Want to understand what content works well on Facebook? Check out the free Inspire tool provided by ActionSprout. ActionSprout, which provides a great application that adds campaign-type actions to your Facebook page and collects your fans' email addresses as they take the actions, offers a free tool that helps you understand what wall posts make successful Pages work. Whether you use it to assess your own Facebook Page or someone else's, the Inspire tool is a goldmine of insight.
Once you log into ActionSprout with your Facebook account, you can analyze any Facebook Page to see what recent content on its wall is getting the most traction and how the Page scores overall for engaging its audience. For example, if you want to see how well Barack Obama's Facebook Page is doing, just search the Page URL on Inspire and you will see that his Page gets an engagement score of 43 (I am told by ActionSprout founder Drew Bernard that scores over 100 are very good). By comparison, the Daily Kos Facebook Page scores a 149.
But what is really useful about Inspire is to scroll down to see what the top performing recent content is on any given page. When I ran a search for the Daily Kos Page, Inspire told me that the top performing piece of recent content on it was a photo meme of Obama's criticism of Speaker Boehner's decision to sue the president for "doing my job" while the Speaker is not doing his job.
Inspire not only provides data on likes, comments and shares for each post displayed in the results, but includes data on how the interaction on that post compares to the average post for that Page. This is important data for anyone trying to optimize the performance of posts on their own Page(s). Observing patterns on successful posts help you craft posts that use the same techniques, improving your own posts' performance. And if you are also using the full ActionSprout tool, which can add a call to action to any post you put on your page, you can increase the number of people taking that action and signing up for your email list. That is a huge win for any advocacy or political campaign.
The bottom line is we need to learn from the best practices of others and from our own past performance if we want to get the most out of our Facebook pages. As Shaun Dakin wrote on epolitics.com, the most important thing about your Facebook Page is the quality of your wall posts. Nothing else on your Page matters nearly as much. That makes Inspire a powerful tool worth using often.