Table of Contents Key takeaways from 777 million Facebook posts Video performs better than all other types of Facebook posts The most common reactions to top Facebook video posts are LOVE and HAHA Inspirational, funny, and practical content generates the most engagement Four examples of the year’s most successful Facebook posts The Norfolk Police Department (Humanizing your brand) Brainy Crafts (Hacking your way into people’s hearts) Strive Masiyiwa (Rise of the active CEO on social media) Funniest Family Moments (Curating the best content from around the web) Incorporating these learnings into your Facebook strategy Consider your own behavior and posting habits on social media Create content for Facebook that is both human and story-forward Play the long game by focusing on building an engaged community Let’s dive in! Key takeaway #1: Video performs better than all other types of Facebook posts When it comes to taking your Facebook strategy to the next level, there is no better way to do so than through the use of video content. On average, video posts on Facebook get at least 59 percent more engagement than other post types. Finally, Strive Masiyiwa proves that video isn’t the only type of content that works on social media. If you can do that consistently, your audience will look to you as a continuous source of inspirational, funny, and practical content (there’s that theme again). Even if you’re not a top Page or generating millions of engagements per month, you can still find a ton of success on Facebook. As brands and marketers, we need to consider how to create content for Facebook that uniquely mirrors our audience’s stories and personalities. Create content for Facebook that is both human and story-forward Did you know that 84 percent of marketers believe that building trust will be the primary focus for their marketing efforts in the future? It also highlights an effective social media marketing strategy: community building. There has been a general trend towards niche and active groups on social media, with Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, leading the way to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” The challenge (and opportunity) is understanding the role social media plays in brand awareness vs. sales.
Facebook marketing in 2019 isn’t dead. On the contrary, it’s far from it.
Now removed from the dim outlook that businesses faced at the beginning of 2018, Facebook has and will remain an essential tool for brands’ marketing strategies moving forward.
In our upcoming State of Social Media 2019 Report (releasing January 16th) we found that 93.7 percent of businesses use and are currently active on Facebook — the most among any other social media network.
And although we continue to see a dramatic rise in the usage and effectiveness of Stories content, traditional posts in the Facebook News Feed offer a powerful outlet for brands looking to generate engagement and traffic.
Which is why we asked our friends at BuzzSumo to help us put together a massive data set looking at the top Facebook posts over the past year. In total, we dwindled down more than 777 million posts to 500 of the most popular, according to total engagements. The top 500 Facebook posts represent more than one billion engagements across Facebook.
Today we’re excited to share everything we learned about the most successful posts to help guide your Facebook marketing strategy in 2019.
Table of Contents
- Key takeaways from 777 million Facebook posts
- Video performs better than all other types of Facebook posts
- The most common reactions to top Facebook video posts are LOVE and HAHA
- Inspirational, funny, and practical content generates the most engagement
- Four examples of the year’s most successful Facebook posts
- The Norfolk Police Department (Humanizing your brand)
- Brainy Crafts (Hacking your way into people’s hearts)
- Strive Masiyiwa (Rise of the active CEO on social media)
- Funniest Family Moments (Curating the best content from around the web)
- Incorporating these learnings into your Facebook strategy
- Consider your own behavior and posting habits on social media
- Create content for Facebook that is both human and story-forward
- Play the long game by focusing on building an engaged community
Let’s dive in!
Key takeaways from 777 million Facebook posts
BuzzSumo has access to some of the world’s most robust Facebook data, which powers lots of incredible research studies like this one where we analyzed content from 20,000 influential Facebook Business Pages.
They’re also the company behind one of my personal favorites, The 2019 Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement, an annual report that analyzes everything you need to know about the tactical side of Facebook marketing.
Needless to say, their product offers some eye-opening insights into the world of Facebook marketing.
Key takeaway #1: Video performs better than all other types of Facebook posts
When it comes to taking your Facebook strategy to the next level, there is no better way to do so than through the use of video content.
On average, video posts on Facebook get at least 59 percent more engagement than other post types.
In fact, when looking at what types of content made up the top 500 Facebook posts of 2018, more than 81 percent were videos!
Images only accounted for 18 percent of the top posts, while Links made up a mere 0.2 percent.
On the other hand (quite shockingly), link posts received 76 percent less engagement than videos on average. This includes links with images. In other words, not even images are helping link posts to perform better.
We’ll get into Facebook video themes and content later in this article, but for now, it’s clear that brands should be investing heavily in video content in 2019.
Key takeaway #2: The most common reactions to top Facebook video posts are LOVE and HAHA
You might be wondering why we chose to analyze the most common reactions to top Facebook posts.
Reactions give us a unique look into human psychology and a better understanding of “why” people like certain types of content on Facebook. Plus, it helps point us in the direction of what to create for our own brand in the future.
The reactions LOVE and HAHA made up 81 percent of the total Facebook video reactions in 2018 (Likes not included in the data set):
Clearly, people are interacting with content that they find inspirational, funny, or a mix of both (more on that next). Brands that focus on creating content around these emotions are more likely to produce successful content for their Page moving forward.
Though 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 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.
Key takeaway #3: Inspirational, funny, or practical content generates the most engagement
In order to hone in on the exact types of content brands and marketers should be creating more of in 2019, we attempted to categorize the types of content from the data set. In conjunction with the most common reactions on Facebook and a subjective analysis of the top 500 Facebook posts, three common themes started to emerge.
The most successful content could be categorized as inspirational, funny, or practical.
For example, the number one most successful post on Facebook in 2018 was one from speaker and storyteller, Jay Shetty:
Shetty accounts for several of the top 500 posts because he creates content that inspires people. Inspirational content leads to a greater amount of reactions, comments, and shares, which in turn, leads to greater organic reach.
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.
Which leads us to a breakdown of some of the year’s most successful Facebook posts and the psychological reasons behind why they worked.
Four examples of the year’s most successful Facebook posts
In an attempt to make this study as relevant as we could to a variety of brands and industries, we decided not to simply cover the top 10 Facebook posts from 2018. Instead, we hand-picked several posts from the top 500 that teach us something valuable about the art of Facebook marketing.
But if you’re curious, here are the official top 10 Facebook posts of 2018:
Note: We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on why you believe these posts worked so well. Let’s help each other improve!
10. “An amazing moment in African enterprise history” – Strive Masiyiwa
9. “Hero Boy Saves Chicken” – Life Changing Videos
8. “When your dogs smells another dog on you” – Funny in Public
7. “Tianmen Mountain, China” – Inspire Uplift
6. “Common Dental Procedures” – Science Nature Page
5. “Wow” – Penoy Rap Radio
4. “Before You Take Someone For Granted Watch This” – Jay Shetty
3. “Scalloped Potato Roll” – BuzzFeed Tasty
2. “7 Super easy ways to keep your food fresher, longer!” – So Yummy
1. “Before You Feel Pressure Watch This” – Jay Shetty
Now, onto a more detailed breakdown of some of our favorites.
The Norfolk Police Department (Humanizing your brand)
You wouldn’t normally classify your local police department as having one of the best Facebook Pages and content of 2018, but the Norfolk Police aren’t your typical department.
Generating more than 3.2 million engagements and growing their audience to well-over 180,000 fans in the past year, the NPD is the perfect case study for how to approach Facebook marketing with limited budget and resources.
(Here’s the link to the lip sync challenge video, which has over 78 million views as of writing….