Writing Effective Facebook Posts

Jessica Barnett Account Manager, Big Sea Design

Posted on October 4th 2011

Writing Effective Facebook Posts

Some Background: What is EdgeRank?

What you see in your Facebook newsfeed isn't magic; it's controlled by a very important algorithm called EdgeRank. Facebook wants users to be engaged, so EdgeRank is a critical aspect of their business. The EdgeRank factors are:

  • Affinity - How often you interact with others (be it visiting a friend's profile or commenting on a page's picture).
  • Edge Weight - The type of content it is. A few types are: Photos, Videos, Status, Place Checkins, becoming friends with someone, liking a page, changing your profile picture, etc. Keep in mind, there are general rules, but everyone's Edge Weight is different and Facebook has carte blanche to tweak things at will.
  • Recency - The older something is, the less likely you are to see it.

Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts

  • Posts made between 8 PM and 7 AM receive 20% more user engagement.
  • On Wednesdays, fan engagement is 8% above average.
  • Posting one to two times per day produces 40% higher user engagement.
  • Posting one to four times per week produces 71% higher user engagement.
  • Posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher engagement. Very concise posts – those between one and 40 characters – generate highest engagement. Only 5% of all retail brand Wall Posts are less than 40 characters in length, even though these receive 86% higher fan engagement.
  • Ask questions to spark dialogue – “question” Posts generate Comment rates double that of “non-question” Posts.
  • Fill in the blank Posts receive 9 times more Comments than other Posts.
  • Offer fans “$ off” and coupons. Posts containing these offer-related keywords receive the highest engagement.
  • “$ OFF” offers receive twice the engagement of “% OFF” offers.
  • Avoid complicated Wall Posts. Status-only Posts receive 94% higher than average engagement

Link to the Study by Buddy Media.

Does Using a 3rd Party API Decrease Your Engagement Per Post? YES!

Using a 3rd party API to update your Facebook Page decreases your likelihood of engagement per fan (on average) by about 80%. A Breakdown:

  • HootSuite – 69% reduction
  • TweetDeck – 73% reduction
  • Sendible – 75% reduction
  • RSS Graffiti – 81% reduction
  • Twitter – 83% reduction
  • Publisher – 86% reduction
  • twitterfeed – 90% reduction
  • dlvr.it – 91% reduction
  • Social RSS – 94% reductions
  • Networked Blogs – 76% reduction

Probable Causes:

  • Facebook Penalizes 3rd Party API’s EdgeRank
  • Facebook Collapses 3rd Party API Updates
  • High Chance of Being Scheduled or Automated
  • Content is not Optimized for Facebook

Link to the Study by EdgeRank Tracker.


What do you think? Are you rushing to unplug linked posts? Have you noticed anything or found any cool studies we missed? Let us know and be sure to Like the Big Sea Facebook Page!


Jessica Barnett

Account Manager, Big Sea Design

Project Management/UI/UX at @BigSea. Startup & web-app lover. Social media consultant. Conference and community organizer. Entrepreneurship student.
See Full Profile >


Posted on October 4th 2011 at 9:39AM

Great post, Andi. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. It's always interesting to get the data behind Facebook posts. Anything to get that edge (pun intended) is always welcome. Cheers - Tom

Posted on October 4th 2011 at 10:32AM

Wow.... I love the stats you presented here and it's intriguing how wording can affect engagement levels in your Facebook posts.  In my case, I found that asking questions/polls are getting me more interaction from my fans/subscribers.  I think it only makes sense that engagement level is high on Wednesdays - perhaps, the least busiest time of the week?  Thanks for the awesome sharing!

Posted on October 4th 2011 at 10:37AM

Very useful information! Thanks for sharing this Andi.

Posted on October 4th 2011 at 12:37PM

Thank you Andi, for the excellent info you gave about Facebook. Looking forward to your insight on social media matters.

Rick Noel
Posted on October 4th 2011 at 4:36PM

I agree with Tom Andi. Great post. Thanks for sharing the data to help practitioners like myself optimize our social media efforts to maximize reach and impact. Short and sweet seems to suit facebook users just fine! Time to go like the Big Sea Facebook page!!

Posted on October 5th 2011 at 5:00AM

Hi Andi,

Just to confirm on the following stat:

"Posts made between 8 PM and 7 AM receive 20% more user engagement."

Is that stats shown up for what time zone? Or is this a world wide stats dependent on your fan's base location? 

Thanks! Marit

Posted on October 5th 2011 at 11:13AM

Excellent post! Good info to share with clients and friends to enhance perception of me and my agency.

Posted on October 6th 2011 at 10:41PM
Thanks for sharing the results. Like Marit commented, the '8pm and 7am' is based on which country's time frame? Also this findings are based on 'overall FB' or by 'country'? If country, which country is this based on? Thanks again.
Posted on October 9th 2011 at 3:59PM
Andi these are all great stats and tips.  For instance, never realized it matter that % off doesn't get as much responce as $ off, I'm going to apply that to my marketing and test that out.  Really apperciate you sharing this info!
Posted on October 14th 2011 at 3:45PM

Great information and helpful to know these strategies. Thank you for sharing.