Buddy Media Report on Facebook Page Posts: Shorter Is Better, but Avoid URL Shorteners

Page management company Buddy Media has released a study based on 200 of its clients illustrating best practices for Facebook Pages looking to increase their fan base’s engagement — the volume of Likes and comments their posts receive. Key findings include: posts of 80 characters or less receive 27% more engagement, posts on Thursdays see the most engagement across industries, and posts including a full-length URL bring in three times as much engagement as posts using URL shorteners such as bit.ly.

The report also includes insights about which hours of the day have the most engagement, which weekdays have the highest engagement rates for different industries such as retail or media, and what call-to-action keywords receive the most engagement. Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review can help admins of any sized Page to increase the loyalty, brand affinity, and click through rates of their fans.

Buddy Media is one of the largest Page management companies, hosting over 600 clients including seven of the top ten global advertisers, more than 150 employees, and $38.3 million in funding. This past year, the company improved multi-Page and team-based management through its system, and released a training program for its tools called Buddy Media University.

The findings of this study were culled from Page posts made between January 30th and February 12th 2011 by 200 Buddy Media clients industries including  finance, food and beverage, media, retail, automotive, sports, and travel.

One finding that contradicts common sense is that engagement is highest at 4am, 7am, and 11pm, but that brands post the most during business hours. By posting early in the morning, late in the evening, or in the middle of the night, brands can take advantage of these odd usage trends.

While in aggregate, Thursday was the best day to post, there is a great deal of variance within different industries. For Pages of media publishers, engagement soars on Saturdays and Sundays, but plummets on Mondays. Instead of competing with the swell of media updates on Monday, media Pages will see higher engagement if they post on the weekends when users are primed to consume content.

When asking questions of fans, updates including the words “where”, “when” or “would” have much higher engagement than updates including “why” or “what”. This may be because the latter words may be perceived as challenging or intrusive, and users aren’t willing to take the time to respond. Posts including a question mark at the end had 15% higher engagement.

Information about what weekdays have the highest engagement rates for industries including food and beverages, and entertainment, or what keywords lead to the most participation in contests can be found in the full report, which can be downloaded in exchange for an email address. Such high quality data should generate interest from brands looking for a Page management company that can help implement these strategies for them, drawing more clients to Buddy Media.