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Writing posts for Facebook just got a little easier

By Suvi Chisholm:

10,000. That's how many Facebook pages CrowdTangle has been studying for the last year. They brought their knowledge of what's popular on Facebook to a Netroots Nation training session I attended this year.

As the Marketing and Advertising Strategist at Mandate Media, I spend a lot of time checking out political and progressive organizations' Facebook pages, so this session was of particular interest to me. Most stuff we already put into practice for our clients but there were a few surprises.

Although still in beta, CrowdTangle is a powerful new social media tool. It searches for the most "liked", "shared" and viral content on Facebook. Then organizes that content into lists, sends you an email enabling you to view only the most powerful posts. No need to comb thru Facebook pages anymore. Next you can share or create your own post and ride that viral content's wave.

Brandon Silverman shared his tips for posting great content. Beginning with a little group exercise he showed the audience the top 10 "liked" Facebook posts of 2012 and asked us to put them in order. Not surprisingly this post of Barack and Michelle Obama hugging was the clear winner in the room and of 2012.

There was one common thread among all the top performing posts - an image. Brandon found that images are the most "liked" posts on Facebook. This isn't wildy surpising, but what's interesting is that none of the top posts included an ask of any kind. No "donate here" or "sign my petition." Does this mean your action oriented posts are doomed to fail? Not exactly. It's good to post the fluffy, feel good stuff. Then when it's time to make an ask your Facebook audience will already be engaged and more apt to take action on your post.

Here are the key lessons for writing content:

  • Post an image.
  • Add a celebrity to that image (of course someone relevant to your organization.) Celebrities always add a nice boost to a post.
  • Share other page's content. There was suggestion to download another page's image and repost it on your page, but include a shout out to that organization. There was mixed commentary from the audience on if this is acceptable or just a rip off.
  • Write content that touches people emotionally - but with a positive message.
  • Find something to celebrate!
  • Keep content light. People go to Facebook for a break from the stresses of life. Don't flood their newsfeed with drab and heavy stuff.
  • Be the page that posts breaking news. If you're the first page to post a news item people are more likely to share your content. So be ready with some content ahead of time.
  • Don't be afraid to recycle your content. Look thru old posts see what worked before and freshen it up for your next post.
  • Asking people to "share" or "like" something was not found to be statistically significant in the success of a post. To like or to not like - that one's up to you.
  • And my favorite little discovery CrowdTangle made was news about the weather fared quite well for Facebook shares. So post something about the weather, but put your progressive spin on it. Maybe a beautiful photo of the sky with a message about climate change. Try it!

Bottom line - be timely, pleasant and visual with your posts.

Here at Mandate Media, we work to help your campaign's Facebook page be an active and engaging place for conversation. Got questions about your page's content or is your campaign just getting started? We can help set up your page and train you on best practices for using Facebook for campaigns. Contact us.

Wanna read more about Facebook? Check out if your cover photo is cool.

Posted by Suvi Chisholm
on July 1, 2013 in
training and workshops, facebook.