Regularly updating your company’s Facebook page with Wall posts is crucial to keeping your customers engaged. But what makes for a well-written, effective Wall post?

Buddy Media recently conducted a survey of 200 brands on Facebook, tracking the user engagement of their Wall posts. They found that posts shorter than 80 characters did better than longer posts as did posts that avoided a hard sell in the wording.

They also discovered that posts with full URLs, the link with the addresses to a web page, had better engagement than those using URL shorteners like bit.ly. There was also evidence to suggest that posts that went live after hours or later in the week did better.

What can we learn from this?

The first two findings about shorter posts and avoiding hard selling words make sense. Facebook readers are often skimming down their news feeds for quick updates and skipping over anything that looks like it will take too long to read or a blatant advertisement.

The higher engagement of full URLs is more of a trust issue; readers know where the link is taking them. However, URL shorteners allow for smaller posts and the ability to track how many people click on them, so the benefit must be weighed.

Posting “after hours” may have some benefit as many people check their Facebook pages when they get home, but you shouldn’t do this by taking away from the posting you regularly do throughout the day.

Finally, posting more towards the end of the week for better engagement may have to do with how people use Facebook. By Thursday and Friday they are focusing on their weekend plans. If your company caters to a weekend clientele, then you may way to bulk up your Wall posting towards the end of the week. If not, this tactic won’t give you the return on investment you’re looking for.

For more on best practices for Facebook engagement, check out our 4 Ways To Gain Facebook Fans guide.

[Image credit: birgerking.]