Facebook Page – Go Local To Generate Buzz (Research and Infographic)

Is Getting Facebook Page Engagement Frustrating?

If you’re a local business, you may feel Facebook isn’t your cup of tea.  It keeps changing.  It has this stupid algorithm that keeps NPR Facebook Post Typesfollowers from seeing your posts.  It takes precious time to figure out what to post.  And at the end of the day, you’re not even certain if anyone sees what you are posting as few comment or like.

What really works on a Facebook Page?

Well, you may just find some clues in the results from a recent study conducted by NPR Digital Services, also known as your local NPR radio station.

It started with KPLU radio in Seattle.  Here, they found geotargeted posts were six times more successful in attracting comments, shares and likes.  That’s right.  Six times more successful than posts made on the national NPR Facebook Page.  In fact, KPLU generated record website traffic in the process.

These results got some heads thinking and NPR decided to experiment with a total of five of its radio affiliates in different regions in the U.S.:  Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Southern California and Boston.

What were they testing?  Going local.

Rather than use national NPR content, they created very specific, targeted content just for the local Facebook Page fans of the five test radio stations.

With a little more study, they discovered there were certain types of local posts that generated solid Facebook engagement.  The posts were classified into nine Facebook post types.

  1. Place Explainers:  These are posts that attempt to explain why city is the way it is or its quirks and unique characteristics.
  2. Crowd Pleasers: These are stories that focus on home town pride that everyone has tucked away in their hearts.
  3. Curiosity Stimulators: local stories “that hook you at the headline and captures a geeky and quirky side of a city.”  How to keep Portland Weird might qualify as a Curiosity Stimulator.
  4. News Explainers: “Rather than just telling you what happened, News Explainers dissect why or how it happened.”
  5. Major Breaking News: self-explanatory – shootings, Hurricane Sandy, etc.
  6. Feel-Good Smilers: These are the stories that make audiences go “awww’ or have a belly laugh.  Most of all, think positive stories.
  7. Topical Buzzers: posts reflecting what everyone’s talking about locally (e.g. sports team, Space Shuttle flying overhead, etc.).
  8. Provocative Controversies: local content where listeners get really peeved and express their strong opinions.
  9. Awe-Inspiring Visuals: These are the posts that capture wonderment through photos and videos.

An infographic covering all of these nine categories in more detail is at the end of this post and courtesy of Russ Gossett

How Can A Local Business Owner Use This Information?

As a business owner, you’re not going to have immediate access Major Breaking News (#5) and you probably don’t want to attempt any News Explainers (#4) posts.  Stimulating conversation with Provocative Controversies (#8) probably should be avoided as well.

That leaves you six of the nine topic categories to generate more Facebook engagement.  Home town pride, interesting local factoids coupled with fantastic visuals or videos could be just the combination to get your Facebook Page rockin’.

Tip:  Create a Facebook Interest list with your local radio and TV stations so when there is breaking news, you’ll see it quickly and can share with your Facebook Fans.

You can read more about this Facebook study on NPR Digital.

Your Turn:  What type of posts have you found generate more comments, likes and shares on your Facebook Page for your business?

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NPR Facebook Infographic



Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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