Approximately 60% of Facebook branding posts are published from 10 AM through 4 PM, indicating brands are most active with their posts during core business hours (EST), according to [pdf] a study released in October 2011 by Buddy Media. Data from “Strategies for Effective Facebook Posts” reveals that after 4 PM, the number of published posts steadily decreased.
However, brands that posted outside of business hours (early morning, at the finish of the work day and late at night) had engagement rates approximately 20% higher than average.
End of Week Best Time for Posts
Almost nine in 10 (86%) of posts are published between Monday through Friday, with user engagement on these posts peaking on Thursday and Friday. Generally speaking, Buddy Media data indicates that means the best time of the week to post is toward the end of the week.
This finding coincides with data recently revealed by Facebook showing that the “Happiness Index” on Facebook spik es by 10% on Friday. Engagement rates fall approximately 3.5% below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday, with engagement rates on Saturday being 18% below average. However, engagement rates ultimately vary by industry.
‘Like’ and ‘Post’ Best Commands
The top two keywords, “like” and “post,” both have positive comment and ‘like’ rates, which Buddy Media says suggests the basic fundamental rule is to keep it simple. Liking a post requires the least amount of effort asked of a user, so Buddy Media advises if brands want users to like a post, they should tell them outright because they will listen.
Softer Sell Keywords Resonate Best
When running a contest, sweepstakes or other promotional offer, softer sell keywords resonate better with users as opposed to more direct or aggressive language like “contest,” “promotion,” “sweepstake” and “coupon” keywords.
Two of the top five promotional keywords were “winner” and “win,” suggesting fans are open to a contest or sweepstakes type of promotion when the correct tone is set in the Post. Buddy Media advises win/winning keywords give fans something to get excited about rather than feeling they are being sold to.
- Posts between one and 80 characters had, on average, a 27% higher engagement rate, yet only accounted for 19% of all posts.
- Despite the popularity of URL shorteners, Buddy Media research revealed that engagement rates were three times higher for Posts that used a full-length URL.
- Posts that end with a question (rather than having it at the beginning or middle) have a 15% higher engagement rate.
- “Where,” “when,” “would” and “should” drive the highest engagement rates (but are used less frequently, leaving an opportunity for brands to increase use of these keywords).
‘Dollars Off’ Best Retail Facebook Keyword
The keyword “dollars off” in a retail offer-related Facebook post provides the highest user engagement out of 10 popular choices, according to a September 2011 report from Buddy Media. Retail offer-related posts including “dollars off” receive a 55% higher than average engagement, followed by posts containing “coupon,” which have engagement 39% above average.
About the Data: All Facebook posts made via the Buddy Media Platform by a sample size of 200 Buddy Media clients wer e analyzed for a two-week period (Januar y 30, 2011-February 12, 2011). Likes and comments made to these posts were also analyzed.