Facebook Study Shows Brand-Related Posts Drive Highest Engagement

    by Pamela Vaughan

    Date

    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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    What's the secret to an engaging Facebook business page? According to the results of an internal study revealed by Facebook yesterday, posting content about subjects related to your brand is your best bet. The study sought to identify how post topics relate to engagement, which can help marketers understand which of their content is the most effective at getting fans to engage with their Facebook business page -- both organically, and through Facebook ad and Sponsored Stories promotion.

    About the Facebook Study

    Facebook's study looked at four weeks' worth of page posts from 23 brands spanning six industries, and Facebook categorized each post into one of three buckets:

    1. Posts About Products or Services: e.g. "Our new resort just opened! Book your trip today." (Facebook's travel brand example)
    2. Brand-Related Posts: "I decided to go on my first cruise because______." (Facebook's travel brand example)
    3. Posts Unrelated to the Brand: "Hang in there everybody. Monday will be over before we know it!" (Facebook's travel brand example)

    Study Results

    Overall, Facebook found that posts that fell into that second bucket (brand-related posts), were the most significant predictor of page engagement.

    And remember, according to Facebook, an 'engaged user' is a person who has clicked anywhere on your post. In other words, engagement means that a person has performed an action on your post, such as liking it, sharing it, commenting on it, clicking on a link you share, viewing a picture, watching a video, answering a question you pose, RSVP-ing to an event you post, etc.

    Facebook also reported on several content posting best practices to consider, depending on your Facebook marketing goals:

    • Goal = Generating Shares: Facebook recommends posting about topics related to your brand and leveraging photos, photo albums, and video content.
    • Goal = Generating Likes: Facebook suggests posting about topics related to your brand and using a clear call-to-action, such as "Like this if ..."
    • Goal = Generating Comments: Again, make the post about your brand, and spark discussion by posing a question in your post.

    Pair Best Practices With Your Own Facebook Page Insights

    Overall, the results from Facebook's study are probably what you'd expect. It's easy to understand, for example, why a reliance on product-specific posts would generate less engagement. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a user is following your brand on Facebook, they've already had some initial interest in your brand that made them want to follow you. As such, posting content unrelated to your brand -- like the latest internet meme that has nothing to do with your business -- is unnecessary. So it's understandable that going the middle ground, and focusing on brand-related content, is the best driver of engagement.

    That being said, marketers should pair this knowledge with the data they gather from their own page's Facebook Insights to make the best decisions about their Facebook content strategies. To learn how to analyze your Facebook Insights to inform your content strategy, check out our informative blog post and video on the subject.

    And hey, if your brand can be incorporated into that popular new internet meme, go for it! HubSpot's own Facebook page has had success with this very tactic, which is evident by the screenshot below.

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    What do you think of the Facebook study? How does your Facebook content strategy stack up according to Facebook's content recommendations?

    Image Credit: Sean MacEntee

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