What is the secret to a perfect social media post? On Twitter, the most successful tweets can reach over 750,000 retweets. Using Talkwalker’s social media analytics, we looked at a year’s worth of social messaging to determine what works best on Twitter and Facebook to get netizens to hit the share button.
What to Discuss on Facebook and Twitter
First, we found out that each platform has its preferred topics of discussion. On Facebook, the best performing posts on the network’s official pages dealt with food, jokes and television shows such as American Idol or the Ellen Degeneres Show, while on Twitter the favored topics were equality, celebrity gossip and current news. Another difference between the two networks was that including visual content was much more important on Facebook than on Twitter. Short videos perform especially well, as shown below:
Based on Talkwalker’s social listening, the preferred topics were food, television shows and funny posts.
These worked especially well when they feature video content, such as this 1min-video from BuzzFeed (right)
Also, celebrity accounts seem to be the key to a user’s share button on Twitter, with US President Barack Obama scoring big in retweets since his official arrival on the platform in 2015. His most popular tweets included his very first tweet, a message celebrating gay rights and a shout-out to Amhed, the boy who made the headlines for bringing a clock he had built to his school. Other successful posts originated from famous singers and actors such as Leonardo Di Caprio following his Oscars win earlier this year, hip hop star Kanye West or the widely popular Justin Bieber & One Direction.
It is worth noting that very few official brands managed to achieve the highest level of retweets, with the exception of the Sminthsonian’s National Zoo when it published a video of the panda Tian Tian discovering snow for the very first time in the aftermath of the 2016 blizzard (over 187 ,000 retweets!). This is a great example of a well-timed post: everybody was discussing the blizzard on the East Coast of the US, but the National Zoo managed to illustrate that event with a great video.
In contrast, the most popular “official” brand tweet was posted by Disney and gathered a mere 78,990 tweets, further demonstrating that on Twitter, people and celebrities have more power than brands.
The Ultimate Checklist For Better Media Posts
In conclusion, what could you do as a brand to make your posts more shareable? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when devising your social media strategy for the next month.
- Make sure to regularly publish short videos to illustrate your content
- Facebook content is usually lighter than on Twitter; use humor and pop culture references when possible
- Influencer marketing is key – regularly mention celebrities in your tweets, or better yet, enroll one to become your brand ambassador
- Get the timing right – use the buzz of major current events to make more people interested in your posts
Here is a short infographic that will give you a roadmap to the most successful tweets of the last year.
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