11 Proven Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement Levels [Research]

Man bored by Facebook posts

Don’t bore your fans with the same old stuff

Most of us go along posting the same old things to our Facebook page, without giving too much thought to how we could be improving our engagement levels.  It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of posting – for example – witty cartoons and links to your latest blog posts. And while there’s most definitely a place for that, it can get old and stale after a while; for you and your fans.

So what does the research tell us about how to increase engagement levels (meaning likes, shares and comments)? What are some proven best practices in terms of post types, best times to post, length of posts, and responding to posts?

I’ve compiled a list of 11 proven techniques that will give you the best chance at increasing your Facebook engagement rates. Keep in mind that every business and niche may be slightly different, so be sure to test these out on your own page.

1. Keep most of your posts to 80 characters or less.

Posts that are 80 characters or less receive 23% higher interaction rates than longer posts (source: OPEN Forum). While there’s nothing wrong with posting longer, more information-rich posts from time to time, try to keep the majority of your posts under 80 characters for maximum engagement.

 Playstation 4 Facebook short post

 

2. Use images as much as possible (and try not to use people in them!)

We’ve known for a long time that posts with images receive more likes, shares and comments than those without. Here are some statistics that really drive this point home:

  • Posts with images receive 39% more engagement than those without (source: OPEN Forum)
  • Photos on Facebook pages receive 53% more likes than posts without (source: Wishpond)
  • Photo posts attracted 104% more comments than those without (source: Wishpond)
  • Posts that included photo albums receive 180% more engagement than the average post (source: Wishpond)
  • Images without people received 17% more engagement than those with (source: Convince and Convert)

Disney Facebook image post

3. Use Facebook native videos rather than YouTube

Facebook videos received 40% higher engagement than YouTube links (source: Social Bakers). Basically this just means that when you share a video within a post, upload it directly to Facebook rather than linking to the video on YouTube.

Facebook video uploader

 Using Facebook video uploaded leads to higher engagement levels.

4. Don’t be afraid to use emoticons

I know it can feel silly to use emoticons in your Facebook posts, but if it’s appropriate to your personality and business type, give it a try. Posts with emoticons receive 33% higher share rates, 33% higher comment rates, and 57% higher like rates (source: OPEN Forum)

Open Forum emoticon data

5. Post at the ideal times

Posting weekdays from 1-4pm will increase engagement levels (source: OPEN Forum). While this is great information to have in your arsenal, be sure to test this out with your own fans. For instance, if your niche is stay at home moms, keep in mind that 3pm will be right around school ‘pick up’ time. And obviously for us Aussies, the ‘absolute best time’ to post –  3pm EST – can probably  be disregarded :)

Open Forum Facebook Best Times Data

6. Think about mobile

51.4% of total Facebook post engagement comes from mobile devices (source: ShopIgniter 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report). This means you need to keep in mind factors like:

  • How can I tailor my posts to those accessing them via mobile?
  • What times of day are my fans most likely to be on their smartphones?
  • Are my images sized correctly for mobile?

7. Make sure your blog posts have images to take advantage of image links

Posts with image links receive 69% more link clicks (source: Edgerank Checker). This means that if you want to share a blog post, but the post doesn’t have any images, you could be missing out on bonus reach and link clicks.

Facebook image links

8. Use caption posts

Caption posts  – posting a picture and asking fans to ‘caption this’ – increases comments by 5.5x (source: OPEN Forum).

Wishpond suggests finding new images to use by checking out Reddit; by looking through the most popular photos of the day, you’ll already know which ones have the ability to capture attention and engage people. Images of kids, pets or comical situations are always good choices for these types of posts.

Open Forum Caption Data

9. Respond to complaints within 1 hour

25% of people who use Facebook (and Twitter, for that matter) to complain expect a response from the brand within 1 hour (source: OPEN Forum). This doesn’t leave a lot of room for brands to twiddle their thumbs! While 6% expect a response within 10 minutes (!), I think most business owners and marketers will agree this is simply unrealistic. Make it your goal to respond within about an hour to any negative feedback or complaints.

Open Forum 25% of complaints

10. Ask questions to increase comments

Question posts receive more comment, but fewer likes and shares (source: HubSpot). If it’s comments you’re looking to increase, try asking questions. If it’s likes or shares, there are better ways to get them! According to Hubpot, question posts receive slightly higher action rates than non-question posts.

Hubspot Facebook Question Stats

 

11. Offer coupons

Campaigns that promote coupons receive higher engagement than any other types of campaigns  (source: Wildfire Interactive, via Mashable). Giveaways and sweepstakes follow closely behind. Since many people ‘like’ a brand’s page simply for the contests, deals and coupons, this shouldn’t be surprising. Be sure to regularly use your Facebook page to help your fans win something or save money.

Wildfire coupon data

 

 

Well there you have it. 11 proven ways to increase your engagement levels on Facebook. As mentioned previously, be sure to test these strategies on your own Facebook page to make sure they hold true in your niche. At the very least, these techniques will give you a great place to start your own testing!

What tips or techniques have you found to boost your engagement levels? Have you disproven any of the above strategies in your business or niche?  Share below!

 

Some images courtesy of Social Bakers

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