Digital & Social Media

You Need More Than Just Engaging Content to Guarantee Engagement


FleishmanHillard manages eight Chevrolet Facebook pages in the U.S. To drive science into the art of content creation and community management, we use past performance to help understand what communities have responded to, what they’re likely to want in the future, and when and how often to provide it.


T3: Topic, Type, Timing is a proprietary, award-winning* program that FleishmanHillard created a year ago to help Chevrolet grow Facebook page engagement. The analysis is a tool to shape content strategy and optimize both human and financial resources. Threshold and Text Length were recently added to expand to T5.

Analysts look at the post topics, post types and timing of posts (both day and time of day) to develop a formula for what content and timing work well to drive engagement. We define engagement as the extent to which fans are reacting to and interacting with the brand’s content as measured by likes, comments and sharing.

The result of the analysis is a clear, simple, prescriptive content strategy. It helps community managers know what to post and when for maximum engagement. And although, the Facebook pages are all about cars, the prescriptive formula to optimize engagement varies dramatically from page to page. For example, on the Camaro Facebook page, it would be optimal to post a photo of a racing pace car on a Saturday morning, and maybe ask a question, about where consumers plan to take their first drive of the fall foliage season and with whom. For the Volt page, managers would want to prepare a post for midweek asking about how far or for how long owners have driven between fill-ups. While some of the topics seem somewhat intuitive, having data that also show the exact timing and content form cuts down on content failures.
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Moreover, when community and channel managers started to combine this science with their own intuition and creativity to generate content, all eight Facebook pages saw engagement increase on significantly fewer posts per month, emphasizing that quality—and in this case we mean the right content at the right time–trumps quantity. The Camaro page, for example, saw an 87 percent increase in engagement on 23 percent fewer monthly posts.

Recently, FH has continued to enhance the method, moving from T3 to T5. The two new T’s in the mix are threshold and text length. Take the example of the Camaro pace car post. Where before we knew that a photo on a Saturday would be the magic combination, we now also have data that tell us to limit the accompanying copy to 150 characters and limit the number of times a month you can do it in order to achieve maximum engagement.

Creating and posting content informed by this method has helped FH continue to grow engagement while balancing the quantity and quality of content on Chevrolet’s eight pages. The T5 approach is now being applied to inform the content strategies on global Facebook pages for ChevroletFC, Team Chevy and Chevrolet Canada.

*Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication; won bronze for best use of social media measurement. 


About the author

Alan Chumley specializes in research and analytics, providing communication analysis and strategic measurement to clients across diverse industries. He provides deep expertise in counseling organizations on the use of research and measurement to shape their strategies. Among his previous senior-level roles, Chumley, who has developed and taught post-graduate level communications measurement courses, was the director of measurement at Hill & Knowlton Canada.