Social Media 101: Crafting the Perfect Facebook Post

Every day you post something to your Facebook page. Sometimes you post a link to an article, while other times you are posting fun content featuring people around the office. You’re still trying to find something that works to get your audience to pay attention.

So far, it isn’t going to well.

How great would it be to know that your posts had the best chance of maximizing success?

Facebook posts, especially given the dramatic death in organic reach, can feel like a lost cause. I mean, Facebook itself is actively working against you. So you hang your head in resignation to your plight.

However, there are some things you can do to improve your post performance. In particular, we will look at how to build posts around shared content instead of simple text updates.

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Here are a few measures you can take to craft the perfect Facebook post.

1. Post Links

 
This one is critically important, and the reasoning came from a post by Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang, both Facebook employees.

We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen.

With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.

Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang, Facebook

In other words, people don’t like clickbait, so Facebook is rewarding those who post links with descriptive titles.

The way it works is pretty simple. Link posts take advantage of the meta tags from a webpage, including information on the page’s title and photos. When you paste a url into the update box on your Facebook page, Facebook pulls the information and automatically places it in a link format.

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2. Be Brief

 
Making your Facebook posts as brief as possible makes a lot of sense, but you might want to try and make them even shorter. That sounds crazy. But it turns out shorter posts get more audience engagement.

There have been a number of studies on the subject.

A Buddy Media study of 100 top Facebook brands found that 40 characters or fewer received the most engagement on average.

Other studies have shown similar results. A BlitzLocal study showed that of the 11,000 pages included in the study, engagement increased as posts got shorter. Additionally, Track Social noticed the same effect in its study: what they called “tiny” posts of zero to 70 characters saw the most engagement.

3. Non-Peak Publishing

 
Posting on Facebook is a competition. Every time you post, you are competing with thousands, millions of posts to be seen in your fans’ Facebook News Feeds. The way to win is to post when everyone else isn’t.

Your updates stand a better chance of making it through.

There is a wealth of research on this subject. My favorite is from HubSpot and TrackMaven. They found that the best window for a workday is between 5:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. If you want to see another bump in engagement, you can try posting on the weekend.

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Remember that work doesn’t stop at 5:00 p.m. People work different hours, and many of your clients take their work home or are very well connected when they’re away from the office. Think about it this way, you’ve probably read an article or clicked a link related to you job when you weren’t working. Your customers have too.

If you wanted to see more from the HubSpot and TrackMaven research, you can find the full infographic below.

080514_The-Nuts-and-Bolts-of-Facebook

Building the perfect Facebook post is scientific. There are a number of best practices, and a lot of research to back them up. Now it’s time for you to take these best practices, implement them, and see what works best for your business.
 

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