What Facebook Wants

Bob Babcock Perfecting Social Media Leave a Comment

This story is not about the ego boost we all get when someone likes something you post on Facebook. This is about marketing and the results you are seeking for yourself or the client. What you post, when you post it and how matters. Facebook is not Twitter, nor Google+ and should not be treated the same. Facebook is the richest of the platforms and clearly the most widely used by almost double. Facebook is many things to many people, but it still remains an amazing source of eyeballs to help market just about anything, even yourself.

Maybe it’s just my friends, maybe not, but I’ve learned much about what gets people to engage with content I post. In short, people seem to be much more likely to respond when the content is endearing. Pics of my kids, thoughts about parenting, philosophical commentary, or food seems to get the most engagement. While my audience may be a bit unique, I’d imagine this is generally the same for most users.

While posting a promotion from my company may get a single like, an announcement that I got a new client might get 10, but stating that I just found a dream job that I love will yield 50+. People clearly like to be touched on an emotional level. I don’t typically plan my posts but I almost always know what kind of response I’m about to get. Several factors other than the actual content seem to affect the results. Here’s a breakdown:

1. Time of day

I can pretty much guarantee a 7am PST post will generate very little response right away. If great content, sometimes it will pick up steam throughout the day. The best times for immediate response appear to be 9-11am, 2-4pm and then 8-10pm. Depending on the type of content, each of these timeframes can yield the same result. As the day progresses, people are less focused on work and more on their lives, and content that is relevant here works best.

Without intention, my first post of the day is usually about my kids or something inspirational as my caffeine kicks in and my morning unfolds. Better stuff flows out of me on exercise mornings.

2. Day of week

Fridays and Sundays are quiet for me. No matter what I post, I generally get crickets. M-Th gets me the best results.

3. Photos

Sometimes photos help and sometimes they don’t. Posting one photo at a time will yield the best results. Multiple photos will get likes on the photos themselves and not on the actual initial post. While posting photos of the meal you are creating doesn’t need likes or comments, if its food you are trying to help someone sell, then it matters.

4. External links (like the ones soon to be attached to this blog post)

Often times sending someone to read a blog post will keep them from commenting on a post as they have been redirected and may or may not return to Facebook right away. Regardless, their page is likely to have refreshed and the content they will see will no longer be your post. If your goal is to get them to read your post and engage there, then this is an effective tool. That said, I find if you put a decent summary in the post on Facebook, the reader may like or comment ahead of reading your actual blog post.

In general, Facebook posts must be sincere. Posting just to post will lead to disaster. Transparency and quality content that is relevant to your audience, timely and properly placed will yield the best results. Speaking of transparency, have a look at this video (if you haven’t already):

While the folks who produced this video made it clear that they were marketing their new business, I’m pretty certain most viewers just thought it was another clever Christmas card. It wasn’t. It was marketing.

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