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How people are engaging journalists on Facebook

Facebook released a study today that analyzed how users engage with journalists on Facebook pages. This is terrific data for journalists, or frankly, anyone who’s looking to boost their Facebook engagement. To the numbers:

  • Posts that included a question only accounted for 10% of the posts sampled on journalist pages but they received 2X more comments and 64% more feedback than average. Posts with a “call to read or take a closer look” saw 37% more feedback.
  • Photos account for 10% of posts but they received 50% more likes. Posts with thumbnails received 65% more likes and 50% more comments.
  • On average, longer posts get more feedback. 4-line postings received a 30% increase in feedback and 5-line postings are 60% higher. But, some well-written 1-line posts received the highest feedback of all. In other words, don’t be afraid to write a little longer unless you have a great one-liner.
  • Education posts got 2X more likes, politics received both 1.7X more likes and 1.6X more comments, and a journalist sharing their thoughts had 1.4X more likes.
  • International news stories had 70% more referral clicks than that of an average post.
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday had the highest amount of feedback — with Sunday receiving the highest amount of feedback at 25% more likes and 8% more comments above average. Referral clicks were above average Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday — with links getting 85% more clicks on Saturday and 37% more on Wednesday than an average post.
  • Feedback spikes occurred on journalist pages at the start of the day (7-8 a.m. showing a 30-40% increase); late in the morning (10 a.m. ET received 40% increase in feedback); later in the workday (4 & 5 p.m. ET showing 40% and 100% increases); and on into the evening hours (12 a.m. ET getting 30% increase and 2 a.m. ET getting 20% increase).

The data was pulled together by Facebook’s Vadim Lavrusik and Betsy Cameron, who write about it here. They said more data is on the way — this time, focusing on news brand pages. We’ll make sure we share it when it’s released.

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