Using social media to grow your business is no secret in the E-commerce world. In fact, some  surveys show that more than 80% of all small businesses do it, and we wouldn’t be surprised if those figures were precisely accurate. Being able to reach such a wide audience for pennies on the dollar when compared to traditional advertising makes social media the place to go to make your brand. But what is the secret? How do you become CrossFit and avoid becoming a brand that everyone either hates or ignores? The key here is content, and not just any content, but the kind that gets people to both like and share. Thankfully a great survey was done in coordination with several large media companies, and here is a summary of their findings.

Good news: most people aren’t good at marketing

Out of a random selection of 100,000 articles, over half of them had 2 or less interactions of any kind including likes, comments or shares. This means that there is a ton of competition on social media, but most people are just flat out doing it wrong. There is always room for another good company.

The gap is wide

Deviation from the mean is incredibly high for interactions. Think of an oligarchy where a select group of people have all of the wealth and tons of people have nothing. That is the reality of social media. There are some high performing posts that just flat out dominate the interactions, and a random sampling showed that over 75% had 0 external links. This means that you have to work hard to get yourself to the top, but getting there is worth it.

Shares and links are for different reasons

Over a sample of 1 million articles, the relation between sharing and liking was almost negligent. This means that people usually do one but not the other, inferring that they do them for totally different reasons. It could benefit you to determine what it is that you are going for before beginning you content campaign.

Research and strong opinions

Ever notice how social issues on things close to our hearts blow up on social media way more than they do on other forms of media? It seems that the greatest number of both likes and shares on this platform go to posts that make people emotionally opinionated(surprise surprise). The other kind of posts that do well are ones backed by strong research that prove facts, showing that there is some hope for humanity out there. Here is where you should concentrate.

Tips to join the ranks

If you want to reach the top, and get your posts to be heavily interacted with on sites like Facebook, then there are a few tips that you can take advantage of in order to get there:

  • Powerful title- Don’t lie, and don’t be too crazy, but a title that adequately sums up the post will get interested people to click. Think of it as your call to action on a landing page.
  • Images- Some studies have shown that images highly correlate to more clicks. Sometimes to the tune of 80% or more.
  • Length- You might think that social media lends itself to people with short attention spans, but in actuality the 15% of posts that were longer than 1,000 words actually generated more interaction than the other 85% of posts that were shorter. This shows that a well-researched article full of facts can do well regardless of length.
  • Format- If you want to get more shares, then you should go with quizzes or videos. If you want to get links, then you should go with more fact-based posts or lists.

In general, this research shows that even though a lot of people are on the web just to interact with friends and have fun, that there is a sweet spot that you can find where people will both share and like, or interact in other ways with your content. In order to achieve this you need to make your posts longer, find the right format, and provide either real, deeply researched, fact-based posts, or have a strong opinion on major matters in the world. Since you are using this for your business, we suggest that the sweet spot exists in posting content about your industry and products that is rich in facts, and teaches people why things are the way they are. Get people interested, and they will tell their friends.