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If you are thinking that social media is about engaging people then you are thinking along the right lines. 

Often I come across clients who want to focus on getting likes and followers by offering some kind of incentive. 

Does focusing purely on "likes" and "followers" help? I don't believer it does because you just end up with a large volume of disengaged prospects and therefore isn't really something that you can use to measure your social media success. 

So this week I thought it would be a good idea to share some insight into some revealing statistics...

1.  Photo posts get 39% more interaction

Posts that include a photo or some pictorial element get much more interaction than posts which are text based or even videos.  And in fact account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook!  The stats from Kissmetrics show that photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.

2.  Shorter posts get 23% more interaction

Short posts aren't just great for Twitter, if you keep the post length short for Facebook – below 250 characters you get on average 60% more engagement, and 66% for posts less than 80 characters.  This can also account for the increased interaction from photo posts – they are short and concise, and besides a picture can paint a thousand words!

3.  Using emoticons increases comments by 33%

Emoticons aren't just for teenagers apparently they can work in business posts too!  Although it may sound unprofessional to use an emoticon in a business post it has been shown to improve the engagement rate with 33% more comments, 33% additional sharing and 57% more likes.  So it looks like we should cast aside any luddite views and be free J

4.  Engagement rates on Thursday and Friday are 18% higher

Why are these days so important?  The upshot of it appears that the less people want to be at work the more they are on Facebook.  Monday’s and Tuesday’s are the worst days across a range on industries for the working week, whereas Saturday has the least customer engagement overall.  So get the majority of your posts on Thursday and Friday and get those prospects engaged!

5.  Question posts get 100% more comments

Comments are a great way to engage people and it has been found that posts with question have a superior interaction rate.  It should be noted though that although question posts get more comments, they do get less likes and less shares.  Further, questions with “should”, “would”, “which” or “who” get the best response.  And closed questions with limited answer options such as a “yes” or “no” get far less interaction and very open questions like “why” or “how” which require thinking about the answer get the worst interaction.

6.  35% of Facebook Fans like a page so they can participate in contests

Getting new fans and followers is a good thing as you reach out to more people.  One way of doing this is with a contest, it gets you a lot of likes as well.  But, and this is BIG but, you have to engage them afterwards – just having a lot of fans is worthless if you don’t do anything with them after you've spent time and energy getting them! 

7.  42% of Fans like a page to get a coupon or discount

A significant 42% of people like a page in order to get a discount voucher which can be a great way of attracting new business, but to belabor the point you have to and must engage them afterwards otherwise you get a spike in revenue which quickly tails off into nothing.  Interestingly freebies and sweepstakes perform poorly in relation to discount vouchers – which is better for you anyway as you are still making cash!

In summary then, short posts with photos and questions which invite participation get you the best results.  Try it out and see what difference it makes for you!

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