How do you get more clicks from Facebook?

We’ve thought about this question lots before. It’s come up in our monthly reports and audits. Facebook marketing is one of the most exciting social media areas we’re eager to improve.

And this month, we may have hit on a strategy that works.

We’re happy to share with you all our latest social media stats and strategies from the last month—including what we’re trying with Facebook—in hopes that it may encourage or inspire some thoughts from you as well! Join us for a look at our trials and errors, experiments and mistakes. And feel free to share any thoughts that come up!

buffer report march

Inside Buffer’s social media marketing stats

Here’re our complete stats from March for each of Buffer’s four major social media profiles. We’re hopeful that the context and background is helpful as you build and analyze your social media strategies. Feel free to shout with any questions!

(All stats are from the past 28 days, and comparisons are made to the 28 days prior.)

Twitter

We gained 15,288 new followers for a total of 302,183 followers. (Last month, we gained 12,006 new followers.)

We shared 379 tweets (not including #bufferchat and customer happiness) that earned a total of 60,050 total interactions. This was an increase of about 31 interactions per tweet compared to last month.

Out of everyone who saw a tweet, 2 percent of users engaged with the tweet by clicking, retweeting, replying, favoriting, or following the Buffer account.

  • Engagement rate – 2.0% (2.1% last month)
  • Average impressions per tweet – 12,604 (12,769 last month)
  • Average total engagement per tweet – 291 (clicks, retweets, replies, follows, and favorites) (311 last month)
  • Average clicks per tweet – 121 (101 last month)
  • Average retweets per tweet – 26 (28 last month)

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Twitter analytics

Facebook

We gained 829 new page Likes for a total of 35,023 Likes. (We gained 836 new page Likes last month.)

We shared 60 posts that earned 3,946 interactions. This was an increase of 25 interactions per post compared to last month.

An average Facebook post reached 1,825 (1,200 last month). Of these, 1,134 people were fans of our page (700 last month), so each post reached an average of 3.2 percent of our total number of fans (was 2.1 percent last month).

  • Average clicks per post – 51 (+30 from last month)
  • Average likes per post – 10 (-3 from last month)
  • Average comments per post – 1 (-3 from last month)

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Facebook analytics

LinkedIn

We gained 399 new followers for a total of 4,459 followers. (We gained 236 new followers last month.)

We shared 34 posts that earned a total of 334 interactions. (Very nearly the same interaction/post from last month.)

  • Engagement rate – 1.8%
  • Interactions per post – 10

Google+

We gained 43,211 new followers for a total of 735,895 followers. (We gained 51,142 new followers last month.)

We shared 52 posts that earned a total of 1,256 interactions.

  • Interactions per post – 24 (37 last month)
  • Clicks per post – 6 (14 last month)
  • Reshares per post – 4 (same)
  • Plus Ones per post – 13 (17 last month)

Referral traffic to the Buffer blog

march social referrals blog

The above chart shows the top six social referrers to the Buffer Social blog. Not pictured: StumbleUpon, which dropped to number seven after being number four last month. (Pocket and Pinterest each rose compared to last month.)

Referral traffic to the Buffer app

march social referrals app

The above chart shows the social referrer traffic to the Buffer app itself. Blogger (1,215), Scoop.it (800), Quora (725), reddit (688), and WordPress (611) rounded out the top ten.

Inside Buffer’s social media strategies

Along with the stats, I’d love to share a bit about the strategies we’re testing on different social networks. It’d be awesome if you find this helpful or if this sparks any ideas for you. And it’d be great to get your thoughts in the comments on ways we could improve or grow, too!

New style of Facebook messages

We’re excited for the chance to keep pushing ahead with different ways of growing our Facebook reach and engagement.

This month, we found a bit of success on the engagement front, growing our clicks per post on Facebook by more than double—21 clicks to 51 clicks.

Here are a few of the things we’ve done a bit different lately:

1. Share links instead of photos 

It just so happens that our greater number of clicks also correlates to a slight uptick in organic reach. More people are seeing our posts, so more people have the potential to click on them.

Lately, the trends on Facebook have been pointing toward video, statuses, and links, and pointing away from posting photos. Here’s an interesting bit of research from Socialbakers on the best types of posts for organic reach:

SocialBakers study

2. Use hashtags in the posts

Do hashtags work on Facebook? Some studies say no. Others have found that they work in moderation or in specific industries.

We’ve added hashtags to several of our posts this past month, and they’ve been among the most-clicked and most-viewed out of all our updates (see below). If you’ve yet to experiment with hashtags for yourself, it might be worth testing to see what works.

3. Write in a conversational tone—sentence case capitalization, less headline-y text

There is a dizzying array of ways to write a social media update (we counted 71 here). For Facebook, we’ve traditionally taken a headline approach, matching the update text to the posts’s headline or subheads.

This month has been a little different. We’ve tried some more conversational messaging in the updates, using sentence case instead of title case (e.g., “Social media is rad” vs. “Social Media Is Rad”).

Here’s the post that did the best for us in the past 30 days in terms of clicks.

most popular FB posts

Courtney has done a great job at identifying some top areas where we can experiment on Facebook, including video and posting frequency. We’d love to keep you updated on what we find out this month.

Sortable analytics

One of my favorite ways to keep our Buffer queue full is to discover the posts that have done best in the past.

And there’s a super easy way to do this in the Buffer dashboard.

Using the new sortable analytics, I can sort all the posts that have been shared to the Buffer queues, sorting by metrics like clicks and retweets, then filtering by date (past 7 days, past 30 days, or even a custom timeframe).

most-clicked posts gif

We then grab the ones that have resonated most with our audience and re-Buffer them to our queues, tweaking the message slightly or reworking the images or calls-to-action.

Facebook likes drop

Here’s quite the eye-catching chart:

facebook like drop

This shows our Facebook likes for the past 30 days—with a noticeable dip on March 13.

Has anyone else noticed a drop like this in your Facebook stats?

The drop is quite precipitous, losing nearly 400 of our 35,000 likes in one day. This likely can be traced to Facebook’s removing a host of fake and expired accounts this past month. The removal didn’t figure to impact any of the engagement metrics for our page or others: in theory, these are all inactive accounts that weren’t contributing to metrics like clicks and reach.

How to show your boss or client the value of social media

We talked a bit last month about creating social media reports that you can share with others. And I wanted to quickly mention one way that we’ve noticed the positive effect of social media and its impact for the Buffer product.

If you go into Google Analytics and click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels, you can see a breakdown of the different sources that send visits to your site.

Here’s what things look like for traffic to our main site at buffer.com.

referrals to app - all

Typically between 10 and 15 percent of Buffer visits come via social media. The raw numbers are quite telling also—200,000+ visits per month from social.

Regardless of the size and scale of your social traffic, the impact of social can often be clearly seen in charts like these.

What percentage of traffic does social media send to your site?

New visions and ideas for social media marketing

We feel grateful for the chance to work on so many amazing and fun social media strategies, and we’ve got even more that we’d love to try out. Here are a few that we’re thinking over.

Pinterest tips

We’re excited to forge ahead in some neat ways for our Pinterest marketing. As Pinterest sends us the 6th-most traffic from social, we’re keen to focus a bit more on the specific ways that we can best help our audience on Pinterest.

Some of our potential experiments include:

  • Creating Pinterest-optimized images for each blog post (aspect ratio of 2:3 or 1:3.5)
  • Trying out different captions (keyword-rich, long or short, etc)
  • Create a Pin-it-for-later link from your Pin and share that link in social media updates
  • Use multiple images within a pin
  • Create pins with text in them
  • Build Pinterest boards for your blog posts

We’ll of course be happy to report back with anything that we find here!

Sniply experiments

We’re grateful for a lot of wonderful information on growth hacks for social media. One of the ones that catches my eye most often is for Snip.ly, a call-to-action tool that adds a custom CTA to every link you share.

Here’s a bit about what the Sniply process might look like for our social accounts:

  1. Find a piece of awesome content to share.
  2. Write a great headline for the article.
  3. Go into Sniply to create the URL.
    1. Add the article’s URL.
    2. Customize a call-to-action message and button specific to your blog or brand.
    3. Grab the new, customized Sniply URL to add to the update.
  4. Share the update to social media

When your audience clicks on the link, they’ll see a custom CTA that you’ve created, hovering at the bottom of the page.

sniply example

Has anyone here tried Sniply with their social media sharing? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience!

Livecasting

Some of the most buzzworthy apps we’re chatting about at Buffer involve livecasting—the broadcasting of real-time footage of what we’re doing.

Specifically, what might this look like for sharing our work processes with a live audience?

Two of the trending livecast products are Meerkat and Periscope. I tried out Periscope by sharing a livecast of my writing process. The first day I tried it out, a livecast caught 120 viewers—and it took little more than my setting my device in front of my computer screen and pressing Go.

periscoping

Social media content we’d love to write about (any thoughts?)

And finally, I’d love to share a few of the social media blog post ideas we’re considering for the next few weeks. If any of these topics jump out at you, I’d love to hear your votes!

  1. The Time It Takes to Write a Buffer Blog Post (And How We Spend Every Minute)
  2. You Have $100 to Spend on Social Media Marketing. Here’s One Way to Spend It.
  3. How to Turn Things Off in Social Media
  4. Should You Be On Snapchat, Ello, or Vine?
  5. How to Learn Social Media Marketing in 2 Minutes a Day
  6. The Great Guide to 100+ Words to Use or Avoid in Your Email Subject Lines

Over to you

I hope this look into our Buffer social media stats and strategies holds some insights or ideas for you as you build out your own strategies. I’d love to expand on anything here—and hear from you on any thoughts that come up.

What are you working on this month on social media?

Do any stats or strategies stand out here for you?

It’d be amazing to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Image sources: Pablo, Unsplash, Iconfinder

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Great post, as usual. I’d love to read about “4. Should You Be On Snapchat, Ello, or Vine?” I joined both Snapchat and Ello before Christmas, but I can’t see any perks to run them for my biz. Thanks!

    • Great to hear from you, Alice! Yes, I’d love to write about that one. I think I’ve got a lot to learn there as well! 🙂

    • Me to, Ello especially, was underwhelming!

  • Matheus

    Hey, guys! I’d love to see a post about “The Time It Takes to Write a Buffer Blog Post (And How We Spend Every Minute)”. I really think you guys write the best actionable content about blogging and social media around, and it would be great to get to know more about the process making this content. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Matheus! Great to hear from you! I’d love to put that one together and share. If you’ve got any specific questions in the meantime, I’d be really happy to answer!

      • Matheus

        Thanks, Kevan! I wanted to know if each of you guys have complete autonomy regarding your respective posts or if you share some tasks like reviewing and editing? If so, how many people usually participate in the writing process of each post?

  • I would love to see a post comparing Meerkat and Periscope and which one will ultimately beat out the other! I would also love to read #2 and #4!

    • Hi Alexis! Ooh, that’s a really great one! I’ve had fun watching the Meerkat/Periscope news lately. Thanks for the votes for the blog posts!

  • Guest

    Really great post, as always. I’d love to hear about “You Have $100 to Spend on Social Media Marketing. Here’s One Way to Spend It.”

    • Thanks so much for the vote! Excited to put that one together. 🙂

  • Maria Riley

    Kevan, your posts always provide so much insight and value. Love Buffer’s transparency.

    • Hi Maria! Wow, thanks so much for the comment! So glad to hear that the content is helpful for you. 🙂

  • This article has my brain going on overdrive!

    I love the snip.ly concept, and will be testing that out myself soon, so thanks for sharing that.

    For your content ideas, I’d love to see #1 – the time it takes to write a Buffer blog post (and how we spend every minute)

    • Hi Mike! Thanks for the comment! I’d love to hear what you think of sniply. The concept is such a neat one!

  • Great post, as always! Of course, it also helps your social media stats that Buffer is attracting people just by being an awesome service! BTW, speaking of awesome services, do you intend to expand more on Pablo. My readers love all of the quotes that I have created with Pablo, but I’ve used all of the ones that are relevant to my nice. Pablo makes it super easy to create great quotes/visuals. It’s actually what convinced me to upgrade my plan on Buffer, so I could queue all my quotes, though I have been making sure I spread them out to just one a day.

    • Hi Maureen! Thanks for the comment! Yes, we’ve got lots of exciting plans in the works for Pablo. It’s really great to hear that it’s been so useful for you already – that’s such great validation to keep building out new upgrades!

    • I heartily second the upvote for Pablo! I was using Canva, but for super-quick “blog graphics” nothing beats Pablo!!!

      I still use Canva, but it’s more complex, so I save that for things like detailed infographics…and I still use Pablo for the *individual* elements for the infographic! 🙂

      It’s great! And so generous of Buffer to make it available for everyone!

      I’ve recently added it to my (very short) list of “graphics resources” in my WP101 class (http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-WordPress-101/) on “images.” I know tons of people are going to find it incredibly useful! 🙂

  • Brandon Gearing

    Great post as always, Kevan. I’m constantly telling others about your blog. I really admire your work. I think #2 would be interesting. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Brandon!

  • Thanks for the great post, Kevan. Some really interesting insights here! We’ve been experimenting with snip.ly and have been seeing some good traction with it. Love the move to a more conversational tone/less headline text for company social media accounts – I’ve have always been a bit jarred by that. We haven’t had an opportunity to think through how to strategize livecasting with Periscope or other. I’d love to see your take on that in a future post! Also interested in seeing #2 🙂

    • Hi there Anne! Thanks so much for the comment! Really amazing to hear that you’ve been using and enjoying sniply. 🙂

      Yeah, the Periscope experiment was a really fun one to try. I’m not sure if I had much strategy going into it either! My sense is that there’s a lot of interest in seeing the way that others work – so maybe the strategy is more toward personal branding? Definitely a great one to think on!

  • Another awesome post, Kevan! The metrics have my head spinning! Great info…just takes t-i-m-e to digest it all, and find relevance to my own biz! :-O
    The massive dip in FB stats was really eye-opening! Geez! Glad you surmised the reason! If I had seen that in my own stats, I would have freaked out! 😉

    I’d like to hear about option #1 from your choices…and how to apply all this for solo workers like me! 😉

    • Hi there Karen! Really great to hear from you. 🙂 Thanks for the comment. Yes, definitely a lot of metrics there; happy to help clarify those for future posts also (still experimenting with the best format for these monthly reports). 🙂

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Thank you, Kevan!

    My vote goes to No. 1 and No. 2

    Keep up your transparency and tenacity, Buffer’ites’ 😉

  • Oma Beate

    Interested in #5 and #6 You are really awesome with your research. I LOVE the transparency of Buffer. I need ot learn more about hashtags.

  • Another great post Kevan. I love how open and transparent you guys are with everything you do.

    I’ve tried using snip.ly for my blog and it has worked great for me as it brought me the most important thing I am after: email subscribers. The snip is directing people to my free opt-in page and I’ve seen around 8-10% conversion which I am happy with.

    The thing is that snip.ly seems to be quite controversial on the interwebs and many website owners don’t like it as they feel you’re either hijacking their site by taking over their own CTAs. One website owner even referred to it as the new form of Cyber Squatting.

    Do you guys seek permission before embedding your own CTA (using snip.ly) on other people’s content?

  • Robert Weller

    Hi Kevan,
    thanks for sharing so many interesting insights on your social media strategy.

    I felt I ought to drop a few lines about snip.ly which I also use on a regular basis. I actually integrated it into my content curation routine by creating “snipped” RSS feeds (a handy feature that you even get in the free version of the tool). I added those feeds to my Feedly from where I schedule to Buffer. This way my shared posts all include a snip.ly CTA and I profit from returning traffic. I did indeed see traffic going up after setting this up!

    Have you seen similar results by now?

  • Niall Byrne

    Kevan, great article thx. Is there a way to save a Pablo image to my PC once finished?

    • There is a download button…Use it all the time. It downloads the image as a PNG! It doesn’t save the image in Pablo…(Canva does); but it’s easy enough to save to your computer…

      FWIW: I download the Pablo image to my computer, then upload it to Google drive so I always have access to it, in case I’m working on one of my mobile devices! 🙂

      • Niall Byrne

        Thanks Karen. I haven’t a clue why I cant download the file. I click ‘Download’, and quite simply nothing happens 🙁

        • Hey Niall, That’s really frustrating! 🙁

          Since it’s a web-based app, and dependent on your browser, I’m wondering if you tried it in another browser you’d get any better response…

          Another possibility is a *temp* WiFi issue… I had a problem using Canva once, when I was in a public WiFi location…but it was temporary and by the time I notified Canva support, it had cleared up…;-)

          You specifically indicated “PC” so does that mean Windows? I’m a Windows user as well, and I’ve never had a problem with Pablo downloading, but it *might* be some obscure setting (ostensibly protecting your computer… LOL!) They seem to pop up at the most inopportune times… 😉

          Hope you can get it solved, because Pablo is awesome! I use it for every article I post to my site (“featured image”) and for all of my social media posts that I “Buffer!”

  • Great post! as the things are evolving over time and changing rapidly we have to update things and adopt the new social media marketing strategy that works

  • ronellsmith

    Kevan,

    Thanks for the Sniply reminder. An invaluable tool more of us should be using.

    RS

  • I vote the second topic!
    #2 ftw!

  • beth

    I can’t figure out why my overall stats are so high while my likes are so low. I know Facebook has been taking out accounts that they deem dead. However, it seems like I am loosing one member every other day. My page is more of an entertainment/fun page focused on pets. The uptick spikes for videos, open ended questions.

    I just can’t get why my stats are so high and I am loosing people at the same time.

  • Nick

    I vote for 1,2 and 5!

  • My vote is #2. Understanding that social media ads are becoming more
    important to boost reach, I’d like to see how and where you’d spend that
    $100. Also, I’d like to see the results of that spend. It would become
    a really good case study.

  • Hey Kevan! Thanks for the great post again! I took away many actionable tips for Facebook marketing and am trying them now. Thanks again!

    I vote for 1 and 2!

    1 because I’m learning to write more now and it will be interesting to see how you people do it at Buffer! I believe there are many people who want to learn from you people 🙂

    2 because I’m given $200 Facebook credits recently and I’m interested to learn how to use it more effectively! It would be very helpful for small bootstrapped startups too! 🙂

    Thanks!

  • Carey

    #2, please!

  • Love this Kevan – especially any tips from Facebook.

    Note on Snip.ly – I haven’t tried it on the publisher side, but as a reader, I actively avoid snip.ly links. They break basic URL functionality and I feel like it breaks reader expectations & trust in a small but significant way. Just my 2 cents on using it.

    • Guest

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      ..

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  • Hi Kevan, we experimented with Snip.ly for a while, but got negative reactions from site owners who felt we were trying to steai their page views. One of the goals of bringing someone to your site is to get them to look at more. But someone sharing via Snip.ly is tryiing to steal that next page view for their own content. We removed Snip.ly because our brand reputation is worth more to us than a few extra clicks.

  • Kevan,
    I’d heard of Snip.ly but never explored it.

    Based on the few negative comments here, I’m wondering what you & the Buffer Team think about using it! Seems there are some serious downsides to it. :-O

    Any recommendations for resources to research the service myself?

    Thanks for the transparency at Buffer! 🙂

  • Vicky

    I’d like to learn more about running an effective LinkedIn group. We run a group with a couple hundred members and we’re trying to 1. Grow the amount of people in our LinkedIn group 2. Encourage more discussions (commenting on postings, sharing links, adding to the discussions etc.).

    • Vicky,
      I was just looking at the same thing this morning! 🙂

      I’m committed to using WordPress (I’m a freelance WP trainer), but the 2 LinkedIn WP groups are really “official” WP groups; they take a very hard line with ‘promotional’ content (pretty much anything but technical discussions MUST go into their “Promotions” tab; I don’t have a problem with this, but it does stifle *honest* feedback!)

      I was looking at WP & e-learning and hoping to find something relevant…No such luck! So, I was thinking of starting my own WP/e-learning LI group…

      I’d welcome any input from you or anyone else about this idea, topic (is it too narrow?), best LI group practices, etc.

      I don’t know about *your* LI group, but so much of the posting on the few LI groups I belong to are just outright self-promotions! NOT the useful dialogue we are hoping for! ;-( I’m not surprised the WP groups have taken such a hard line…

      Thanks for anyone’s advice! 🙂

  • Christa Thompson

    Great info here. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes and really keep your edge sharp in the new media landscape. As a travel blogger who spends much of her time in the field, I really have to make special time to read the latest trends. Thanks for being a great voice.