If you want to better engage customers by posting on your company's Facebook page, you'll have more luck if you keep it brief, new data indicates. Keeping your message under 80 characters will boost your customer engagement by 27 percent.

If you really want to grab their attention, according to new data from social media agency Buddy Media, you should post on Thursday or Friday after normal business hours, keep your post under the magic 80 character mark and end with a question.

Buddy Media analyzed Facebook posts and engagement rates for more than 200 clients in the space of two weeks in January and February last year. Engagement was based on comments, users who clicked “like” on the post and factored in the size of their fan base .

Most posts (60 percent) were made between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but Buddy found that posting outside of business hours increased engagement by 20 percent. This is because many Facebook users prefer to log on to the site before or after work.

The study also found that engagement rates are 18 percent higher on Thursday or Friday and that posts that end with a question boost engagement by 15 percent. Certain words such as “like,” “post,” “take” and “comment” also give engagement a bump.

The biggest buzzkill, Buddy found, was a post made on Saturday, which created an 18 percent falloff in engagement.

But like all rules, Buddy said, such guidelines are made to be broken. Amy Morgan, who is part of the team at ConAgra that that oversees a Facebook page for Chief Boyardee’s Club Mom, posts several times a day throughout the week.

“When you talk about building a community and building engagement, you need to have a consistent conversation,” she told eMarketer. “As far as Facebook, we post usually once or twice a day. It ebbs and flows, but once or twice a day is usually good.

"Asking fans about their children is an easy way to get them to comment on a post,” Morgan said.

“It’s about making this personal and really allowing the community to help build that conversation.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.