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Another guest post from the Newswhip blog.

Six Ways to Improve Your Facebook Posts

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Another guest post from the Newswhip blog.

Effective posting on Facebook can do wonders for your social engagement. We look at some simple tips to help improve this. 

Every month, we see stories that have huge success on Facebook. While a good fan-base helps in spreading your stories on Facebook, presentation also goes a long way. With engagement with content on Facebook growing, it’s a good time for a primer in the simple science of good Facebook etiquette.

1. Put effort into pitching your story

When you see a link from a friend in your Facebook feed, you automatically look for context. Why should you click it? You check to see what your friend says about the video or link – is it controversial, hilarious, important or just interesting? The few words you type out to accompany the link might have everything to do with how its received by your friends.

It’s the same with publishers’ pages.

It’s hard to boil the all-important post pitch into any one set of commandments for social media managers. It will differ substantially according to the type of reader you’re hoping to reach.

The best advice is to know your audience.

For the BBC, that means an authoritative but approachable overview of the day’s news, like settling down to the interactive evening news.

 

For BuzzFeed, it might mean a self-explanatory image with a laconic caption.

 

Look at the few words of copy accompanying your link, video or image as a unique writing challenge. Think of the context of the piece and your audience. For news stories, look for a key quote, statistic or other hook with which to frame the piece.

Shorten untidy links and remove unnecessary ones.

If you’re going for humour, try it on some colleagues first. You mightn’t be as funny as you think you are.

Try to keep things as short and punchy as possible. Your description will be hidden behind a ‘Read more’ button if you go over a certain number of characters, plus your mobile readers will have to scroll like crazy just to get to the link.

And never, ever copy and paste the headline. That’s lazy, bot-like, and repetitive – it will also show up with the accompanying link.

2. Don’t be spammy, even accidentally

It sounds obvious, but spam-like behaviour is going to affect how Facebook’s algorithm ranks the reach of your post.

The network have said themselves that ‘like-bait’ and repeated content isgoing to be less and less visible in the future.

 

Asking people to ‘like’ or ‘share’ your image is an increasingly bad idea. Remember that readers can also report your posts if they find them annoying or spammy, ultimately reducing your timeline reach.

The growth in audience reach is not worth any negative association with your content. A human touch and clever writing is the way to go.

3. Make use of Facebook’s new video autoplay

Facebook recently introduced the autoplay feature for videos on the timeline. Facebook reckon that the feature leads to up to 10% more engagement from users.

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