So what makes a memorable Facebook post?
A team of researchers set out to study the memorability of Facebook posts. This may seem like a silly thing to study, but the results are huge.
They found that a carefully constructed post isn’t memorable. Period.
In fact, the participants in the study scored as amnesic when trying to recall crafted content from news, ads, books and the human face. Whereas “spontaneous social elaboration” (just conversationally riffing on a topic) was remembered significantly better and for a longer period of time.
Let me repeat that another way:
Your spontaneous Facebook post about the mundane thing you did yesterday afternoon is more memorable than the post that you and your team spent a week carefully crafting.
Your “mundane post” is even more memorable than the human face—a thing we have been evolutionarily programmed to recognize for our safety and survival over the past millennia!
Think about that…
- Text that is designed to be complete, like a headline, is remembered better than sentences drawn from the body text of articles.
- Text that makes social commentary is significantly more memorable than breaking news.
- Finally, it also seems that content written casually, without professional or perhaps any editing, is especially memorable.
What does it all mean?
Carefully crafting every post, especially when done by a team of people who all want their fingerprints on the work, makes things worse.
No matter how hard a team tries to sound authentic, they don’t. The human brain can tell; subconsciously. So content should be written by a single person with a set of rules to guide their work.
Does this mean that you should go nuts and post willy-nilly?
No. There is a time for carefully crafted work: actions, petitions and so on.
But, what it does mean is that your organization could really benefit from a strategy shift if all of your content is pored over by a committee.
What you should do
- Develop a set of guidelines to direct your efforts
- Leave room for fun content
- Post at least 3–5 times a day
- Curate content using your ActionSprout Inspiration feed
- Select a person on your team to post
- Trust them to do a good job and let them do their job
- Come together on the posts that matter: actions, ads and so on
If you want to know more about how the studies were conducted and why these posts were so much more powerful, or if you’re just a nerd like me, you can read the full study.