Want Facebook Engagement? Post Videos, and Make Them Funny or Inspirational

Buffer and BuzzSumo analyzed 2018’s top 500 posts on the social network

Love and HaHa accounted for 81 percent of Reactions to 2018's top 500 Facebook posts Deagreez/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

The keys to driving engagement on Facebook? Post video content and inspire people or make them laugh, according to a new study by social media management tool Buffer and content marketing tool BuzzSumo.

Buffer and BuzzSumo analyzed over 777 million Facebook posts from 2018 and narrowed their focus to the 500 most popular ones, which tallied more than 1 billion engagement.

More than 81 percent of those 500 posts were videos, and the two companies said video posts drew at least 59 percent more engagement than other types of posts on the social network.

Images accounted for 18 percent of the top 500 posts of 2018, while links represented just 0.2 percent. Buffer and BuzzSumo said link posts—including those with images—saw 76 percent less engagement than videos.

The two companies also studied the Reactions to those 500 posts, and they found that Love and HaHa accounted for 81 percent.

Buffer and BuzzSumo said, “It’s important to note here that, more often than not, content isn’t necessarily loveable or funny to everyone. In other words, something that is ‘loved’ by one person might be ‘funny’ or even ‘sad’ to another, which is great news for brands and B2B (business-to-business) businesses because it means that content doesn’t need to be overwhelmingly funny or inspirational. Brands and marketers just need to know what their audience will find personally entertaining, which starts with an understanding of who they are.”

On that note, the three themes that emerged the most in analyzing the top 500 posts on Facebook were inspirational, funny and practical.

Buffer and BuzzSumo said speaker and storyteller Jay Shetty had the most successful post on Facebook in 2018 and several of the top 500 due to his inspirational content, which generates organic reach.

The two companies concluded, “The best part is that any brand is capable of creating this type of content. All it takes is a renewed understanding of what people are looking for on social media (specifically, your audience, as we mentioned above) and how you can deliver that to them on a consistent basis.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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