In the last 20 minutes.
How to stand out?
1. Be brief
Ideal length of Facebook update = 80 characters. That’s about a line and a half of text on Facebook.
Go over 80 characters, and people stop reading. In fact engagement is 27% lower for longer posts.
So work hard keeping them short! Your 80 has to include your post, plus any call to action or request.
Positivity = maximum brownie points in social media.
Research shows that people generally engage more with posts that are positive than those that are negative. (Unless you socially network with a bunch of depressed nihilists who are never happier than to pick holes in life, of course).
So keep your posts upbeat. Look for affirming things to say. Look for the thing you genuinely find positive and post about that. Like this…
- NO “Facebook stop changing everything, I can’t keep up”
- YES “Did you spot this new FB feature that lets you do A, B and C? Really useful.”
Don’t go all Stepford Wives on us, though. We reserve the right to unfriend you if you develop a fixed glassy stare and insist that you love paying taxes.
3. Talk, don’t tell
It’s not a pronouncement (“Listen to me”). It’s a conversation (“What do you think?”). So don’t leap in with a tale all about your day. Start by saying ‘Anyone else had a day like this…’, or ‘What kind of day are you having?’.
4. Ask for an action
OK they read it. You connected. Great. But it’s passive and you need to encourage a bit of action to cement the relationship. So ask your reader to do something. Make it easy. Make it small. Tell them why. And tell them how.
- Ask for their opinion
- Ask for their experience
- Ask for their feedback
- Ask them to ‘Like’ the comment if they agree
- Ask them to ‘Share’ if they want to show this to others
Danger… Some people find a final few ‘action’ words they like, and use them over and over again. (Here’s a picture… what do you think? Here’s a video… what do you think? Here’s a thought… what do you think?).
It’s OK. But a bit lame. It sounds contrived not conversational. So mix it up a bit, eg:
- What do you think?
- When was the last time you did this?
- Who do you admire who does this?
- What’s the most important thing about this for you?
- Where have you seen this before?
- What was the last book you read on this?
- Who do you rate on this? Who do you hate? Why?
- Is this a load of rubbish?
- What’s your favourite?
- Like this post if you agree with it.
- Share it if you want your friends to see it too.
- Which of your friends might like to read this? (And tag them in your response)
5. Include a picture
It gets you noticed. In a wall of text, your eye naturally goes to the pictures. So don’t just post sparkling text. Post eye-catching pictures to go with your sparkling copy.
It gets you better ‘real estate’ on the page. A picture means you’re more likely to appear in the central section of a person’s FB news feed. That’s the valuable place on the page. They stay around longer. Post just a text update and you might only end up in someone’s news ‘ticker’ (the bit constantly refreshing and running down the right hand column. Here today, gone in seconds.)
It gets you brownie points with Facebook. FB prefers updates that people find more interesting. So if people tend to go for pictures, then pictures are deemed to have more value. QED, photos give you a boost in the rankings.
Share your success stories below…
That’s the theory. So what’s YOUR experience? What have been your most popular Facebook posts? What got high responses, or what got shared multiple times? Feel free to share your success stories below in the comments.