Facebook studied journalists’ pages to learn which types of posts draw the most engagement—“likes," comments, sharing—and when they’ll see the most activity from readers.
are helpful not only for traditional reporters—they can help steer the types of pitches PR people send to them—but also for bloggers and brand journalists.
Highlights from the study include:
• Posts with a question or call to action from a journalist received the most feedback, with twice the comments as the average post and 64 percent more feedback overall. Despite their effectiveness, only 10 percent of posts on journalists’ pages were questions.
• Posts with a journalist’s analysis and personal reflections saw 20 percent more referral clicks.
• Photos drew 50 percent more “likes” than non-photo posts; journalists who shared links with thumbnail images got 65 percent more likes and 50 percent more comments than posts without images.
• In terms of the length of Facebook posts, long and short ones generate feedback, but lengthier posts—those with four and five lines—on average drew the most feedback overall.
• The most popular topics—meaning those that drew the most feedback on average—deal with education, politics, and behind-the-scenes insight and analysis.
• Posts later in the week—Thursdays through Sundays—received the most feedback. Sunday posts saw the highest amount.
• Although the study said readers are active throughout the day, spikes in feedback occurred at the start of the day (7 a.m. and 8 a.m. ET), late in the morning (10 a.m. ET), later in the workday (4 and 5 p.m. ET), and in the evening (12 a.m. and 2 a.m. ET).
for more highlights from the study.
Facebook has promised to release a similar study on how users engage with news organizations—as opposed to individual journalists—on the site.