips, based on Buddy Media’s research:
1. Posts that end with a question have a 15% higher engagement rate. I wonder why that is? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
2. The best question words are: “would,” “should,” “when,” and “where.” Buddy Media suggested that “would” may have the greatest response because people often use the “like” button instead of answering yes. You know – one key stroke vs. four! “What” is a commonly used question word, but it had the lowest engagement rate.
3. Be direct and ask for the “like.” By using simple instructions about what you want friends to do – “post this” or “like this” – you stand the best chance of getting them to take an action.
4. When running promotions – something that nonprofits are increasingly trying on Facebook, too – use terms that don’t sound too “salesy.” Words that were associated with higher “likes” or “comments” were: event, winner, win, offer, new, brand-new and “entry.” Words that were negatively associated included: promotion, coupon, discount, exclusive, and limited.
Beth Kanter adds these tips based on feedback from her extensive contacts with social media managers:
5. Don’t use a tool like HootSuite to pre-schedule publishing of posts. Facebook’s mechanism for selecting items to appear in the News Feed discriminates against posts that come through third-party applications.
6. Remember your ABC’s: Always Be Commenting. Reward people for posting by responding to them as quickly as possible.
7. Don’t be afraid to re-post content that had great engagement. As Beth points out, not everyone reads everything that is posted (like me!).
And while I’m on my Beth rave, be sure to check out her blog post with 25 ideas for SMART social media objectives. Some great, measurable ideas here… although (as she notes), it can be very difficult to know what you should be benchmarking against, to choose the right quantitative targets.