An Analysis of Social Media Content – What Gets Shared the Most?

Between June and November 2014, Buzz Stream and Fractl analyzed 220,000 pieces of content from 11 verticals (automotive, education, health, finance, food, business, technology, travel, entertainment, news, and lifestyle) to assess the types of content that get shared the most on social media. The content of articles was divided into five types: how-tos, lists, what-posts, why-posts, and videos:

  • How-tos: Introduces a problem, then offers a step-by-step solution
  • Lists: Based on a particular topic, share several points correlating to that topic
  • What-posts: Provides information about a topic, comparing one option to another
  • Why-posts: Provides reasoning behind a certain topic
  • Videos: Uses visuals to enhance the topic being addressed

A few takeaways from their findings:

  • Depending on the month and industry, performance of social media content types vary.
  • Evergreen content, including lists and “why-posts,” consistently earn the most number of shares
  • Risky formats, which include “what-posts,” are the most fickle form of content, earning the greatest and lowest numbers in shares over a six-month period
  • By vertical, the type of content that performed well reflected behaviors within the specific niche at that specific time


According to Andrea Lehr at Fractl, when it comes to posting content, timing and relevancy are critical factors. “A month early or a month late can make your campaign less relevant and affect its overall social traction.” Check out the infographic below and click here to learn more from Andrea about the findings.


Social Media Content Infographic




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