You’ve probably heard from every Facebook guru shouting from every soapbox that you simply have to “pay to play” when it comes to Facebook. Recently, we’ve gained some insider knowledge from someone who’s killing it with Facebook, and paying isn’t part of the equation.
On the podcast, Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com shared some “money” tips (pun intended!) on utilizing Facebook to its full capacity.
Crystal’s advice on posting at night when there’s less competition in the news feed was so genius! Your post gets shown to more people by default, and as those people click, like, comment, and share, your post continues to climb up the news feed ranks for the next 24 hours. Pair this knowledge with data on when your own fans are most active at night, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Your challenge this week is as follows:
- Head over to your Facebook Insights, then Posts, to see when the largest number of your Facebook fans are online.
- Pair that with Crystal’s strategy of posting at night to home in on what times during the night you still have an active Fan presence who will be ready to engage with your posts.
- Post content every day this week, at least twice per day so you can put this theory to the test and really see what works.
Just to give you a concrete example: For our page, one of the peak times for our fans is 9 PM. However, the drop-off in number of fans online is very small at 10 and 11 PM. This week, we’ll try posts at 10 and 11 PM to see how this affects our reach. Our lowest hour of the day is 4 AM. While we might not face a lot of competition during this hour, we may simply not have enough fans online at that time to engage with us. No matter – we’ll put the theory to the test and try a few posts at this time too so we can compare the difference.
This week is all about testing and tweaking. We each have different audiences, and it’s our job to get to know them intimately and do what works.
~ Beth Anne
P.S. If you’re an over-achiever, you can try out Crystal’s other Facebook tips too. We can’t wait to hear from you in the Facebook group on what worked and what didn’t. We love learning from you and high-fiving over your success!
Week 7 Update:
Facebook loves remaining mysterious. There's no way to completely crack the code and devise a perfect formula every time. Some things about this week's experiment surprised me, whereas others were just as I expected.
I included an image of our stats so you could see for yourself. Below are my conclusions.
A. Time of day for posting may not matter as much as I expected. at 4 AM, a small fraction of our audience is online, but having an interesting post seemed to matter much more. Also, as Crystal stated, this 4 AM post had very little competition in the newsfeed.
B. I thought for sure that 11 PM each night would be our sweet spot for posting – plenty of our fans still online, but way less competition from other posts. Turns out this just isn't so. I think part of the problem is the way Facebook spreads out when people see your posts… often throughout a 24 hour period or more. This might be another reason why 4 AM is a sweet spot: less initial competition, but still plenty of time for your fans to see that post all day.
C. Posting about current events can absolutely work in your favor. Check out the TRENDING section on the right hand side of your Facebook home page to see if there's a topic that's relevant to your audience. Most of the time, I find the trending topics to be completely irrelevant, but when a new age record was set for a female state congresswoman, I just had to post about it! I also chose to share my post from one that had already gotten a lot of engagement. Here's the sad part, though. None of that engagement was going to OUR site. I should have found a way to link it back to some relevant content here and posted that within my update.
D. Again, proof that sharing from a popular page that gets great engagement is a REALLY good idea. I shared this post from MoneySavingMom's page. Again, though, it can be really discouraging to see all of your main Facebook traffic head to other people's websites. I definitely believe in sharing the love and sharing someone else's excellent content just to share it and be helpful, but I think that occasionally, if you can find a way to link to something relevant from your site in the comments perhaps… I say go for it.
E. Sharing from someone's page that is generally popular, but choosing to share a post that hasn't gotten high engagement is a bad idea. I shared this from ModernMrsDarcy's page because I loved her post so much. However, I knew from looking at the engagement she'd gotten so far on it, that it wasn't one of her most engaging posts. I shared it anyway. In all honesty, it probably would have gotten more engagement had I just shared the link “fresh” from my page rather than from hers. Another Facebook hack to remember! Every post counts. The engagement on that particular post counts….. a lot.
F. Sharing personal, conversational tidbits about your life, no matter what time of day, can be really great! We all know this, right? Social media is supposed to be social! So when Sarah shared a life experience involving customer service, you all responded, and Facebook liked it too. We need to be doing this more often: Sharing real life; Striking up genuine conversations. Sometimes I just wonder how much you all want to hear about my debacle at the grocery store or Holden's hilarious antics. It's hard to find the balance between sharing real life versus sharing business-related content. We'll keep getting to know you and finding out what you want 🙂
G. Facebook hates Twitter. I'm sure of it. When I shared Kelly's posts about Twitter, Facebook gave them so little love. I also tagged her page, which has over 30,000 likes. Maybe if her page has lower engagement that might have factored in here. Still, I'm feeling pretty confident that Facebook down-votes any updates with “twitter words” in them. OR…. maybe you all just hate Twitter! That could be equally as true 😉
H. Totally meant to label this one! The post: THIS BOOK MADE ME FEEL CRABBY. We did tag The Frugal Girl in the post, but we didn't share from her page. We shared the link ourselves. I think the real key on this one was that one of our fans left a comment on the post VERY quickly after it went live. This made a huge different. That coupled with tagging another popular page are what propelled this post to stardom (At least in our tiny page's eyes.) Again, the point is that we should be posting things that get people talking.
To learn more about what Facebook loves in the News Feed, check out this blog post from Buffer. One of our Brilliant Business Moms shared it with us!
So what worked for you this week? What didn't? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
~ Beth Anne