Facebook Posts: 9 Examples That Work vs. 4 Examples That Don’t

Facebook Posts that Work

Do you know what types of Facebook Posts are working for you right now?  If you want some inspiration (as well as a dose of what not to do) then read on.

I was recently a guest lecturer at Stanford University and presented some examples of the types of posts that are working for brands right now.  The best way to engage your fans is to make sure your post falls into one of 3 categories – the 3 E’s:

  • Entertain:  If your post is either funny or entertaining in some way, it will get shared more.
  • Educate:  When you educate your audience about your niche or provide a helpful tip, your post will perform better.
  • Experience:  If you provide some type of experience – you move your audience emotionally, then your post will get more comments, likes, and shares.

What’s not working?  Promoting yourself too much (you have to do it sometimes) and asking for shares and likes too much.  A call to action can be good from time to time but if every post tells people to click like if they agree, then you are using that technique as a crutch and that gets old fast.

9 Facebook Posts That Work

#1  Oreo

Oreo has been one of my favorite Facebook Pages for a long time because of the creative things they do.  With this post, the have a video with the Oreo under the cup and you guess where it ends up.

While some people in the post seemed to get it right away, most people had to watch the video twice (I did).  This is a great example of entertainment.  Check out the video of the Oreo Cup game for yourself to see if you spot the trick.

Oreo game

 

#2  Upworthy

Upworthy has the “experience” Facebook post down to a science.  They are continually providing feel-good posts that engage their audience.  But more than that, they are using good copywriting to get you to click by piquing your curiosity.

Notice they don’t tell you why this guy misspelled “father” but they promise you it’s going to be beautiful.  And you see the first comment is that someone cried.

Upworthy facebook posts

 

#3 Icelandair

In this post, Icelandair is linking to the weather forecast for the northern lights show that day providing a nice educational tip for their fans.  But they take it a step further by asking people to share their photos.  Great way to connect.

IcelandAir

 

#5 7News and TheDenverChannel.com

This post almost didn’t make it into my list because of the “Hit Like if you think this is a nice gesture” comment.  I don’t think this post needs the call to action and I think it muddles the rest of the commentary.

But what I like about this is the custom graphic that was created less than 24 hours after Peyton Manning said this.  It’s a great way to capitalize on a current event and a great shareable photo.

You can see that only 18 minutes after this post came out, it had 184 Likes and 40 Shares.  Plus it’s branded with their information which is relevant to the photo as well.  Nice example of entertainment.

Broncos

 

#6 The Home Depot

The Home Depot is another Page I like to watch for great posts.  They are always educating their fans with easy projects and fun ideas.

They use trackable links in their posts so that they can easily measure what posts are getting clicks.  Facebook also gives you this data but you can do a bit more when you track your own links.

Home Depot

 

#6 HubSpot

HubSpot does a great job with Education.  They are a software company but they are constantly putting out free ebooks that help their audience with subjects that their business audience cares about.  Plus that moves your Facebook fans onto your e-mail list which is something I highly recommend doing, especially with all the Facebook changes.

In this post, the post is a Photo post with the link in the status area so that the post appears larger in the News Feed.  One thing you would have to be cautious about is that because there is so much text on this photo, you would not be able to Boost the post or use it as a Promoted post.

Hubspot

 

#7 My Four Hens Photography

Photographers do have it a little easier with the beautiful images they can share.  But what I like about this post is the story she tells about her two daughters.  It’s a gorgeous photo but she gives the readers an experience by talking about the story behind the photo.  She gets amazing engagement on her Page.

My Four Hens Photography

 

#8  Mari Smith

Of course, Mari is the queen of engagement on Facebook, but I wanted to highlight this type of post which many people know about but some don’t.  She provides the opportunity for people to network on her Page.

This works well for her audience because most of them are business owners and looking for the opportunity to network and connect with others.  When you build your Facebook community, your engagement will be better.

Mari Smith

 

#9  Ciao Pittsburgh

Again, this Ciao Pittsburgh post is another type of experience in that you are invited to share your opinion with the community.  The quick and short question that anyone can answer is a great way to get participation.  Plus it’s coupled with a eye-catching photo.

Ciao Pittsburgh

 

4 Facebook Posts That Don’t Work

 #1 OxiClean

This post doesn’t work for many reasons.  First – it’s an advertisement.  Second – they have a long and weird link to their YouTube video in the text that forces you away from Facebook to go watch the video.  Why not just have the video in the post itself?  Instead they attach a photo and make you leave Facebook to watch the video.  People don’t want to leave Facebook to go watch an ad.  I’m actually shocked that they got 50 likes on this.

Oxiclean

 

#2 Skoda Jordan

Why do I want to share a picture of your car if I’m excited about the weather?  Enough said.

Share this car

 

#3  Expedia

While you would think that Expedia has a lot of great material for Facebook posts, but the problem is that they are not answering any complaints on their posts or Timeline.  Their community is actually complaining amongst themselves within the posts.

You want to use Facebook to unite your community but not to provide a place for them to sit around and talk about what a terrible company you are.  You need to be responding and listening to your audience.

Expedia

 

#4  Oreo

Ok so I did say I love Oreo earlier but not everyone can hit a home run every time.  In this post they had an ok idea with entertainment but in the execution they gave away the answer.  And so it feels like they didn’t trust their audience to figure it out for themselves.  Let your audience have the experience.

Oreo smart cookie

 

 

What do you think?  Any of these that you particularly resonate with or disagree with?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

  • good stuff as always!!

  • Trish D

    This was educational, entertaining and engaging indeed. Great post, great information..thanks

  • I have to admit #2 example is simply annoying me to no extent. Obviously it works but every “big page” that shares similar videos has that “we aren’t telling you element” and it’s always some miracle or amazing or what ever. It’s so overused (in only the last week or so I saw at least 30 of those a day)!

  • Debra A. Jason

    Thanks for taking the time to find and share these examples with us. I’m going to share them w/my peeps via Twitter & my Fan Page. 🙂

  • Malena

    Great post Andrea. It was funny and yes I learned something new.

  • Laura G. Nistor

    great list,

    what do you think about this one?
    for me it is a total winner – it entertains every single part of me,

  • So glad you liked it Malena!

  • You know, I do have to admit that I’m getting a little frustrated with the total teaser post also 🙂 I think the biggest problem is when they don’t deliver. Nothing worse that too much build up that falls flat when you actually see it. It will be interesting to see if there is a boomerang effect where it doesn’t work at all anymore.

  • Thanks Trish!

  • Thanks Peter!

  • Pet photos are usually winners but it’s nice if you can tie it into something more relevant like this one does! Great share!

  • Pamela Pascual Mills

    Great post! Good things to keep in mind when posting. But now I want to eat an Oreo! 🙂

  • Leigh Rachow

    Thanks Andrea always keen to learn from the experts …. and I am going to try out some of your 9 examples that work, making sure I stay well away from those 4 that dont!!!! My business FB is slowing getting there – its all a learning curve – thanks again 🙂

  • vinnyohare

    Thanks for the cool examples. I have to disagree about Hubspot doing it right though. Their “Free” ebooks always requires you to sign up with a bunch of details with them before you can download. I always click off the page and become frustrated with Hubspot.

  • Hi Andrea
    Great post but I’ve got a question. When you do this comparison and have screenshots of other FB pages, do you ask permission or ask them first if you can use the screenshots on your article? I want to do things by the book and just wondered if it’s there a right or wrong way. Thanks for your feedback.

  • I agree. and not sure how I managed to make the mistake but I am thinking my browser did the autofill on one of their forms. So they sent my phone number to FB and I could not live from their calls to buy FB advertising. eeeeeek….

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    Great job using case studies to draw home some necessary points. Also great for heeding these tips on our own posts. Thank you Andrea.

  • Skidge

    Do you have the actual link for the
    Upworthy “father misspelling.”
    I can’t seem to find it on their page and dying to view it. Thanks!

  • Here is the link to the original blog post – Upworthy posts so many times on their Facebook Page, it’s hard to find anything! http://www.upworthy.com/watch-this-guy-misspell-father-at-a-spelling-bee-for-a-beautiful-reason-5

  • Glad to help Raquel!

  • These are public posts so I don’t ask for permission because of fair use regulations. But there are differing views on this. One issue is if you are taking a screenshot of a copyrighted image. Here are a couple of articles that can help: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/website-permissions/linking/ and http://lifehacker.com/193343/ask-the-law-geek–is-publishing-screenshots-fair-use Hope that helps!

  • Yes, that is true – they ask for an optin for their freebie but many people do that for something more valuable like an e-book. You can definitely ask to be taken off their list and removed from their phone database.

  • Glad to help!

  • Yes, an unfortunate side effect of this post 😉

  • Skidge

    Awesome. Thanks for sending the link!

  • Canal Boat Trader

    Me too. I got fed up providing different information every time I wanted to have a look at a ‘free’ book. While I feel the content is often worth the effort, I object to the requirement to ‘drip feed’ more and more information about myself. I now very seldom even look at Hubspot posts for this reason.

  • Love it – one of my favourite posts this year! OK, I know it is only February but you nailed it!

  • Paula Stephens M.A.

    You nail it every time – Love reading your stuff, I feel like I want to go post a bunch of stuff to facebook. This week my post titled “Friday Fart Facts” was the biggest hit of the week! Who doesn’t like farts? 🙂

  • I just started a page for the University Police Department that I work for besides posting where officers are going to be running traffic and parking issues, what other posts do you think will be good to engage with the University page?

  • Loved this post. 😉