In an effort to help businesses maximize their social marketing efforts, Facebook conducted an internal study measuring posts that drive Page engagement. Brand-related updates came out on top.

Facebook recently released insights from an internal study to help marketers understand which Page posts generate the most engagement on its network. Based on four weeks’ worth of surveillance of 23 brand Pages representing six industries, the social giant advises that businesses share content about their brands.

According to the report, “topics related to the brand” are among the posts most likely to generate shares, Likes and comments. But what topics are “related to the brand?”

Facebook broke down social content into three categories:

  1. Messages about services (ie: announcements of a new product or store location)
  2. Messages “unrelated” to the brand (ie: industry irrelevant conversational posts, such as “Hang in there, Monday’s almost over!”)
  3. Messages related to the brand (which seem to cover a vast array of topics, ie: a travel industry post prompting users to share why they went on their first cruises)

Based on these content categories, messages related to the brand seem to include anything except purely promotional posts and chatty posts (and Brafton has reported that a separate study from ExactTarget reveals chit-chat posts are often a reason people unLike brands on the network). The Facebook study offers some more concrete takeaway in describing what types of posts related to brands are best for:

  • Generating shares: Photos
  • Driving Likes: Posts prompting users to Like something
  • Fostering comments: Posts that pose questions

“You can maximize your success on Facebook by optimizing your Page posting strategy for the type of engagement you are trying to drive,” the company said in its report.

The study represents a nice gesture on the social giant’s part to help businesses better serve fans on the site, but the lack of raw figures relating to shares and Likes generated by different content types and vague content descriptions may leave marketers wanting more insights…

Finding the right strategies to engage Facebook audiences is increasingly important as the network expands and offers reach to more online shoppers. Brafton recently reported that the social site has more than 900 million active users.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.