You littered your Facebook page with words such as like and click, and made clear to your fans that you wanted them to do just that.
But they breezed right by your headlines leading to all that great content you created. On the other hand, they clicked like crazy on the photos. What gives?
A new report by a company that created an analytical tool for Facebook shows that words such as like, click, watch and look won’t draw eyeballs to your content.
What will grab them, however, are images and graphics, says Jan Zając, CEO and cofounder of Sotrender, which created the report.
“Using catchy words in posts doesn’t seem to increase engagement,” according to the study of 111 brand pages and more than 2,888 posts in four industries in the United Kingdom. “It proves Facebook users get insensible from constantly repeated phrases.”
The study did not include the United States, but Zając said the results are likely to be similar here. The company plans to extend its study to brands on this side of the Atlantic.
Chocolate cream daily
While pictures work best, some words draw more clicks than others. Among those ranked highly by Sotrender are chocolate, cream, daily, most, shop, winter, wardrobe, and today.
The study also rated Facebook pages within the four studied industries by categories such as biggest page and highest percentage of new users.
While Facebook users may feel we see everything our friends post on any given moment, we don’t, Zając says. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm determines what appears, and “it doesn’t like too many posts with links, while it likes a lot, for example, posts with pictures, photos, and graphics,” he says.
“So usually, those with pictures are much more engaging, while posts referring to external websites are not that engaging.”
Engagement means visibility
The more people interact with your posts, the more EdgeRank makes them visible on other pages. Once “your fans talk about it, share it, like it, comment on it, that means it is visible to them and to other people,” Zając says.
In three of the four industries studied—food, clothing, and automotive—the word win “doesn’t bring much buzz,” the study revealed. Only in the fourth, cosmetics and hygiene, are fans more likely to interact when there’s a chance to win or when something is on sale.
While communications and marketing stress the importance of calls-to-action, such calls don’t always work on Facebook.
“People got used to it,” Zając says. “It’s so simple that everybody has been trying to use it recently. If everybody’s yelling, ‘Watch, like, click, look,’ and so on, it’s not catchy anymore.”
Love is a good, happy favorite in food
In food-related Facebook pages, words that appeal to emotions set our stomachs growling for more content, among them love, good, favorite, and happy. In the industry that loves to feature thin-figured women walking the runway in colorful outfits, words that suggest trends draw clicks, such as fashion, style, and collection.
The study notes that women’s clothier Topshop has created an enormous fan base with a heavy reliance on photos.
“Asking questions in posts is a common way on Facebook pages to get comments, but post with photos gain much more attention,” Zając says.
The takeaway: brands that want to communicate with fans would do well to use more images.
“It’s time-consuming,” Zając says, “but it pays off, because if you get people pictures, and they interact more, and they have to open these pictures to see them fully.”
Russell Working is a staff writer for Ragan Communications.