June 19, 2012

Social media data cruncher Dan Zarrella has released a new analysis showing what types of Facebook posts tend to get more likes, comments and shares.

Four lessons really stand out as important and useful:

  1. Photos get far more likes and shares than other types of posts. ProPublica, for example, has had success with this. Links, such as those to your news articles, unfortunately get the lowest average engagement.
  2. Personal references (“I” or “me”) tend to get a post more likes. This is a social network after all — talking about yourself generates empathy.
  3. Be happy, or sad, but pick one. Positive-sentiment posts get more likes. Negative posts get more comments. Those in the neutral middle ground get lost.
  4. Target leisure hours to get more engagement. Likes increase in the evening, peaking around 8 p.m., while shares peak at the end of the workday, around 5 or 6 p.m. Also, noontime posts do well. And weekend posts get many more likes than those during the busy workweek.

The full graphic is after the jump. || Related: Why the social sharing data for your website is wrong — two parts (GigaOM). || Earlier: Bitly data shows the best times to post links to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr (Poynter) | 7 ways journalists can make better ethical decisions when using Facebook (Poynter).

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Jeff Sonderman (jsonderman@poynter.org) is the Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute. He focuses on innovations and strategies for mobile platforms and social media in…
Jeff Sonderman

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