Secrets to growing your readership through Facebook and Twitter



Secrets of growing your Facebook audience

The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) has for the first time published six-monthly figures for regional press social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Topping the league for the biggest year-on-year increase for Facebook likes and Twitter followers is the Norwich-based Eastern Daily Press.

Its total social media audiences, though, are overshadowed by the likes of Trinity Mirror’s Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo.

So where does your paper stand in the social media standings?

If you want to do better on Facebook you might find these stats from Mari Smith and Buzzsumo (click on the link for a graphic) helpful:

  1. Posts published between 10pm and 11pm get 88 per cent more interactions (likes, shares and comments) than the average Facebook post.
  2. Picture posts get 179 per cent more interactions than the average Facebook post.
  3. Posts ending with a question get 162 per cent more interactions than the average post.
  4. Videos are the most shared post type, with 89.5 average Facebook shares.
  5. Posts published on Sunday get 52.9 per cent more interactions than the average Facebook post.
  6. Excluding pictures, posts with 150-200 characters performed the best, averaging 238.75 shares.
  7. Posting with a third-party tool results in 89.5 per cent less engagement than directly posting to Facebook.
  8. Posts that link to long-form content (2,000-plus words) get 40 per cent more interactions than linking to short form content.

Arthur Habrial (with another graphic) has chewed the data and produced something similar for Twitter.

  1. He suggests the best times to tweet are Saturday and Sunday, when your engagement rate is likely to be 17 per cent higher than weekdays.
  2. Tweets published between 8am and 7pm will have 30 per cent more engagement (clicks, retweets, replies) than tweets published outside that timeframe (including Saturday and Sunday).
  3. Tweets of fewer than 100 characters will result in a 17 per cent higher rate of engagement than longer tweets.
  4. Tweets with hashtags have twice the engagement of tweets without them.
  5. But don’t overdo the hashtags! There is a 17 per cent decrease in engagement when using two or more hashtags.
  6. A tweet’s retweet rate increases 12 times when you ask your followers to either ‘retweet’ or ‘RT’.

Such tips are, however, will only get you so far. The foundations of sustainable audience growth are built on compelling, well-targeted content and a close, two-way relationship with your readers. Get that right and you may find yourself soaring up the ABC’s newest chart.



About John Wilson

Editor of Hereford Times, Ludlow Advertiser, Stroud News and Journal, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and Gloucestershire Gazette series. Journalist for more than 30 years.
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