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February 2, 2012

Tips on Thursday: Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
I read an article recently and it had some interesting numbers on Facebook user engagement. Since Wordpress and Google Friends Connect parted ways many bloggers have created fan pages. Though GFC is still friends with Blogger, I've created a Fan Page on Facebook for Girl Who Reads. Authors have used Facebook as a means to connect with readers for a while (if you aren't you should look into adding it to your social media hangouts). Since it is so widely used and often in ways beyond just keeping in contact with far flung friends and family, I thought I would share the article from Book Marketing Expert with you.
The Myth About Being Liked (on Facebook)
These days it seems everyone is after "social proof," that elusive number of Likes or Followers that will make you seem part of the "in crowd." Unfortunately getting someone to like you is only half the battle, you must now get them to stay "in like" with you.

Studies show that the expectation of content does vary by age, but the direction is still the same: it's more than just getting someone to "Like" your page, you now must learn how to keep them. With all the social media options out there it's critical to not just build numbers, but maintain them, too. In order to do this, it's important to know what users want and when they want to see you post new content.

As I pointed out earlier, content expectations vary by age. For example, Facebook users between the ages of 18-26 have the lowest expectations of receiving something in exchange for their "Like" endorsement. When you go up the next rung, ages 27 to 34, they are more likely to expect something solid delivered in a Facebook update. But the users with the highest expectations, and those you are likely serving, is the 35-51 age group. This is also the group most likely to unlike a brand if it fails to meet expectations.

But it's not only about having great content, it's also about creating great engagement. A study done by evaluated 10,000 Facebook fans across 50 industries and found that certain posts leverage more engagement than others. Here are some of their findings:

  • Photo posts get 50% more impressions than any other type of post
  • Quotes get 22 percent more interactions
  • Questions generate almost twice as many comments
  • Ask questions to spark dialog (questions often see twice as many comments) and consider fill in the blank posts which tend to receive 9 times more comments than other posts
Now you have the content down, and you know about the types of posts that will get more play than others, is there more to posting than just content and post-type? You bet. There are also time-specific posts that often do better than others. Here are some quick tips on how to improve your Facebook Wall posts:
  • Posts delivered between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. tend to receive 20% higher user engagement
  • Best day for Fan engagement? Wednesday - up by 8%
  • How many posts does it take to increase user engagement? If you're thinking more frequent posts you are wrong. Posting one to two times per day produces 71% higher user engagement.
  • When it comes to Facebook more is not better, sometimes it's just more. Posting with 80 characters or less receives 66% higher engagement. Very concise posts, between one and 40 characters, generate the highest engagement.
Finally, users do vary. How can you really know if your fans are engaged with your content?

Understanding Facebook Content Interaction

Fan Pages now have a fabulous feature called Facebook Insights. Head on over there for some really interesting information and insightful (hence the name) data.

First, you can find Insights on the left side of your page. Once you're there you can see all sorts of data on the information you post.
  1. Reach: This is the number of unique people who have seen the post for 28 days after publishing the post.
  2. Engaged Users: These are people who have engaged with your post in some way: i.e. clicked the link.
  3. Talking about this: This is an interesting number and you've no doubt seen this pop up right under your "Likes." These actions are: liking the post, commenting, sharing the post, responding to a question, or RSVPing to an event.
  4. Virality: This is the number of people who have created a story from your page post.
Watch these numbers for some great insight into what fires up your fans and what leaves them cold.

It's not just about getting "Liked," it's about staying "Liked." Creating insightful, helpful, and engaging content is one piece to the puzzle, the other is timing and receptiveness of your fans. Though I've outlined 'general' user guidelines in this piece, be sure to check the Facebook Insights for key data that will help your fan base thrive!

Quick Ways to Promote your Facebook Fan Page

* Put your Fan Page URL in your signature line
* Email your newsletter list
* Add a Facebook Fan widget to your blog and website
* Add your Fan Page URL to your biz cards
* Tweet the link to your followers
* Notify your "Friends" on your personal profile that you now have a Fan Page

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.
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  1. This is so helpful! I actually took notes as I read. Thanks for reprinting this!

    1. Great! Most of the newsletters are about selling books, but occasionally there is information that is useful for the whole book community.