In our latest blog we dig through an insightful report on Facebook trends to give you the low down on when, how and what to post this year.
What we learned from 777m Facebook posts
As part of a series of end of year roundups Buzzsumo published an intriguing report based on a study of 777m Facebook posts shared in 2018. They only included data on organic posts so factors such as advertising budget or targeting didn’t factor.
However, whether you’re creating content for organic or paid-for posts the findings below still apply.
By looking at these trends we are able to answer how Facebook marketers can get more reach for their brand.
1. What is the most effective content format?
Video content gets 59% more engagement than any other type.
Facebook’s 2018 mantra has about creating ‘meaningful’ interactions. They consider video views to be meaningful, as people have to stop what they’re doing to watch a video and often interact with it.
Video outperformed photos by 73%
Facebook expert Mari Smith suggests that, for every 10 posts, 7 should be video, 2 should be images and 1 should be a link. This is a good ratio to work towards in 2019 to ensure you’re using the best performing content type.
How many videos do you post per week? Do you still post more images? You’re not alone… many marketers are still playing catch up and learning how to make effective videos quickly and easily. (btw if you need some help with this, do pop along to our iPhone video masterclass).
It may be worth sacrificing some of your text/image posts. Use that extra time to experiment with video content.
Why not check your own stats and see if you get any spikes in engagement where you’ve posted videos?
2. Which are the best days to post?
Weekends are better for business to consumer (B2C) on Facebook.
Weekdays are the best for business to business (B2B) interactions.
The best time to post is between 7pm and midnight.
Bear in mind that these are global averages and may not be relevant to all businesses or territories. Nothing beats digging into your own insights tab to figure out when your particular followers are online.
3. What is the best length of content to post?
It’s no surprise that people using Facebook have short attention spans.
Ooh look, a squirrel on a skateboard, Trump shaking hands, a donkey on a digger, plastic is bad, May looks terrified…
So your focus should be on grabbing their attention and getting your point across quickly.
How long should your text posts be?
The optimum number of characters to use in a post is between 0-50 characters.
This really short sentence is 50 characters long!
Although the global average shows more engagement for shorter posts, it’s worth pointing out that engagement isn’t always the ideal business result.
If you’re trying to impart a more complex message you may be happy with a smaller number of higher quality interactions. For example, you may prefer 10 people to read a longer post about your brand in full, rather than 100 people to read just the first line.
How long should your videos be?
While you’d probably expect the shorter the better where video is concerned, it appears that people are becoming more comfortable watching longer videos on social.
There is a huge spike for videos that are between 3mins and 3mins 20seconds long.
If your video content runs longer than this make sure that the early part of the video contains all the relevant information, brand identification and a call to action. And remember to include subtitles for those watching without sound.
If you’d like more tips on how to tell a great story using video, check out our podcast on that very subject.
5. What makes people share content?
A piece of New York Times research gives the following reasons that people share content:
- To delight others with valuable and entertaining content
- To identify and present ourselves to others
- To foster relationships
- For self-fulfilment
- For spreading the word about issues, products, and brands we believe in.
Although this research was released in 2011 (light years ago in social media terms!) it is generally accepted that the findings hold true.
Take a look at that list again. Can you tap into one of those reasons? Do your posts meet any of those needs?
📈 Go to your metrics – look at your insights from the last 1-3 months and look for patterns – what is working and what isn’t in terms of length, format?
🎬 Incorporate more video (ideally 70%) into your content marketing strategy – this gives you the chance to get ahead of your competitors.
😏 Check out what your competitors are doing and learn from them.
✂️ Aim for short text posts (but experiment with longer ones), and videos that last between 3mins to 3m20s
⌚️ If you’re in B2C don’t forget to post evenings and weekends. If you don’t normally work these hours, investigate using tools within each platform that allow you to schedule your posts.
Well, that’s it from us for now. We hope you took some useful ideas away to implement in your Facebook marketing. And if you’d like to learn more, why not sign up to our Content Calendar Workshop course.