Guide to Facebook Engagement in 2017

Recently, BuzzSumo, with Susan Moeller, teamed with Mari Smith to discuss the BuzzSumo research into Facebook’s most engaging posts, and Mari’s top tips for Facebook content strategy in 2017.  Questions from the content marketers who attended the session were answered by Mari, providing answers to the most important questions.

The report is divided into three corresponding sections:

  • Research into the Facebook posts that performed best this year 
  • Mari’s recommendations for the year ahead
  • Answers to marketers’ questions about Facebook marketing

Facebook’s most recent, most engaging posts were researched by BuzzSumo, analyzing more than 800 million posts from 2016, looking at overall engagement, and at shares, likes and comments separately. Respondents offered these comments:

  • Questions, images, and videos were more engaging than all other post types. Videos were most likely to be shared
  • The best day of the week for engagement was Sunday
  • Post engagement was higher whenever there was a lower volume of public posts in the news feed. There was an inverse relationship between low volume and high interaction, despite low volume periods coinciding with the overnight hours for many Facebook users
  • Short posts of less than 50 characters were more engaging than long posts
  • If a post linked to a piece of content outside Facebook, people engaged with it more if the link was to a longer article
  • During 2016, images posted directly to Facebook and not through Instagram were more engaging than images posted to Facebook via Instagram

Mari Smith, a leading authority on Facebook Marketing, described a comprehensive Facebook content plan for 2017.  The key points are:

  • Create highly shareable video and photo content
  • Amplify reach on some posts with paid promotion
  • Allow organic reach to accumulate for up to 24 hours, then pay some of your total budget to boost the post. Wait for up to 24 hours for reach to accumulate again from the promotion, then, apply more money for increased paid promotion
  • Include CTA buttons and links
  • Use Facebook Live
  • Test giveaways with your audience.
  • Publish 5x/week; experiment with posting outside business hours
  • Focus on educating, and whenever possible entertaining, your audience

And, retarget with Engagement Custom Audiences based on:

  • Video views
  • Page interactions
  • Lookalike audiences

The key in any Facebook marketing strategy is to focus on offering value. Mari suggests that the goal should be to “Edutain” your audience, teaching them something useful, something that relates to a niche in which you are an expert, and doing so in an enjoyable way.

A well-developed Facebook strategy will include posts of many different types, with various purposes. Ideally, Facebook strategy will be fully integrated with the marketing plan, not just a separate project with unrelated goals. You don’t want to post just to get a bigger Facebook audience, but rather to nurture your Facebook audience to subscribe to your email list, visit your site, try your product, says Mari.

Audience nurture should also include posts that are simply helpful to not exhaust people with endless asks for more of their time, attention, or money. Consider using posts that are helpful-only, (without CTA’s) as opportunities for developing relationships with influencers, says the report. The process will raise your profile and offer something of value to the influencer, says Mari.

Facebook is the largest social network, with 1.79 billion active monthly users in 2016, as reported by Statista. In the US, 79% of all adults who use the internet use Facebook. This is a much higher than the percentage of people who use other social networks, according to the Pew Research Center. And, the number of US-based Facebook users grew from 2015 to 2016, notes the report.

For more information from BuzzSumo, please visit here.

1 comment about "Guide to Facebook Engagement in 2017".
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  1. brad berger from aim high tips, January 26, 2017 at 10:08 a.m.

    Best content platform for the world audience of 2-4 billion people universal wisdom contained in over 2.87 million FB Likes see game plan and how to have best marketing platform

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