3 lessons from the most shared Facebook posts of 2016
One of the key reasons behind why people share content on Facebook is to maintain a certain image of themselves, to make themselves look good.

Facebook dominated BuzzSumo's list of the most shared posts.

The list provides some excellent pointers for those looking to create more shareable Facebook content – here are some of the key lessons and how you can implement them in your own Facebook strategy.

1. Data-backed content

Among the posts most shared on Facebook, several of them were research reports, backed by data – but the specifics of how that research was conducted are sometimes less relevant than the result.

For example, one of the most shared posts was titled “Bald men are sexier, more masculine, scientific study finds”.

Now, how you can measure ‘sexiness’ in a scientific way, I’m not sure, but the article works because it reinforces something that people want to believe in, whether it’s actual fact or not.

One of the key reasons behind why people share content on Facebook is to maintain a certain image of themselves, to make themselves look good. In this sense, people love to share ‘I told you so’ content, even if it’s often done in a light-hearted manner.

In this example, many of these shares were no doubt done in jest, shared by people who are looking for something that reinforces what they want to hear.

You can use this in your own marketing by creating your own research reports that align with you audience interests – either by conducting the study yourself or referring to online resources. You can’t just make up the results, but you can look for evidence that aligns with your audience viewpoint – an electrician could create a light-hearted report based on their own survey which shows that people like electricians more than plumbers, for example.

2. Hopeful and inspirational content

Another key category of focus is content that inspires hope and positivity, with reports like “Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year for reunion with the man who saved his life”.

It’s hard to come up with similar inspirational stories on that level, but you can use hope as a guiding point in your own efforts and share stories of how your business helps people, the difference you make in the lives of your customers.

Every business is built on providing help in some way, and there are likely many positive stories about your business that you could tell.

How does what you do facilitate better experiences for your customers? What stories have you heard in relation to how you’ve helped?

3. Aspirational content

The last main category of note in BuzzSumo’s Facebook analysis is aspirational content – posts that show users something they want and want to be involved in.

Instagram is a great platform for this type of content, with images of far off beaches and idyllic locations, or luxurious hotel rooms and renovations.

The numbers show that Facebook users will also respond well to such content – and as such, it’s worth considering how you might be able to showcase the part your brand can play in helping connect people with a more ideal experience.

There’s a lot of great notes in the report, and it’s worth analysing the detail to get an understanding of how you can use them to best effect.

If you’re looking for help in maximising your Facebook outreach strategy, get in touch

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