With that goal in mind, Facebook looked at postings on 23 brand Pages over one month to see which posts did the best. The upshot: When you talk about things related to your brand, you’ll get more engagement.
For example, a post by a cruise line marketer (Facebook did not disclose which brands exactly were involved in the study) stating “I decided to go on my first cruise because ____,” performed better than one that said, “Hang in there everybody. Monday will be over before we know it.”
“Topics related to brand or about the brand were significant predictors of increased engagement,” says Sean Bruich, head of measurement at Facebook. “When pages post about topics related to brands, they increase engagement.”
The advice may seem obvious, but Bruich points out that many brands try to stay relevant by “just publishing the latest meme.”
Facebook’s other advice to brands is to use photos, albums and videos to generate more shares and to post a clear call to action (“Like this if…”) to increase comments. The company also confirmed the conventional wisdom that asking a question in a post will lead to more engagement.
Though the study took place during the period in which brands switched over to Timeline, the research didn’t delve into the topic. Despite that, some researchers, including Simply Measured, have seen a big difference in engagement with the new platform.
Facebook’s focus on getting brands to use their Pages better coincided with the introduction of Timeline for users last fall. (Timeline for brands just became available in late February.) Facebook believes that more engaging brand Pages will become the main focus for advertisers on the platform and that amplifying status updates and other brand Page activity will be a viable alternative to traditional advertising.
With Facebook’s IPO set to hit later this week, not everyone agrees that Facebook can herd big marketers over to the new platform. Nate Elliott, a Forrester Research analyst, called Facebook’s latest ad strategy a “tiny evolution from its existing ad model” and noted that “companies in industries from consumer electronics to financial services tell us they’re no longer sure Facebook is the best place to dedicate their social marketing budget – a shocking fact given the site’s dominance among users.”