5 Data-Driven Ways to Get Your Facebook Post Seen by Your Audience
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5 Data-Driven Ways to Get Your Facebook Post Seen by Your Audience

If you’ve been struggling with Facebook lately for your brand page, don’t think you’re alone.

Between changes to the layout of brand pages, News Feed algorithm adjustments, and countless other tweaks and changes, marketers are constantly on their toes anticipating what’s coming next.

A current issue that many are facing is the decline of a post’s organic reach. Marketers have had their organic reach cut by more than half with their Page’s published posts.

This change is caused by a deeper underlying issue—the competition to get seen on a fan’s News Feed is higher than ever. At any given point a user logs into the Facebook platform, there are more than 1,500 posts that user could be shown.

In short, Facebook wants to bring the best quality content to users’ Feeds. Luckily, quality content is what all of us want to create! So rather than give up on the world’s largest and most popular social media platform, you can simply shift focus from what’s going on your brand pages to how to get your Facebook post seen on our fans’ News Feed.

TrackMaven analyzed 5,804 Facebook pages (each with a minimum of 1,000 Page Likes) spanning a total combined 1,578,006 posts to determine the attributes of the most impactful Facebook interactions. These are the top 5 most effective strategies for landing on a user’s News Feed, according to our data.

1. Schedule for more engagement

A marketer has a never-ending queue of tasks, which makes it essential to know the most effective times to post to social media.

In order to land a spot on a user’s Facebook News Feed, try shifting your scheduling strategy from posting during the most popular times in the workweek to the most effective times.

For example, although most of the work marketers put in happens Monday-Friday, the magic actually happens during the weekend. Posts on Sundays receive 2.72 interactions and are 25% more effective than a post on Wednesday.

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Studying time of day showed some similarly counterintuitive data. Posting during the weekday (particularly during lunch) is most popular (All the data to follow is based on Eastern Standard Time):

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But posts published after hours (from 5 p.m.-1 a.m.) gain the highest average of interactions on average.

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Both of these findings support the late night infomercial effect: When there’s little else on, you’re more likely to watch an infomercial. When there’s little else being posted, your posts are more likely to stand out.

2. Get visual: Images receive 37% more interactions

It’s a fact: the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

Facebook became the largest host of online photos in 2011, and it’s still a prime spot for visual content. 88% of the Facebook posts we studied are images, and they receive 37% more average interactions than those without photos. So stay visual!

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3. Punctuate your posts: Try an exclamation point

Punctuation is often times considered an afterthought. However, punctuation can convey the kind of emotional value that helps brands connect at a more human level. For example, we found that using exclamation points in a post correlates with more engagement.

An exclamation mark isn’t commonly used on Facebook—71.17% posts studied did not use them. But the posts that do use them see 2.7 times more engagement on average.

How many do you need? Overall, we found a positive correlation between post effectiveness and number of exclamation points. (A post with 7 exclamation marks receives 7.84 interactions on average. Now that’s something to get excited about!)

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4. Add hashtags for 60% more engagement

On any social network that offers hashtags, it’s generally a good idea to use them. They’re a relatively new development on Facebook, which introduced hashtags in 2013 to correspond with trending topics and to guide users to news and content on specific topics.

Fewer than 1 in 6 posts we studied contained hashtags, but those that include at least one saw 60% greater engagement results than those without.

How many hashtags gets you the best results? We found that post effectiveness is positively correlated with increasing hashtag use. Although posts with 1 or 2 hashtags did better than those with 3 or 4, posts that used a number of hashtags beyond 4 saw extraordinary engagement, peaking at 5.41 interactions per post at 7 hashtags.

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5. Write longer posts: 80-89 words is best for engagement

The 140 characters on Twitter limit the message a marketer can craft and optimize, but it’s much different for Facebook. With a “limit” of more than 60,000 characters, you could get carried away. But since the competition is high, as a marketer it’s important to optimize your messaging to the right amount of words.

33.09% of posts we looked at had a word count of 10-19 words and the majority (57.21%) kept their message short, at less than 20 words.

But our data showed a positive correlation between word count and post effectiveness. More specifically, posts of 80-89 words got 2 times as much engagement, topping out at 6.19 average interactions per post.

Surprising, right? One possible theory behind the increased effectiveness of longer posts is that they benefit from the intrigue of Facebook’s “Continue Reading” link.

According to psychology and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely, our brains have a tendency to shift our preferences towards things we invest energy into—a theory known as the IKEA effect. Users could be more likely to interact with these longer posts because they’ve invested more time in reading them, just like the way you love your IKEA furniture because you’re invested in it from building it yourself.

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Landing on a Facebook user’s News Feed is every marketer’s priority now. To increase your chances of getting there, first create the highest quality content for your audience.

Then try experimenting with these strategies on your own posts and see what your own data tells you. Here’s a recap of the top 5 most effective strategies to get your Facebook post seen on a user’s News Feed.

What strategies have worked best for you when it comes to increasing your Facebook organic reach? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might enjoy our Buffer Blog newsletter. Receive each new post delivered right to your inbox, plus our can’t-miss weekly email of the Internet’s best reads. Sign up here.

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is re-published with permission.

0701 SabelHarris 5 Data Driven Ways to Get Your Facebook Post Seen by Your Audience

Sabel Harris

Sabel is the Director of Marketing at TrackMaven, the competitive intelligence platform for enterprise marketers. The way to her heart is to spit out any '90s rap lyric, but she'll also settle for some characters on Twitter, too. Find her at @sabelharris.

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9 thoughts on “5 Data-Driven Ways to Get Your Facebook Post Seen by Your Audience

  1. Well… as my organic reach is at 1% & I don’t pay for posts, I reach pretty much hardly anyone. So all of your tips go down the drain hole. Quality is not what Facebook is giving out now, its all about $ so I see hundreds of women doing selfies, un-funny photos and videos… and less quality content, this has been my experience and everyone else I have spoken to.

    1. Magichappensxx,

      The trick to reach out to more organic search audience is through hashtags. And the article addresses it. Believe me, me too struggle to get audience who are not my ‘regular’ audience, and hashtags are the best way to reach out, when the post is made as public.

      All the best!

      – Venkat.

      1. Venkat- great advice for Magichappensxx. We have to grow the network to reach different/target audiences. For example, no one in my organic audience wants to talk about or ask me about the affordable care act- If I wanted to talk about recipes and my kids, I’d be flooded! LOL

  2. Hey Sabel,

    Thanks for writing this article. I didn’t know about a few of these ways to bring exposure to my FB page.

  3. Very useful post! Me too have always wondered that weekends and break times (lunch, tea time, and after dinner times) are the ones in which most people login to Facebook to take a look at what’s going on, and this post confirmed this!

    Absolutely agree with hashtags (7 to 8) to reach out more & more people, and the exclamation marks.

    Pictures? Oh, they are a must for Facebook, as personally I have found people liking and reading Facebook posts that have pictures than the pure text ones.

    One interesting new thing that I learnt is about the no. of words. Not too long, not too short – 80 to 90 words is optimum – for people who are time-pressed to go through all at their timelines!

    Great post! Thank you!

    – Venkat

  4. It is very true that post with image gets more engagements. I experienced it myself. Right now I am struggling with scheduling. I hardly get updates and content for posting. So posting frequency is very uneven. I guess my page feeds rarely appear on audience’s feeds because of this. Thanks for information on hashtags and long write ups. I will implement all your techniques.

  5. This is a great article but one thing to say about selecting about audiences.
    Selecting a particular audience causes less engagement and less post interaction and in the opposite view, if you choose to a wider audience, post engagement will be high but there will be unnecessary clicks that have a big impact on Pocket.

  6. i want to know my 2 pages have gone almost dead because of sharing some links on them, is there any way or suggestion to make their post reach right again ? ? …… Any tip ?