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social media how toDo you want better Facebook engagement?

Are your Facebook posts optimized?

How and when you post on Facebook makes an important impact on how fans engage with your content.

In this article you’ll discover 6 ways to optimize your Facebook posting tactics.

#1: Include Properly Sized Images

You’re probably already posting plenty of pictures. After all, Facebook posts that include images outperform text-only updates. But are your images the right size? Do they look good when shared on Facebook?

When you share or upload an image to Facebook, it’s cropped and displayed at 504 x 504 pixels. Those dimensions vary if you’re uploading more than one photo at a time.

improve facebook page post results

Discover how to improve your Facebook Page posts.

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When you create images for your own content, make sure the main shareable image has a width of 1200 pixels and a height 628 pixels at least. I suggest using post images that are sized at 1200 x 1200 pixels so the photos aren’t distorted or cut off when cropped.

#2: Share Links the Right Way

There are two ways to share links on Facebook. You can either upload a picture directly to Facebook and include the link in the caption, or you can paste a link into your Facebook post and let it populate with an image and description from the article (Facebook calls this the link-format).

In the first scenario, the link doesn’t have much context or information—only what you supply. The update is just a photo with a link in the caption.

In the second scenario (the link-format), when you paste the link into your update, additional information about the article appears—the title, a short snippet of the article and the website URL—plus any information you share in your update. All of these combined give the reader a better idea of whether the article is worth a click-through.

clickable areas in facebook update

Users can click on the image or description to read the full article.

Does it matter which option you choose? Turns out it does. Facebook is taking a closer look at how pages are sharing links, and they’ve found that users generally like to click on link-format posts because those give more information.

To cater to that preference, Facebook will “prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.”

You may notice that the Social Media Examiner link-format post above (about holiday campaigns) doesn’t have a link in the main post area—it relies on users to click the image or description.

When creating a link-format post, some people like to remove the link after the image and description have populated to make the main update look a bit cleaner.

#3: Use Facebook Targeting Options

Facebook recently introduced two new targeting options for page posts: Target Interests & Post End Date.

interest targeting options

Take advantage of Facebook’s Target Interest option.

Use Target Interests to direct your updates to a narrow group, and in return (one hopes) receive greater engagement. This tactic works best, of course, when you’re intimately familiar with your fans’ demographics.

When you use the Post End Date option, you predetermine your post’s lifespan in the news feed. When the end date passes, no-one will see the post in their news feed, even if it remains on your page. This is an effective way to promote events and other time-specific posts.

#4: Include Calls to Action

Facebook users move quickly through their news feed. If you want them to stop and take action, you must ask them to do something specific. Always include a call to action within your post, but try to be as non-salesy as possible.

facebook update call to action

Include subtle calls to action in your Facebook posts.

This Papa John’s Pizza post includes a call to action so naturally that it doesn’t disturb the normal cadence of the post.

#5: Post at the Right Time

If you don’t post your Facebook updates when your audience is most likely to see them, you can’t expect good engagement. When is the right time to post? Well, it varies depending on your audience.

Check your Facebook Insights to see when your fans are online. You can find data for each day of the week and base your posting schedule on when your fans are most likely to see your posts.

facebook insights audience graph

Use Facebook Insights to find out when your fans are online.

But data may not always give you a complete picture. Don’t ignore your instincts. Think about your target audience and what you know about them—let that information guide you as well.

For example, if you know your target group consists of working mothers, lunchtime and evenings are probably going to be effective times for you to post because that’s when they’re likely taking a break.

My advice is to always post half an hour before the prescribed optimal time. If the majority of your fans log into Facebook at 8pm, your update should go live by 7:30pm. That way, when your fans come online your post will already be in their news feed.

#6: Keep Self-Promotion Light

According to a recent Facebook update, overly promotional posts or click-baiting headlines will be penalized and won’t show up as much in the news feed.

facebook clickbait example

Facebook is cracking down on sensational headlines.

If you’re using Facebook primarily as a sales tactic or sensationalizing your updates, you’ll have to submit to Facebook’s pay-to-play model. Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group summed it up perfectly: “It’s a clear message to brands: If you want to sound like an advertiser, buy an ad.”

Conclusion

Adhering to best practices and staying abreast of Facebook updates can make a big difference in how your fans interact with you. I encourage you to keep up with Facebook changes as they happen and tweak your tactics as necessary.

What do you think? What guidelines do you use when posting to Facebook? Do you have additional tips to share? Leave your comments below.

how to improve facebook page posts

Tips for improving your Facebook Page posts.

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  • Great post, Ishita.

    I would like to add one more thing. Always mix the types of messages you
    post. Do not always stick to posting only links or pictures. Try to use
    everything that is allowed by Facebook: video, simple text message, pictures and links.

  • Great post, but where you can find this option? “#4: Include Calls to Action” I mean how can you enable it?

  • MilitaryBridge

    I have a question. How does the debugger tool work? Sometimes when I share a photo link and it automatically generates the picture for me, I don’t like it’s choice. I know you can click on the arrows and it’ll give me a couple other options for the picture but if I don’t like it’s choices can I pick the one I like by putting it in the debugger tool? I tried this and it didn’t work. Is this the purpose of the debugger tool or is it just to show you what the preview photo link will look like? Thanks!

  • ☆ Social Media Help

    I’m a little confused about your image dimensions. My images are not cropped to 504×504. Is that on mobile only?

  • Interesting, I never heard of the targeting option. Glad I read about it here now 🙂

  • Don Sceifers

    #2 is always a dilemma for me. I often want to say something significant about a posted link, different from the content. If I share the link that content is lost when shared.

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  • It’s not an option as such, Cristiano – it just means to tell the people who see the post what you want them to do next. HTH!

  • Nick

    There is actually a Call to Action option… It’s in the form of a button on a link post or at the end of a video. You can see them when you create posts using power editor.

  • Thanks, Nick – not sure that’s appropriate or even available to me!

  • Ishita Ganguly

    That’s a great tip indeed. Thanks Mindaugas 🙂

  • Ishita Ganguly

    There is no such button for adding call to action with your post. You can add your own CTA at the end of the post. It helps your audience know what to do next.

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Whenever you post a link, it automatically fetches an image from the content. But you are also given an option to upload a new image. Refer the image below. Hope this helps!

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi, it should not be the case though. Can you show me an example, a screenshot maybe?

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Have you tried this?

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi Don,

    I see your point. Let me help you by dividing it into two situations:

    First: Your purpose is to send traffic to the website. You should definitely go for link-format (works best if it’s your own website). You can always add your own views to it but the link should be given utmost importance.

    Second: The purpose is to send your message across and not to drive traffic to a website. You can add your PoV along with the link in the description. Adding an image would benefit you to attract more and more eyeballs.

    Hope this helps!

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi Ian,

    Yes, there is an option to add CTA with your post with Power Editor. Go to “manage ads” -> “power editor” and then click on “manage pages”. Select the page, where you want to create the post. You will see a “create post” option. Click on it. It will land you on a window, where you can add CTA to your links and video posts.

    Refer the image for help:

  • Terri W

    I don’t see the two new targeting options for page posts that you mentioned. Is this on a roll out?

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi Terri,

    To my knowledge, these options are now open for all
    marketers. Please check with the targeting icon that appears on the
    extreme right when you are posting an update on a page.

  • Don’t forget to use the Facebook “Debug” tool if your FB link won’t display an image as images won’t always display automatically when a link is posted.

  • Kevin Carthy

    Hi Ishita/Terry, as far as I understand, the targeting options only appear as an option once your Facebook page reaches 5000 LIKES.

  • Ishita Ganguly

    HI Kevin,

    I think this is not the case. I have used the targeting option on a page with less than 1000 likes.

  • Maybe it varies from region to region – I’m in Ireland. Heres a screenshot of 2 pages I manage. I have other pages and once they reach 5000 likes the targeting option appears automatically! Maybe there is something in settings that you can switch on for under 5000?

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Now I get you Kevin. 🙂
    It looks like you haven’t enabled the targeting option for the page. Just go to Settings and change it. Refer to the image below for a clearer view.

  • Perfect Ishita! I will enable it on all pages now 🙂
    Thanks for that & great post by the way!

  • Ishita Ganguly

    I am glad to help you 🙂

  • Hi, great article!
    I was just wondering if you have seen improved engagement on posts that remove the link in the link-format way?

    Thanks!

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  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi Nicole,

    Did you mean removing the link from the description of the post?

  • Yes, have you seen more engagement when you do it that way opposed to leaving the link in the post?

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Yes, because it makes the post clutter free. Facebook audiences seem to like it that way. 🙂

  • Ishita Ganguly

    Hi Patricia, glad it helped you.

  • I think #5 is SO crucial!

  • Caryn Hill

    How are certain pages getting 100s of 1000s likes without paying for them? I have watched pages jump 20k likes in one day! There is more to it then what you are offering here.

  • Tumling

    I find that its very tricky to add a logo to an image becouse it seems that my pictures are getting cropped a bit on the right side… I design the image to in photoshop to look right in 484px by 252px, but it always crop a bit on the right side still… does anyone know what im doing wrong ?