If you are looking to get more likes on your Facebook status updates, you are probably already well aware of how important they are to your social networking strategy. Not only do they help to build relationships with your followers, they are also crucial to make your page or brand more visible among your Facebook followers.
Typical Facebook users follow hundreds of people and pages, and getting your status updates anywhere near the top of their feed is much like the battle to get your link near the top of Google’s search results. Facebook’s internal algorithms which determine what updates get seen and which do not strongly favor posts with high levels of activity on them, and getting your content liked by users is a crucial step in achieving that. But just how can you get more likes on your Facebook?
1. Change What You Post
It is a little known fact that photos receive approximately 50% more likes than text or link posts. They also receive twice as many comments and very nearly twice as many click-throughs. This does not mean that you have to make every one of your posts photo-oriented, but the more photos that you provide alongside your status updates, the more likely you will earn likes from them.
2. Change How You Post
One of the reasons Twitter has been such an immensely popular format in the social networking game is the strict character limit on posting. While the idea of limiting your audience to short messages may seem like a counter-intuitive way to run a service, shorter messages are actually far more engaging.
The same fundamental idea can be applied to your Facebook status updates. Posts with 80 characters or fewer receive approximately 70% more engagement from visitors than posts with 81 characters or above. When it comes to Facebook posts, less truly is more.
3. Feel Free to Ask
Posts that pose questions receive twice as many comments as posts which do not. While it is easy to understand why this would be the case, it is important to remember that your question should be open ended enough to not discourage anyone from responding to it. You can also use these questions as an opportunity to engage and reply with your audience to encourage further engagement.
4. Change When You Post
Facebook activity varies hour by hour and day by day, but primetime for Facebook use occurs around approximately 3pm EST with high levels of use also occurring between 10am and 10pm EST. The worst time to post new content is between 9pm and 7am EST, though this may vary slightly depending on your niche or if you are targeting an international audience. There are also usage spikes that occur at 11am and 8pm as a consequence of users taking lunch breaks or getting off work. If getting to your messages seen are a priority for you, consider posting them around these times.
Even the day of the week is also an important factor in maximizing responses to your posts. Facebook activity, meaning the number of posts and comments published in a given day, is highest on Wednesday and gradually increases or decreases the further or closer you stray from that day. Contrary to what you might expect, Sunday and Saturday are actually the lowest time of Facebook activity and consequently the worst time to post new content in the hopes of acquiring likes.
5. Change How Often You Post
A study of retail brand Facebook pages has found that posting once or twice every day encourages as much as 40% more engagement among users as measured by the number of likes and comments. Naturally you want to stay relatively active to keep people aware of your brand and engaged on your page, but you do not want to flood them so often that they become overwhelmed. Posting once or twice per day is the sweet spot, so to speak.
6. Create Like-Gated Content
Facebook offers users the ability to create custom tabs which people can only visit once they have liked your page. If you promote the fact that some content is locked or exclusive to members of your page, you can easily attract new users to joining your page. You can use a similar strategy by explicitly asking your fans to like your status updates in exchange for early access content, coupons, or simply to show support for a popular message you have to share. Since the penultimate goal for any brand’s Facebook page is to engage with customers and potential customers in order to promote the brand message, any like that you can get is valuable, no matter how it is achieved.
Keep in mind, just because these strategies are statistically optimal times and ways to post status updates, it is important to do your own testing to determine what works best for you. Not every demographic or niche behaves identically, so it is worth your while to take note of when your posts receive the most activity and what type of posts perform best among your unique audience. However, the research surrounding Facebook likes does not lie, and following these steps as a starting point or guideline for attracting new likes is a surefire way to drive your page in the right direction on the road to collecting likes and shares.