The last few weeks we’ve talked about how to create picture-perfect images for Instagram and other social media, how to write an epic blog post, and how to harvest the epic marketing power of Facebook. So today, I’m going to lead you further down the online marketing path by talking about how you can pull the most engagement out of your Facebook posts. This should really help maximize the social media aspect of your book marketing plan.
It used to be that Facebook posts unrelated to ads did quite well. This isn’t always the case anymore. And, since I don’t like to be forced into the ad funnel, I’ve done some research to find out if there was a better way to create engaging posts without spending money. Here’s what I found:
Pictures: Facebook posts with pictures drive more engagement. Period. Did you know that with the right picture you could boost your engagement by as much as 179%? To do so, you must find quality images. Images with stunning views, lovely scenery, smiling faces, you get the idea. Trip Advisor has turned this into an art form – they create simple yet stunning images and are able to foster great discussion. Check out their page to see this in action and get some great ideas for yourself. For example, a beautiful picture of a waterfall with the simple phrase: “Caption this,” got over 251 likes and 30 shares.
Memes: While memes are fun and great for sharing, they don’t really help with your engagement. For example, I shared a meme that got in excess of 300 shares (it was pretty darned funny) but it didn’t boost my engagement overall. So stick with stuff that’s relevant to your audience or even tied in some way to your book. Also, make sure to brand all your images with your web address so when that one Facebook post goes viral, people know how to find you. Once again, Canva can help you with this.
Posting Time: While making the most of the time you post is subject to your audience demographics, I find that that highest engagement is on a Sunday, which tends to increase by 52.9%. The best posting time window seems to be 10-11am EST. I know that’s early for you West Coasters (even more so if you live in Alaska or Hawaii), but if you’re really trying to build engagement, it could be worth setting an early alarm on a Sunday. Or schedule your Facebook post for the time you want it to appear.
Talking points: I mentioned Trip Advisor’s simple “Caption this” on their image. Did you also know that questions drive 162% more engagement? And I’ve tested this on both my personal profile and our Fan Page. It doesn’t have to be rocket science either. A simple “Do you agree?” can give your engagement a significant boost.
Post length: Three years ago, shorter was better on Facebook, but like so many things, that’s no longer true. Posts with 150-200 characters get on average 238 shares. Wow, right? I posted “5 Things I Learned This Week,” right after Prince died. It was really just about this odd new world where rockers from our youth are dying off. I wrote it, figuring no one would see it or care, but it got a lot of likes (in excess of 100) and a ton of shares as well.
What’s the takeaway here? There’s definitely still a lot of bite within Facebook, but indie authors (and other marketers) need to change as Facebook changes. Pay attention to what you’re clicking on, and then make your posts follow those guidelines.
Great points here! Thanks for writing these guidelines. West Coasters like myself could try Buffer (https://buffer.com/app) – a free post scheduling app – to get around the time difference. I use it to schedule early posts and tweets when I’m traveling and so forth.
Kris really good idea, thank you for sharing this one!