I often use a slide which has a scientist with a slice of cake to make one the most important points of the day.
Why? Well, the scientist represents the data and numbers you needed to know.
The cake is a reminder you need to craft content that speaks with a human voice.
The point about the data is an important one. Social media is slowly changing and evolving. What worked 10 years ago does not work now. Even 12-months ago the tricks have changed. Like a swimmer knowing when the tide is going out you need to know when its safe to act and how to act to stop yourself being swept out to sea on a blow-up lilo.
Algorithms govern what works and what doesn’t.
Knowing what those algorithms encourage and discourage is one of the important things you’ll do as a comms person.
A company called RivalIQ have crunched some interesting numbers in their 2019 Social Media Benchmark Report. This looks at 1.6 million Facebook posts, 06 million instagram updates and 2.4 million Twitter posts.
It looks at posts from 12 markets from sport clubs and fashion to alcohol to non-profit and higher education.
It looks at what content works best.
For the public sector, there are some broad principles that can be used as takeaways.
Engagement has fallen
Strikingly, the amount of engagement on social media has fallen. For Facebook, on average, each posts sees engagement from 0.09 per cent of followers. In other words, a fraction of those who like the page will comment, share or like.
For Instagram , the broad number is 1.6 per cent and Twitter it is a measly 0.048 per cent.
Organic has taken a battering
For some years, commentators have been saying that organic reach will decline. In other words, what you post without being supported by cash will reach fewer people.
For many organisations, this is the only option.
So, what are the options?
I’m drawn, to several ideas. Firstly, that Facebook groups and their rich and broad reach are a gold plated option for comms people. The ability to search, identify and make friends with comms people is an absolute must. I’ve blogged about this before. Looking at these numbers, this approach is more and more important.
But also, the numbers in the RivalIQ report do give some broad pointers about what content is most effective at reaching people. They give some evidence to help shape your content.
I’ve gone through the numbers across 12 sectorsand re-crunched them to look at some broad lessons.
Video is the most effective Facebook content in 2019
- Video is the most engaging content on a Facebook page.
The RivalIQ survey across a range of sectors showed that video was the most effective way to create engaging content followed by photographs. The numbers for a posted link and a simple text status update are embarrassingly small.
Video 0.16 per cent engagement
Photographs 0.07 per cent engagement
Link 0.05 per cent engagement
Status update 0.02 per cent engagement
Photographs remain the most effective Instagram content in 2019
- Photographs are the most effective content.
For all Instagram has been pushing video, it is an engaging photograph that still works most effectively on the platform. A carousel of images which showcases multiple images in a post is narrowly second.
Photograph 1.47 per cent engagement rate
Carousel 1.45 per cent engagement
Video 0.94 per cent engagement
Video is the most effective Twitter content in 2019 and links are not
- Video is the most effective way of using video.
Video is six times more engaging than a link posted to Twitter, the crunched RivalIQ figures show. That’s a striking stat.
I’d heard that the Twitter algorithm now frowns on link posting and the stats really show this trend. To someone who remembers the early days of Twitter as a place of links and engagement that’s a little sad. But this isn’t about how I’d like Twitter to be it’s about what it is.
Video 0.24 per cent engagement rate
Status update 0.19 per cent engagement
Photographs 0.05 per cent engagement
Link 0.04 per cent engagement
This is a starting point
Of course, the simple thing would be to post video to Facebook and Twitter and piocs to Instagram. But the bright comms person may use these figures as a starting point.
Try things out.
Look at the data and see what works but stay human, okay?
Picture: Shutterstock used under licence.
How to shape effective content features in my Essential Skills for Effective Communicators in 2019. For upcoming dates or to enquire about in-house training click here. I’m firstname.lastname@example.org. Shout if I can help.