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Want to create engaging Facebook content? Use this framework

Posted by Chad O'Connor  March 11, 2014 06:00 AM

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With your customers spending more time on Facebook than they do on Google, creating an engaging social experience has become a top priority for businesses. But as most social marketers know, creating quality content on a consistent basis can be a big challenge. At Splashscore, our Influencer Activation Engine (TM) analyzes 100 million Facebook posts per month, enabling us to understand what engaging Facebook content looks like. Here is our framework for creating quality Facebook content:

Add Open Graph Image Tags on your website.
Photos get 48% more likes, 96% more comments and 78% more click-throughs than link or text-based posts. That being said, as a marketer, you want your customers to click the photo and then be directed to your business website. To accomplish, you need to specify the image Facebook should display for your link via open graph meta tags.

Shorter posts are better.
While Facebook doesn't have a limit on the number of characters you can use in a post, keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than you might otherwise see. Additionally, adding line breaks between sentences drives 47% more engagement than posts that have a single paragraph block of text.

Convey emotion with emoticons. =)
Social networking is all about creating relationships through human conversations. A key component to any conversation is the emotional tone being used, but that can be hard to convey with words and images only. That is why posts with emoticons get 57% more likes, 33% more comments, 33% more shares than posts without emoticons.

Always use social Calls-to-Action.
You should think of your Facebook page like you think of your website landing page, and each post as a Call-to-Action (CTA) button. Here are some examples of CTAs to use on Facebook: "LIKE if..." "COMMENT if..." "SHARE if..." "TAG a friend who..." You can even combine multiple CTAs in the same post.

Apply the 80-20 Rule to post topics.
No one likes a never-ending sales pitch about your business. We recommend using the 80-20 rule when it comes to creating posts related to your company. That means 80% should not contain your company name, products or services in the post. Remember that you're building relationships around conversations, and who likes having a conversation with the car salesmen everyday? Here is a guide for choosing engaging topics for your Facebook posts:

Schedule your posts carefully.
There is no secret that certain times of the day are optimal for Facebook engagement (we recommend between 11am ET and 8pm ET), however you should also schedule your posts using Facebook interface. While tools like Buffer and HootSuite have other advantages, Facebook reduces the engagement your posts receive by 67% if they are published via a third-party.

Make sure to #HASHTAG your posts.
We recommend using hashtags in your Facebook posts for three reasons. First, they expand the reach of your post to non-fans who are following a topic, but not your business. Second, they allow for cross-platform promotion, which is critical if you want to have a consistent message across all your social network communities. Third, they allow you to highlight posts as being connected to a specific campaign, initiative or event. For many large consumer brands, the hashtag can become the entire campaign.

Strive for Comments versus Likes or Shares.
They might take more effort on the part of your fans, but comments drive 3x more views and clicks on your post than likes or shares. Social CTAs can help drive comments, but so can asking questions. We've found that posts containing questions receive 2.4x more comments, but fewer likes and shares. Also, questions containing "should" "would" or "who" perform better than "when" "what" "why" or "how" questions.

Now that you are armed with some pointers get out there and start creating some great Facebook content!

Lyle Stevens is Founder and CEO of Splashscore, the influencer activation platform for Facebook. You can follow @thelylestevens and @Splashery for more content on improving Facebook performance.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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