As the Facebook audience continues to grow and the average news feed gets more and more crowded, it’s gotten more challenging for small businesses to get attention on the social network. But with 79 percent of all online Americans using Facebook, you can’t afford to ignore it. How can you get better results from your Facebook efforts? In a recent study, BuzzSumo analyzed a whopping 800 million Facebook posts. Here’s what they found gets the most traction—and their top tips for improving your Facebook game.
- Keep your posts short. Posts with less than 50 characters got the most user engagement, the study found. Over 50 characters, engagement drops off substantially.
- Link to longer articles. Although people prefer actual posts to be brief, they like posts that link to longer articles. Articles between 1,000 and 3,000 words get the most engagement.
- Post at off-peak times. Less competition in the newsfeed equals more engagement for your posts—it’s that simple. The study found posts on Sunday and at low-volume times (like late at night) get more engagement. Try posting before or after business hours.
- A picture is worth 1,000 words. Images get more engagement than any other type of post, and videos are the type of content most likely to be shared. Work on creating shareable videos and photos. Facebook Live is a great option for short, attention-getting videos.
- Do you have an Instagram account for your business? Don’t post images via Instagram; images posted directly to Facebook get more engagement.
- Ask questions. Questions get more Likes on Facebook than any other type of post. They’re also a natural way to stir up users and get them talking to each other.
- Offer value. The ideal content educates users, providing useful information, but does so in an entertaining way.
- Post five times a week. This is the best frequency for boosting engagement.
- Try holding a contest. Giving away a prize attracts attention. You can build in requirements that get more people to your Facebook page. For example, have contest entrants share a photo and whoever gets the most Likes wins the contest.
- Mix it up. Include different types of posts—text, images, videos, questions, etc.
- Include calls-to-action. Don’t be shy about spelling out what you want customers to do (“Vote now!” “Share your tips!” “Click for an appointment!”)
- Combine organic reach with paid promotion. After you post something, BuzzSumo suggests giving it about 24 hours to gain traction organically. Then use paid promotion to boost it.
- Make it mobile-friendly. Over 90 percent of Facebook interactions take place on a mobile device. If you share videos, images or photos, make sure they can be easily viewed on a smartphone.
- Measure results. The results of this study don’t necessarily predict what your customers will do. Use Facebook’s analytics, your website analytics and other tools at your disposal to track the results of different Facebook approaches. This will show you what resonates with your customers.
- Stay focused. Make sure your Facebook strategy is serving your overall marketing strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in getting Likes and shares and lose sight of whether those Likes and shares are driving more people to your website, store or restaurant.
- Get professional help. Want to get better results from your Facebook efforts without a lot of effort? Enlist Facebook marketing experts who can help you build your audience, get more Likes and boost engagement.
This article originally appeared on Web.com