3 Unusual Lessons We Learned by Studying Over 16 million Posts (And 100,000 Brands) on Social Media

At Buffer, we love to see new stats and research about how to best share to social media and drive engagement. And as a brand on social media ourselves, we know just how challenging it can be to post engaging content across multiple channels.

 

To learn more about how brands are tackling social media in 2016, and importantly, to discover what’s working, we decided to study what types of posts brands were sharing the most of on social media.

 

We examined over 100,000 accounts, which consisted of over 14 million tweets and two million Facebook updates to figure out how brands have been sharing to social media over the past 12 months.

 

Here’s how it broke down…

 

How have brands been sharing to social media

 

Which social networks are brands posting to?

 

each-network

 

Facebook and Twitter are still leading the charge

 

After looking at over 16 million updates over 12 months, covering Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook and Twitter, we found that brands posted primarily to Facebook and Twitter. It makes sense seeing as both social networks have the largest active audiences of the group according to this study.

 

Here’s the breakdown of percentages:

 
 
    • 79.6% of updates were sent to Twitter
 
    • 13.8% of updates were sent to Facebook
 
    • 3.6% of updates were sent to Google +
 
    • 2.3% of updates were sent to LinkedIn
 
    • .5% of updates were sent to Pinterest
 
 

How many times are brands sharing per week

 

shares-per-week

 

This data was super-interesting for us as we love to experiment with posting schedules frequencies. We found that brands posted to Twitter more than any other network – which feels about right considering the more real-time feel of Twitter.

 

I was a little surprised to see that Facebook is the only other network where brands post an average of once per day.

 

Which types of post are getting the most engagement

 

type-of-posts

 

For this part of the study, we looked at how many engagements (clicks, likes, shares) each post a brand shares gets on average across Facebook and Twitter. We found that Facebook video appears to be leading the way here (by a considerable margin, too) and photos are still leading the way on Twitter.

 

It’s interesting to see that links appear to be driving more engagement than photos on Facebook at the moment. It feels like this could be due to their visual nature, now when you post a link, a large image is displayed, as is meta data from the post, giving brands plenty of opportunities to grab user’s attention as they scroll through their news feeds.

 

Here’s an example:

 

fb-link

 

A cool way to potentially further increase the success of links on Facebook could be to create specific headlines and descriptions for your post. Here at Buffer, we use a neat tool called Yoast to choose the image, title, and description that’ll accompany a link when posted to Facebook:

 

Yoast

 

Does Twitter have a noise problem?

 

Twitter have recently made similar adjustments with links pulling meta data into the timeline. Could this lead to a boost in Twitter link engagement? Maybe. But for now, it feels a little like Twitter has a noise problem, with images being one of the few ways to stand out in the timeline.

 

Twitter-link

 

 How are brands posting to each network

 

post-breakdown

 

Three

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s