Creating content is a worthy activity, but for most accounting firms, the ultimate goal is seeing that content get widely shared. In order to find out what strategies work to achieve that end, BuzzSumo and Fractl teamed up to analyze which articles are shared the most on social media, and where this sharing takes place.
Researchers looked at the most popular social media sites and determined the articles that earned the most shares during the first half of the year – one million of them. Then they compared the articles and shares to the content that got the most shares during the same period in 2014 to see what had changed.
The findings show trends that can help your firm guide content creators toward the kinds of articles that are well suited for rapid spread by readers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what works in general is the only path to choose; you may find the best success using a different approach. But seeing what works for many kinds of businesses that use social media to share content can be useful even if you decide to go in a different direction sometimes – or most of the time.
What’s Being Shared
Articles with a positive spin dominate the top-share spots on all platforms. Of the top three social media sites, LinkedIn is the most cheerful, with 88% of the 100 most widely shared posts being perceived as positive. Twitter came in second happiest, with 74% of the most popular articles having a positive tone, while almost 69% were positive on Facebook. While bad news, criticism and fear may hold strong appeal for some readers, it seems that social media users are most comfortable sharing posts that avoid negativity.
Where It’s Happening
Facebook is the perennial 800-pound gorilla of social media, and it shows no weakness in this latest analysis. 90.2% of the most widely shared articles appeared on the platform, with Twitter coming in a very distant second at 6.1%. LinkedIn is even farther behind, claiming only 2.5% of the most-shared articles. That may sound unlikely but keep in mind that the study examined articles of all kinds. That’s a big tent when you think about sports, politics and celebrity gossip. It’s a good guess that for certain categories, including financial topics, Twitter and LinkedIn make a much stronger showing.
Facebook is not only in the number one position in both periods studied, it’s also increasing in the proportion of shares, going from 81.9% to just over 90%. The real story, though, is LinkedIn. While Twitter’s portion of the most-shared content shrank by 29.1%, LinkedIn’s grew by 13.6%. It may still be in the #3 position but its increased share of extremely popular articles matches the platform’s rapid growth in recent years.
Take this information as the useful snapshot it is, not a definitive set of rules to follow. It’s helpful to see that Facebook is where the action is in the big picture, for example, but if you know your audience spends more time on a different platform, that’s where you should direct most of your social media energy. Just be sure to keep your content focused on what your readers want, need and can easily understand and you’ll be on the right track to creating articles that are not only read but shared.