Facebook Engagement Ideas
Earlier this year, enterprise email marketing software and solutions provider Yesmail conducted a study on cross-channel marketing and the role that competitive intelligence plays in the development, execution, and measurement of those campaigns.
The company wrote up the results in a report entitled “Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success,” which presents a number of actionable insights gleaned from studying 20 of the Web’s top retailers, including Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Old Navy, and Eddie Bauer.
By developing a standardized engagement score to determine which brands were receiving more quality engagement on Facebook, as opposed to simply looking at high volumes based on of a high follower counts, Yesmail was able to “compare apples to apples” to uncover those brands with the highest quality and most engaging social media practices, which brands can study to improve their own Facebook practices and see more quality engagement from their fans.
Day of the Week
It may surprise many of you to learn that campaigns deployed on Tuesdays actually had the highest engagement numbers. Somewhat contradictorily, Tuesday is only the fourth most popular day for brands to deploy campaigns. The weekend, especially Sundays, saw lowest number of deployed campaigns, which make sense, as both Saturday and Sunday see far lower engagement numbers than all five weekdays.
Time of Day
Finding the right time of day to deploy a Facebook campaign is one of the most important considerations for a marketer. In the report, Yesmail says that posts during 10pm and 12am (Eastern Time) are “an engagement goldmine,” although this is also the least utilized time frame for campaign deployments. (The report does concede that this period may have been popular largely because the 20 retail brands it studied focused heavily on college students.) Rather, the most common time to deploy a Facebook campaign was between 11am and 1pm ET, an interval that is actually in the bottom 30 percent in terms of engagement. The least engaging time of day is between 1am and 4am ET, to no one’s surprise.
Many have fretted about how often they should deploy a Facebook campaign out of fear that posting too often will eventually annoy fans and posting too infrequently won’t get them the recognition they desire. Yesmail found that the former is vastly more damaging, as the five least engaging brands in the study averaged 54 campaigns a month. Meanwhile, the most engaging brands deployed between 20 and 32 campaigns a month, but the report also makes it a point to say that “Facebook campaigns should be carefully determined and duly tested in order to enhance instead of curb engagement.” However, the report does recommend limiting your monthly campaign count to 35.
On Facebook, brands have a couple of options for the post formats they can choose to deploy. Not surprisingly, photos are a pretty popular choice, comprising 43 percent of all campaign posts, and with good reason, as photo content is also the most engaging. In addition, the engagement numbers for video content are rapidly and consistently growing, but it is utilized in a mere 6.5 percent of all Facebook campaigns. On the other hand, status updates and links make up half of the brand posts on Facebook, but continue to see a steady decline in engagement numbers.
It can take a lot of trial-and-error to determine just what type of content your audience is going to respond to and engage with, and Yesmail attempted to use digital competitive intelligence to “identify the campaigns that have prompted the highest customer interaction.” It found that the most successful campaigns communicated a purpose by identifying a desired customer behavior, provided an incentive for performing a specific action, and empowered its customers by explicitly putting them in charge, meaning they let them add to and drive the conversation.
Finally, Yesmail also studied the effects that email marketing can have on Facebook campaign engagement by overlaying email campaign data and Facebook engagement data. It found that Facebook engagement improved by around 50 percent when a single email campaign was deployed, and it grew by 100 percent when two email campaigns were deployed in the same time frame. The trick, of course, is to utilize items like social share buttons to create a relationship between the two channels and drive email subscribers to your Facebook page.