7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know About

Sure, knowing when to post on Facebook is important, but it's not the be-all and end-all of running a Facebook page with maximum impact and engagement.

One of the things we focus on most at Buffer is the best time to post to Twitter and Facebook. This is because we want to help you get more engagement with your audience, which is beneficial for everyone.

While the best time to post is definitely important, there are some other things to keep in mind. I had a look at what kind of updates work best for Facebook pages to increase interaction and found seven interesting statistics that you’ll probably find useful if you’re trying to make your page more engaging.

1. Photo posts get 39% more interaction

Not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos or text-based updates, they actually account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook. According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. And as we’ve mentioned before, self-explanatory photos seem to perform best.

Wishpond’s data says that overall, photo posts get 120% more engagement than the average post, and photo albums actually get 180% more engagement. This was a surprising one for me, but it seems that if you have multiple images to share, you’d be better of putting them into a Facebook album than publishing separate photo posts.

Especially Buffer’s new image posting feature let’s you right-click any image on the web and then share it in full-size to your wall in seconds. No more downloading, uploading nightmare here.

2. Shorter posts get 23% more interaction

Writing shorter posts isn’t just handy on Twitter. Keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than you might otherwise see. You can even get up to 66% more engagement if you cut it down to less than 80 characters.

Either way, the result seems to be that getting to the point quickly and concisely works best. Perhaps that’s why Facebook fans like photo posts so much?

Especially looking at the overall Social Media statistics for other social networks, it’s really interesting how this stacks up to other platforms.

3. Using emoticons increases comments by 33%

If you thought emoticons were only for teens, you might want to rethink that idea. According to this AMEX OPEN Forum infographic, emoticons can make a big difference to your engagement rates. No only do posts with emoticons get 33% more comments, they also get shared 33% more often. Even better: they get liked 57% more often than posts without emoticons.

Emoticons tend to add a more human side to your communications, and it seems like this comes across fairly well with users.

Engagement rates on Thursday and Friday are 18% higher

Compared to other days in the week, Buddymedia’s study found that engagement rates for Facebook are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. As they put it, "the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!"

The study also looked at different industries, including sports, retail, automotive, and health care, to see which days worked best in each industry. Although they did vary, most of them sat around the end of the week, from Wednesday-Friday. Apparently no industry has users that are engaged on Mondays or Tuesdays!

To find out more about the best times to post to Facebook, we’ve also written an extensive guide that you might find useful.

5. Question posts get 100% more comments

If comments are the kind of interaction you’re after, questions might be the way to go. According to an infographic by Kissmetrics, they get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts. HubSpot shares a similar finding, although this data points out that question posts often get fewer likes and shares than other types of posts.

What I found really interesting about this stat is that HubSpot’s data also shows which question words attract more comments, with the most popular being "should," "would," "which," and "who." This makes me think that closed questions which have a very limited answer option are the highest attractors of comments. Open question words like ‘why’ and ‘how’ which make the user think more to articulate their answer sit at the bottom of this chart.

This is especially interesting and points to a stark change in marketing, turning the funnel upside down. In short: Keeping engagement high with your existing customers might be more important than trying to find new ones.

When we observe how most updates sent through Buffer perform, we found a similar pattern of greatly increased lift through questions being posted.

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

If you’re chasing down new fans, a contest seems like a fairly good way to encourage likes. A report from earlier this year showed that 35% of Facebook fans liked Facebook pages specifically to compete in contests. Contests obviously solicit interaction by asking for people to enter. It turns out this can work, as "caption this photo"-style contests actually bring in 5.5 times more comments than regular posts.

In Buddymedia’s report, contest-related words like winner, win, entry, contest, enter, and promotion were all more likely to engage users.

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

According to Socially Stacked, 42% of Facebook fans like a page in order to get a discount or coupon. A study by Wildfire Interactive showed that coupon-based campaigns received the highest engagement rates. Giveaways and sweepstakes came in just behind coupons as highly engaging post types.

In case you found this article helpful, the best follow-on posts for you to read are our complete guide to the latest Social Media statistics, as well as the latest Twitter statistics.

What have you observed that has changed the most on Facebook in the last few months? I hope these statistics might be helpful to get your Facebook page on the right track!

Belle Beth Cooper is a Content Crafter at Buffer and cofounder of Hello Code. Follow her on Twitter at @BelleBethCooper.

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is reprinted with permission.

[Photo by Joel Arbaje]

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41 Comments

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  • Brian D. Meeks

    I found all of those tips to be helpful. Thanks! The most interesting was the one on what type of question to ask..

  • Anne Armentrout

    Re: #2 -- Brevity may be the soul of wit, but not everything can be said in a hundred words or fewer, much less in fewer than a hundred characters. It does not speak well that we've apparently become too impatient for complete thoughts in complete sentences. To persuade or to explain, one needs to lay out cogent, well-reasoned arguments, syntactically well-structured and properly punctuated, and that cannot be done by the equivalent of a Twitter posting.

  • Sabera

    Great article that provides some good guidance for social content strategists and planners. However I disagree with the first point. The study it references was done in Oct 2012, and since then, Facebook's algorithm has seen a shift, where text posts are seeing higher organic reach and impressions. Image and video posts are being 'served' to the newsfeed by FB's algorithm at a lower rate. Album posts are seeing the lowest distribution. This has a direct impact on engagement - lower eyeballs mean a lower opportunity to get the customer to act on the call to action. This is where FB's 'pay to play' mantra truly comes alive.

    FB is fast becoming a mass medium where any post can be pushed to anyone, using sufficient media spends. Here's where your brand's analytics on customers is so crucial. So, content format, time of day, day of week, and profile or intent of the page follower, has little to no effect for brands that have deep pockets for ads. In my opinion, for brands that have lower ad budgets (because having an FB media budget is absolutely necessary if you are committed to the channel), the key question is to decide which post to promote, and optimize the content to fit the needs of their target group, while also manipulating the factors above.

  • Charlas

    Where are the stats saying the younger users are leaving? And where are they going?

  • Veljko Simakovic

    Facebook, like Twitter and social media are just an expansion of the brand. Another way to interact. Bashing it completely, as well as making a holy advertising grail out of it, are both extremes. In reality both can add to the customer experience and interaction with the brand, that's it. That is its' core value. Rarely are only the social media the key point of any campaign, we are still people, and this is not Matrix. Generally all the good social media campaigns have a strong backing through the offline communication.

  • Spook SEO

    Photos are very powerful no matter how many times they were already
    posted on the Internet. There will still be people who will get fascinated by
    them. Investing on this will surely be the next big thing now. Memes and
    infographics are just some of the most common examples for it.

  • mikesty

    I don't know if I "need to know about" these facts. I guess they're relevant if you are into marketing yourself, or you're in desperate need of approval from other people. Forgetting the relevance, I love statistics, and a lot of this was very interesting. Nothing terribly counter-intuitive but interesting nonetheless. More of this! Good article.

  • John Mc

    Very interesting facts, although I agree in some way with Chris Reich, FB engagement is dying slowly.

  • Chris Reich

    Where's the real return rate? 50% more comments on pictures means what? I would say that for most businesses, Facebook is a total waste of time. Facebook is over marketed now and the ads keep coming. The younger users are leaving. The quality of the advertisers is declining. Unless your business can benefit from running a contest, skip the whole Facebook thing.

  • Hollister Dixon

    Claiming that Facebook is a waste of time, in the digital age, is a nice way to plead ignorance. It's a stone age mindset.

    Sorry, fellas. You're out of your depth.

  • Chris Reich

    You must be selling social media marketing. Anyone who must be responsible for a return on investment knows that for most businesses, Facebook is a complete waste of resources. The tone of your comment speaks volumes. Reminds me of the fading SEO firms that still believe they can "game" Google. You guys are the ones missing the change---Facebook, as a marketing platform, is fading not growing.