Marketing in social media is not free. From this starting point that all businesses should keep in mind, why not try to minimize costs as much as possible? Why not take into account a few details in our Facebook strategy that could help our advertising and reduce expenses?

Let’s focus on your content strategy. You already perfected your posts and know the right time to post them in Facebook. Well now you have to choose a format; just a descriptive text of what you want to transmit to your fans? Call to action included? Would you use a question to obtain some fans participation? Or maybe a picture? Or what about a link to some interesting information for your fans?

Hold on, don’t choose just yet. The following data might help you decide the type of status that you could use to publish.

  1. 1. Do you just want to increase your reach? Use text only.

It would seem like the less tempting option as specialists have suggested that pictures are what work best. But, what if I tell you that with the latest updates from Facebook’s Edgerank, posts with just text have a bigger reach among your fans than any other status format?

Check these two examples of text posts from SWIt. Take a look at the metrics and compare them with the other options. Please note that I am using posts here from a time where there weren’t any ads that could distort the results (the organic results that exclude advertising)

Facebook Edgerank: posts with only text -  more organic reach - Social With It     Facebook Edgerank: post only text 2 - more organic reach - Social With It

Yes, even though the reach is low (as we are talking about the organic reach only) you can see how it is in fact higher than, for instance, pictures or links. And if you add some call to action you could increase your interaction and viral level while maintaining the highest level of reach among all the existing types of status.

2. Do you want to increase the engagement and get more likes and comments? Use pictures then.

And of course the pictures and images get more interactions. As for the reach, well, it’s hindered images a bit so decide if your objective is interaction with your fans or reach more people for brand awareness. Let’s see a couple of examples and their numbers:

Facebook Edgerank: post only picture - more likes and comments - less reach - Social With It                 Facebook Edgerank: post only picture 2 - more likes and comments - less reach - Social With It

As you can see from the metrics, both images obtained more likes and comments than the previous examples that contained text only but the reached was lower and none of the examples hit the 1200 fans mark.

 3. Links to third sites… Better if you use a picture.

We’re probably all agreed on this. Facebook seems to penalise status updates that contain links (they of course want these sorts of communications to go through their advertising). Let’s take a brief look at the organic reach, likes, virality and comments in this status update with just one link:

Facebook Edgerank - post with only a link- no engagement nor reach - Social With It

And this is common in all our publications that contain links. What can you do then to obtain more interactions and viral interactions without the need of using social advertising? Well, the latest trend is to add a picture to your status update, i.e. before you release it, remove the link display and add a picture in its place.

Just remember that you have to add the short URL to the content that you need to show in the first three or four lines of your update so your link can be easily spotted by fans on their first look. Check the difference in the metrics if you do this:

Facebook Edgerank - post link and picture - more comments and likes - Social With It                    

4. Get the attention with a question… and your content will go viral 

What should you choose if what you want is fan engagement? Sending out a question could result in a better reach but, above all, a great organic virality of your content. Just look at these numbers!

Facebook Edgerank - post questions - more organic viral reach - Social With It

And talking about surveys, we asked your opinion about this topic in our Facebook fanpage and, guess what most of you voted for?

From a pool of 207 fans that voted for the best working status update format:

  • 169 said that images/pictures
  • 16 chose the “Just text option”
  • 10 think that questions or call to action is what generates the best response.
  • Only one thought that links were best (Clearly general perception points otherwise)
  • 11 voted that the videos were best. This is something that we haven’t discussed here as we haven’t done enough video releases to gather useful information.

So, shall we agree that images are NOT really the best way to publish content in Facebook? It all depends of your goals for each release. A good combination of them all could help your content strategy reach for the stars!

In the meantime, follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on our fanpage and our LinkedIn Group. We’ll be waiting for you!

What’s your feeling about all this? Leave your opinion below on comment or in our fanpage! In the meantime, follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on our fanpage and our LinkedIn Group. We’ll be waiting for you!

Notice: posts data have been modified in order to not publish the real SWIt’s metrics. Despite this, we’ve kept the proportions the way that not interfere the study and conclusions of this article.