If you’ve been struggling with Facebook lately for your brand page, don’t think you’re alone.

Between changes to the layout of brand pages, News Feed algorithm adjustments, and countless other tweaks and changes, marketers are constantly on their toes anticipating what’s coming next.

A current issue that many are facing is the decline of a post’s organic reach. Marketers have had their organic reach cut by more than half with their Page’s published posts.

This change is caused by a deeper underlying issue—the competition to get seen on a fan’s Facebook News Feed is higher than ever. At any given point a user logs into the Facebook platform, there are more than 1,500 posts that user could be shown.

In short, Facebook wants to bring the best quality content to users’ Feeds. Luckily, quality content is what all of us want to create! So rather than give up on the world’s largest and most popular social media platform, you can simply shift focus from what’s going on your brand pages to how to get your Facebook post seen on our fans’ News Feed.

TrackMaven analyzed 5,804 Facebook pages (each with a minimum of 1,000 Page Likes) spanning a total combined 1,578,006 posts to determine the attributes of the most impactful Facebook interactions. These are the top 5 most effective strategies for landing on a user’s News Feed, according to our data.

1. Schedule for more engagement

A marketer has a never-ending queue of tasks, which makes it essential to know the most effective times to post to social media.

In order to land a spot on a user’s Facebook News Feed, try shifting your scheduling strategy from posting during the most popular times in the workweek to the most effective times.

For example, although most of the work marketers put in happens Monday-Friday, the magic actually happens during the weekend. Posts on Sundays receive 2.72 interactions and are 25% more effective than a post on Wednesday.

Graph#3Post Frequency and Effectiveness DOW

Studying time of day showed some similarly counterintuitive data. Posting during the weekday (particularly during lunch) is most popular (All the data to follow is based on Eastern Standard Time):Graph2TOD-Chart

But posts published after hours (from 5 p.m.-1 a.m.) gain the highest average of interactions on average.


Both of these findings support the late night infomercial effect: When there’s little else on, you’re more likely to watch an infomercial. When there’s little else being posted, your posts are more likely to stand out.

2. Get visual: Images receive 37% more interactions

It’s a fact: the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

Facebook became the largest host of online photos in 2011, and it’s still a prime spot for visual content. 88% of the Facebook posts we studied are images, and they receive 37% more average interactions than those without photos. So stay visual!

Graph#4Use of Pictures in Posts

3. Punctuate your posts: Try an exclamation point

Punctuation is often times considered an afterthought. However, punctuation can convey the kind of emotional value that helps brands connect at a more human level. For example, we found that using exclamation points in a post correlates with more engagement.

An exclamation mark isn’t commonly used on Facebook—71.17% posts studied did not use them. But the posts that do use them see 2.7 times more engagement on average.

How many do you need? Overall, we found a positive correlation between post effectiveness and number of exclamation points. (A post with 7 exclamation marks receives 7.84 interactions on average. Now that’s something to get excited about!)

Graph#5Exclamtion Mark Usage

4. Add hashtags for 60% more engagement

On any social network that offers hashtags, it’s generally a good idea to use them. They’re a relatively new development on Facebook, which introduced hashtags in 2013 to correspond with trending topics and to guide users to news and content on specific topics.

Fewer than 1 in 6 posts we studied contained hashtags, but those that include at least one saw 60% greater engagement results than those without.

How many hashtags gets you the best results? We found that post effectiveness is positively correlated with increasing hashtag use. Although posts with 1 or 2 hashtags did better than those with 3 or 4, posts that used a number of hashtags beyond 4 saw extraordinary engagement, peaking at 5.41 interactions per post at 7 hashtags.

Graph#7 Hashtagusage

5. Write longer posts: 80-89 words is best for engagement

The 140 characters on Twitter limit the message a marketer can craft and optimize, but it’s much different for Facebook. With a “limit” of more than 60,000 characters, you could get carried away. But since the competition is high, as a marketer it’s important to optimize your messaging to the right amount of words.

33.09% of posts we looked at had a word count of 10-19 words and the majority (57.21%) kept their message short, at less than 20 words.

But our data showed a positive correlation between word count and post effectiveness. More specifically, posts of 80-89 words got 2 times as much engagement, topping out at 6.19 average interactions per post.


Surprising, right? One possible theory behind the increased effectiveness of longer posts is that they benefit from the intrigue of Facebook’s “Continue Reading” link.

According to psychology and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely, our brains have a tendency to shift our preferences towards things we invest energy into—a theory known as the IKEA effect. Users could be more likely to interact with these longer posts because they’ve invested more time in reading them, just like the way you love your IKEA furniture because you’re invested in it from building it yourself.


5 strategies for more Facebook engagement
Landing on a Facebook user’s News Feed is every marketer’s priority now. To increase your chances of getting there, first create the highest quality content for your audience.

Then try experimenting with these strategies on your own posts and see what your own data tells you. Here’s a recap of the top 5 most effective strategies to get your Facebook post seen on a user’s News Feed.

What strategies have worked best for you when it comes to increasing your Facebook organic reach? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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Written by Sabel Harris

Sabel is the Director of Marketing at TrackMaven, the competitive intelligence platform for enterprise marketers. The way to her heart is to spit out any ’90s rap lyric, but she’ll also settle for some characters on Twitter, too. Find her at @sabelharris.

  • Hi Sabel,

    Thanks for the great post with a great statistics.

  • overall i agree with these tips But I have to exclude number 5. I’ve seen data that suggests the reverse, that under 40 characters gets the best results. On my personal facebook page, 200+ word text only posts get the best engagement. it’s all over the place because the content of those words is more important than the number

    • Ultimately, I think for any page the best tips and insights to follow depend on the audience of that page. If the audience interacts more with longer posts then it’s beneficial to keep up with the longer form or vice versa. But you always want to make sure you are optimizing for your audience on Facebook. Thanks for reading Marie! 😀

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  • This is great…especially the word count for posts. I have been wondering what is the best count.

  • Great ideas Sabel, I think my posts on Facebook are about to get longer..lol. Thanks for the tips “now to put them into action”.

  • Melissa

    I’ve found the shift in algorithms fascinating. I maintain 4 different facebook pages for a variety of organizations and I’ve found that one of them sees consistently dramatically higher engagement (and has since before the shift) and, as a result, facebook seems to allow it to have greater reach with its following.

    • That’s awesome to hear and really interesting because many have seen/faced quite the opposite. You must be producing some great content for that page! Thanks for reading Melissa!

  • Ahmad Mehdi

    I think you should also mention how videos don’t really gather a lot of interaction as compared to images. I am currently running two Facebook pages for organizations and images with content on them always work for me. Secondly, I have to agree with Marie D’Angelo. Fewer the words, better the interaction. People these days don’t have a lot of time to go through everything. Lastly, I also believe that it is better to write the post at a certain time than to schedule it. It works at times.

    Thanks for your insight though. Really helpful. Kudos!

    • I mentioned in a comment above it that everything just depends on your audience. So despite the insights we uncovered with our data set telling us that the longer the word count the higher the interactions, if your audience engages more with less words then by all means keep your posts short. However, it doesn’t hurt to test those things out. 🙂

      Thanks for reading Ahmad!

  • Thanks for handy tips

  • Sudharshan CM

    Thank you Sabel! For these interesting ways. Esp 3rd
    & 4th

  • Nikhil

    Very helpful indeed ! Thanks Sabel 🙂

  • I was just discussing my Facebook use and engagement with my social media director (okay, my husband). I’ve noticed that my main stream of work referrals comes from Facebook and so we have decided to ramp up our efforts there.

    Thanks for the great ideas to help push us to the next level!

    • Thanks for reading DaLea and glad you found this helpful!! 😀

  • Brooke McMillan

    Not seeing this in B2C at all. Actually seeing less reach on posts using hashtags on B2C pages I manage and definitely not seeing #5 at all. In fact, the shorter the better on those pages. Could be your specific audience – possibly more savvy with hashtag use on FB or you are using trending hashtags in your posts to capitalize on the traffic.

    • Hi Brooke, this data was based on our entire database with pages with over 1,000 page likes. Our database is comprised of three groups — customers & competitors, companies we are engaged with in sales and marketing, and companies we draw inspiration from. So their is a wide range of companies in all verticals.

      At the end of the day, it really depends on your audience and what they respond to. These are just some of the insights we discovered with the pages we analyzed 🙂 Thanks for reading Brooke and let me know if you have any more questions! 😀

  • Hi Sabel, this was a great and informative post! I already use a lot of exclamation marks but I’ll give hashtags on Facebook a shot 🙂


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  • Michael Adam

    Hello Sabel, I am not agree particular this points

    5. Write longer posts: 80-89 words is best for engagement.
    Is it possible we have to post in Facebook in 80-90 words per day?
    Waiting for your reply.


  • Interesting. We’ve been keeping (or trying) our Facebook posts under 40 characters after seeing an infographic a few weeks ago. The results have been mixed at best, so I’m going to put a few up with 80-90 words and see how it goes.

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  • Chloe

    These are great tips that I am going to put into practice right this minute.


  • Thea Groom

    Great hacks, #thanks. But the better answer or HOW TO; is how to get my Page RE-PUBLISHED after #FaceBookSydney took THE WORD of the lawyer acting for a competitor of mine who is INTENT & has non-stopped HARRASSED; sabotaged my suppliers relationship with me; either recruits my staff with Manipulation & big promises & big lies to leave us; only for them to leave his employ.

    Conspiracy to commit murder too. Please do not say for me to seek legal advise NOR to talk to police
    Nor to write to Facebook and ask/beg/promise all the tea in China, OR threaten to ask for MY DAMAGES FROM FACEBOOK & the (non human).. The thi

  • Thea Groom

    It seems the post box has limited character spaces (but more than Twitter)..

    WHO do you know in FaceBook in the USA? Because WHO EVER THE DIRECTORS here are, their replies to people complaining of a couple of HARRASSING & disgusting Pages POPPED up, ALL conveniently around the day he had his process worker arrive at my office – sadly I was home sick.

  • Thea Groom

    So, he missed ambushing me into court next day with 4 hours notice ONLY to find a lawyer, engage him IF he’s FREE tomorrow to represent me.

    GUESS what? After 12 years of stalking, lies to the public trying to kill my reputation. LIES that we are going broke & our mesh is made in China.

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    It’s too much to say & painful. Most Agents he sells an Area to are broke financially & broken emotionally within 12 – 18 MONTHS. And they are not a target.

    My problem IS; I started out in Adelaide with a huge dream AND no money. and ab invention of a gutter guard system.

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    I say NO NAMES; and albeit he plays the “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” TRICK… And has me injuncted as a contemptor of court orders – it HAS been him.

  • Thea Groom

    His arttacks ON ME starting in 2003 including the death threats & phone calls at home ! Work & “stuff sent to my home & work” was as #TRAUMATIC event as you could be IN.. And luckily I am – ( NO LONGER- but I speak OF #TheaGroom – Wonder Woman)
    I only NOW, (that I am able to have some cognitive thought).., SEE why every one she met; asked:- HOW do you do it?

    I did not know, but for since childhood; I can do most any task; my learning is quick I remember everything. I can (could) turn a “movie” on in my mind and re-play the events of anything . From events that happened when I was 3. And conversations from that time.

    Or/- events & word for word conversions thereof from 20 years ago, or 10; 8; 6 or last week. That was the “old Thea” that EVERYONE #loves and now say “we want the old Thea back”.,

  • Thea Groom

    Oh I can write this evening. Can I write in the morning?

    #FaceBook why is Thea here? This IS about FaceBook?? NO ITS NOT it’s about #PEOPLE – not #contacts #leads
    #likes #faves #tweeps & #peeps & #plusers and #pinners & what the hell IS the nice name for #Instagram followers ??

  • Thea Groom

    #LinkedIn ? They are #followers
    THERE ARE:- #Influencers #SEO’s & #Adwords & #Organic growth & #hacks (JEZZ that was an idiot in the not so long past)..

    There’s #Lingo that’s #fashionable. / like #Fashionista ?? GO FIGURE ..

    If YOU do not understand the #CoolDudes on #TheCloud you are going nowhere but to HELL??

    You aren’t #savvy. Business people NOW must be #ITGEEKS to run an ordinary business. If for example you do NOT know what 42 is??

  • Thea Groom

    ANSWER:- #42 IS the “answer”., yep – I stated this comment AS “ANSWER” yes 42 IS the Answer.
    (Something about the Universe – the answer is 42) well it goes like that. Find a #geek & ask him to explain.). ???????
    The #Question.

  • Thea Groom

    The “Meaning of Life” etc.. The explanation IS that NO ONE knows the question.

    Open your #FaceBook Emotions IF #FaceBook has NOT BLOCKED you for life??

  • Thea Groom

    The grossly #UGLY man, non #Australian AT. THAT… Well his lawyers got me #UNPUBLISHED -FOR EVER. They did that BEFORE they took me to court. So he and his scum bag lawyer can #FINISH me off.

    But WHY us #FaceBook playing THAT HARD BALL AT ME? Cuts off my supply of fans, (I used to do TVC’s – I am public property).. BUT I have a nasty habit – picked up since childhood – AND I blame…

  • Thea Groom

    My mum & dad, sadly taught me #TRUTH & #AUTHENTICITY & #Empathy; #Morals – #Ethics; #Sharing EVEN if we had 3 pieces of bread for our family – 2 adults & 3 kids; and a visitor came, we would SHARE those 3 pieces of bread with that family. WHERE did I grow up?

  • Thea Groom

    Right here in #Australia., YEP. It was tough times .. Dad virtually broke his back at the #TyreFactory is he could not work to feed us kids, as in ENOUGH food for the week because the #DOLE was (not enough)., we went through hard times. That’s HOW it was – and dad went through agony with his back in a back brace & could ONLY walk on hands & knees. He could not stand. And I’d hear him scream in pain.

    I was 18 months old when we located to Australia from Greece. I was born in #Olympia. Where the Oracle of Delphi told the Greejs they were to build a stadium

  • Thea Groom

    There would BE games every 4 years. That WAS for all the #waring states of Greece to come together in #fellowship & #kinship.

    #man against #man in competition. And in #PEACE – my home town. That I would only see for the first time since birth #FOUR decades later.

  • Reema Saini

    I strongly recommend the #hashtag point

  • A couple of things that seem counterintuitive and make me reluctant to trust this data: 1) more exclamation points, and 2) more hashtags – result in more engagement? Really? Maybe it’s just me but that stuff looks spammy to me and I’m more likely to ignore it.

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  • Good tips and I wanted to just touch on the Number 4 point about hashtags. It’s something that never seems to have taken off as well on Facebook as other platforms but you are right. I looked after a global brand’s Facebook pages for nearly 3 years and had a lot of time for CRO & A/B testing. We found using a couple of hashtags per post, provided they were well related to the post of course, increased engagement overall. Social media growth is hard earned, but ensuring you keep up to date on the best ways to come across will definitely reduced the number of posts needed to reach your goal followers/likes etc! Thanks for writing this.