How to Optimize Twitter and Facebook Posts for Higher Engagement
Your social media efforts may be a waste of valuable time if you aren’t armed with a few facts about how people use Twitter and Facebook. Before you post anything else on either site, read these statistics compiled by Buddy Media — and consider the following tips (based on its findings) for optimizing your activity.
Facebook has more than 1 billion users. The problem with putting a billion people in one place is that it’s hard to stand out. Here’s how to increase your odds of capturing their attention.
Best days to post: Optimum days vary by industry, but the weekends — especially Sundays — tend to be the best. Interaction with posts is 14.5 percent higher on weekends. Wednesday is the worst day, with interactions 7.4 percent below average.
Best times to post: Don’t post while people are at work. Posting between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. generates 14 percent higher interaction than posting during typical business hours.
Frequency: Post once or twice per day and you will see a 19 percent higher interaction rate than if you do otherwise. However, don’t post more than seven times per week. Post twice per day on the weekends, and once on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to take advantage of the optimal post days.
Length: Posts with 80 characters or fewer receive 23 percent higher interaction than longer posts. Keep your updates short and to the point.
Emoticons: Emoticons can serve to humanize your brand. Posts that use emoticons have up to a 57 percent higher “like” rate. The “:D” emoticon receives the most likes. Emoticons work best in the food and beverage and health and beauty industries.
Comments: Asking a question generates an average of 92 percent more comments than making a statement. Use “caption this” on images and fill-in-the-blank posts to engage more customers.
Calls to action: Include a call to action in your posts to boost engagement. When you ask fans to like a post or comment on it, their response rate can be more than three times higher than when you don’t.
Here’s how to draw more attention from the 500 million users on Twitter.
Best days to post: In general, stick to the weekends, but Twitter varies more by industry than Facebook does. For example, publishers should concentrate their efforts on Saturdays and Thursdays while entertainment-based businesses see should focus on Sundays and Mondays.
Best times to post: While you should Facebook posts by night, hit up Twitter by day. Tweets sent between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. receive 30 percent higher engagement than those sent between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Frequency: The more you tweet, the lower your engagement. After four tweets per day, engagement rates drop significantly, and users who tweet only once a day have a 120 percent higher engagement rate than others. Unless you have a lot of valuable information to share, stick with one or two tweets per day.
Length: Twitter already limits you to 140 characters, but that’s too many. Tweets with fewer than 100 characters command a 17 percent higher engagement rate than longer missives.
Links: When you include a link in a tweet, it stands an 86 percent higher chance of being retweeted. (Need something to link to? Try a related blog post on your website.)
Hashtags: Tweets with hashtags receive two times more engagement than those without them. However, limit your hashtag use to one or two per tweet.
Retweet requests: When you ask for retweets, the chances of them actually happening are 12 times higher than when you don’t. Moreover, spell out “retweet”; “RT” doesn’t work as well.
Tim Parker is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.