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Facebook Post Best Practices

Post Format Type - "Link Post" Type Wins

Facebook offers different post formats including Link Posts and Photo Posts. To better understand the difference between these post formats see: 

The data directly from Facebook demonstrates that the Link Post format is by far the most performant. The Link Post format includes a status, image, title and description. 

By default, all Facebook Posts pushed from Tempest are Link Posts.

Message (Status)

There are tons and tons of studies that have demonstrated that the message/status of a Facebook Post should be no more than 40 characters. After that, the drop off rate is pretty tremendous in terms of user engagement. Here are a few:

Tempest does not enforce a character limit for the Message. However, Tempest does provide a character count along with best practices support text so that publishers are encouraged to keep this in mind when crafting this content.

In terms of data provided in a Facebook Post and character limits, the Message is by far what should be given the most attention (over the title and description in terms of length and best practices).

Image

The most comprehensive guide I have ever seen regarding how to optimize images for Social Media is the following: https://blog.bufferapp.com/ideal-image-sizes-social-media-posts#facebook

We will not try to compete with Buffer in terms of understanding the best practices. They power hundreds of publishers for Social Publishing and have pushed thousands upon thousands of Social Media posts across various platforms. So instead, we are borrowing their guidelines to provide to our publishers.

The basics here are that Facebook will render images provided in a Link Post based on the image size and shape (portrait/landscape). This means there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

However, we have adopted what Buffer also suggests is the best solution, and recommend to publishers in Tempest that they does suggest that the  build an image that is 1024 x 512 pixels. This is re-enforced in the image field by providing user feedback about the image dimensions so that they know whether or not the image has been optimized for Facebook.

Title 

There is substantially less information about the ideal length of a Title. This is because the Message and Post Type have been proven to have the most dramatic impact on engagement. Therefore the Title is less interesting/significant. 

In Tempest, we are encouraging publishers to try to keep the title to 60 characters or less. As more studies come out and/or as we begin to learn more, this could be updated.

Description

Just like with the Title, there is substantially less information about the ideal length a Facebook Post Description. Again, this is because the Message and Post Type have the most dramatic impact on engagement.

In Tempest, we are encouraging publishers to try to keep the Description to 160 characters or less. As more studies come out and/or as we begin to learn more, this could be updated.

Top Performing Times to Post

Studies have shown that the perfect time to post to Facebook is during non-peak hours:

Graph1PostFreqandEffectTOD

Here are some more resources to refer to:

Studies have also shown that the best days are Wednesday's and Sunday's:

Please take these studies with a grain of salt. Given everything going on with Facebook, fake news, and the policy changes they're making about what type of content appears in user's newsfeeds, this all may change and/or be less relevant. That said, we are attempting to at least share the information we currently have available. Assuming users already follow the publisher's facebook page, the publishers content will still appear in their feed. It is more problematic for instances where a publisher isn't followed by a user ie. how to get in front of that audience, which is TBD given everything going on with Facebook today.

While we do not provide any guidance on when to post to Facebook in Tempest today, publishers can leverage their Facebook Page Insights data to help understand their audience engagement patterns and optimize their post schedules around those patterns. These will certainly be unique per publisher but since Tempest is a platform, we hope that by aggregating this data one day we will be able to perform our own studies to help inform out best practices guidelines to the publishers on Tempest.

In the future, we hope to bring more of this type of data into the Tempest CMS to help guide/prompt publishers to take action accordingly – either in when to schedule, when to re-post an item that is trending etc.

Sharing Strategy

We recommend at least 1 post to Facebook a day. The most important thing here is that publishers are actively posting to Facebook and that they are posting consistently to engage with their audience. If they are not posting consistently then they appear stale and will see a drop in audience engagement. If they truly want to build a loyal, interested audience, they need to be posting frequently and consistently.

That said, the overall content marketing strategy is not something that we are really getting into with this feature. I imagine that we will offer more support on this from a product POV when we are able to pull in more data and analytics, and based on that, provide helpful prompts/actions for publishers to take to optimize for Social.

That said, I have done a ton of research and feel pretty equipped to share what I am seeing in the industry but there is no hard-and-fast rule for everyone. This is going to be something the publishers approach on a per site basis given their content, their audience, their FACEBOOK audience specifically etc.

Resources 

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