There has been much discussion in blogging circles of late about Facebook and the effects their algorithms have on reaching all your “likers” with each of your posts. While Darren mentioned yesterday in his brief overview of organic vs paid reach that both have positives and negatives, the fact remains that many bloggers are still doing their best to increase their engagement organically. Today we are going to look at five popular Facebook pages and see what has been most successful for them when interacting with their audience.
The most popular page on Facebook is actually the “Facebook for Every Phone” App, with more than 480 million fans. They haven’t updated their page since December 2013, but still rank the most overall. The second most popular page is Facebook itself (which defaults to whichever country you are in unless you opt to see a different one), but their engagement differs wildly with each post.
Posts per day: One (but not every day).
What types of posts do they do? Videos, images, and links with images. They share motivational images and Facebook user information.
Most popular recent post: A motivational quote image. It garnered almost 140,000 shares, which was way over and above anything else on the page. It had just over two million likes, and more than 22,000 comments. This type of engagement doesn’t appear to be common, with the next-highest sharing rate being 64,000.
Least popular post: A shared link from the American Cancer Society, asking people for donations. It had 13,000 likes, and less than 1000 shares.
What gets the most engagement overall? Videos, by far.
Most popular topics: Motivational stories, Facebook user information.
Shakira is a musician from Colombia, and is the most-liked person on Facebook. She was the first person to reach over 100 million likes, and ranks third in the most popular Facebook pages (just under an App for Facebook, and Facebook themselves). She has a super-engaged page, with fans interacting constantly.
Posts per day: One (but not every day).
What kind of posts do they do? Images, video, images with links.
Most popular recent post: A grid of images of Shakira performing at the World Cup Closing Ceremony, and a message from Shakira herself. 2.5 million people liked the image, almost 85,000 shared it, and it was commented on more than 42,000 times.
What type of post gets the most engagement overall? Videos of Shakira performing, or addressing her fans.
Most popular topics: Behind-the-scenes peeks into Shakira’s life.
Real Madrid CF
With almost 70 million likes, Real Madrid CF is one of the biggest pages of Facebook.
Posts per day: Between 3 and 9 posts a day
What kind of posts do they do? Mostly images and video.
Most popular recent post: A photo album of their star player Cristiano Ronaldo practising for an upcoming match. It had more than 300,000 likes, 5000 shares, and 3000 comments.
Least popular post: A link (with image) to their online store. It had 37,000 likes, 764 comments, and 169 shares.
What type of post gets the most engagement overall? Photo albums of their players training.
Most popular topics: Players training.
I F*cking Love Science
IFLS is a site bringing science to the masses. Elise Andrew shares images, cartoons, science news and interesting tidbits that are designed to be accessible by everyone, not just scientists. IFLS might be trailing these pages in likes (although 17.5 million on a page updated by only one person is quite the achievement), but they are knocking them out of the park with engagement. Just about every single post has high engagement, and each type of post seems to do well.
Posts per day: Between 8 and 19, at a rate of about one update an hour.
What kind of posts do they do? Mostly images, followed by images with links.
Most popular recent post: An image quote about the use of the planet’s resources. More than 96,000 shares, 350,000 likes, and 3708 comments were generated. With the exception of the unusually high Facebook post share above, it is a higher share rate than any of the other pages mentioned.
It appears that unusual or interesting images work really well for them – this post about fluorite got 22,000 shares, 240,000 likes, and almost 6000 comments in 16 hours.
Another thing IFLS fans seem to enjoy are geeky science puns. As you can see, this link to purchase a shirt got 37,000 shares in just 7 hours. With shares being the highest-ranked Facebook engagement (they appear to be more beneficial to your chances of higher organic reach than likes or comments), it’s clear that IFLS has a knack for creating viral content. It also goes to show content doesn’t need to be viral in a global sense, just viral to your readership.
Least popular post: A straight link to an article about planets with companions having a better chance of harbouring life. Compared to the IFLS average, 8000 likes, 673 shares and 163 comments is ultra-low.
What type of post gets the most engagement overall? Images, by far. Especially if they’re punny.
Most popular topics: Health stories, animal information, and religion seems to get the readers fired up.
Humans of New York
Ask anyone what their favourite Facebook page is, and plenty of them will say Humans of New York. A page by photographer Brandon Stanton, it showcases the everyday person on the street, usually with a quote from the conversation Brandon has with them. It has quite the cult following, with 8.5 million likers and plenty of interaction.
Posts per day: 5
What kind of posts do they do? Images.
Most popular recent post: An image and snippet of an interview with an older lady reminding people to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives. It sparked 37,000 shares, almost 350,000 likes, and 6000 comments.
Least popular post: A link to buy Brandon’s latest book. 1000 shares and comments, and 73,000 likes.
What type of post gets the most engagement overall? Images with emotive or inspirational quotes from the people themselves. Half a million likes for this guy’s story.
Most popular topics: People doing and saying things you don’t expect just by looking at them.
What does this mean for you?
Ultimately, it depends on your readership. But the common thread between all of these pages’ successful posts is the human element. What are people doing behind the scenes? Who are they when they are relaxed? What’s going on in their real life? It appears that people like that glimpse into humanity, and they also enjoy a good joke.
Most of these pages saw real success with images on their own, without links. Links appeared to be less useful, especially if they were selling something, or asking for people’s money. The IFLS page still saw success when they posted image credit links in the statuses, but that might be because they’d been enjoying such high sharing interaction, driving up their organic reach in general.
I think it pays to look at your recent Insights to see what kinds of posts are resonating with your readers. Are you showing them enough of the human you? Are you being just that little bit different? Can they relate to your content? Are you being useful?
What kind of posts have you seen success with? Tomorrow we’ll be doing a case study on the types of things you can do for better organic reach. See you then!
Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net, and the gal behind Veggie Mama. A writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd, she can be found making play-dough, reading The Cat in the Hat for the eleventh time, and avoiding the laundry. See evidence on Instagram here, on Facebook here, and twitter @veggie_mama.