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Sep 14, 2011 | 2 minute read

The Secrets of Facebook News Feed Engagement [Research]

written by Linda Bustos

Last post we looked at Facebook Likes - namely why people Like ecommerce product pages, the influence of Likes on purchase likelihood and the percentage of Facebookers who share Likes from ecommerce product pages - from research by 8thBridge.

And you may remember our mini-series on optimizing Facebook shares waaaay back in May (Edgerank algorithm explained and ideas for getting your Page updates noticed in News Feeds). These posts discussed the importance of engagement with your Fans for getting seen in News Feeds, along with example types of shared content you can experiment with.

But what types of posts attract the most engagement for retailers? Based on a survey 7,354 status updates from nearly 200 retailers on Facebook, 8thBridge found that sale posts outshine all others.

Status types explained:

Overall - all status updates from a retailer?s fan page. Fan- status updates which mention a fan?s name, such as contests.
Sale - status updates which mention a sale or campaign.
Product - status updates that mention a specific product(s). Typically includes link and photo of product.
Coupon - status updates which include a coupon code or printable coupon for a single product or product category.

On average, promotional "sale" statuses (or is that statusi?) get 30% more traction than regular updates. This likely varies quite a bit from retailer to retailer depending on the brand itself, type of products and psychographics of the Fan base, but this shows us we don't need to be shy with sharing commercial messages through social media.

Why not find out for yourself what works for your fan page? Try a number of status updates over the next few weeks, a variety from each status type. Measure engagement and tweak your program accordingly. Retest again in a few months to make sure it wasn't a seasonal effect. Tools like Klout and Roost can help, or measure manually, assigning scores like 1 point for a Like, 2 points for a Comment and 5 points for a Share.

I recommend always mixing up the types of content, but knowing which shares get the most lovin' helps you continually improve your social media marketing program.

Looking for help with ecommerce? Contact the Elastic Path consulting team at to learn how our ecommerce strategy and conversion optimization services can improve your business results.