HubSpot’s social media scientist Dan Zarrella released results of a study examining the performance of Facebook post types for the last three and a half years. Of course some of your Facebook posts are always going to do better than others, depending on how you present what is happening that minute in the news, in your neighborhood or at the office.
No great surprise though that posts including photos are receiving the most likes. After all, a picture does speak a thousand words, but posts that include just words have been declining for a while. One thing that was nice to see is that video posts have been on the upswing since late last year.
Think about it. Anyone with a Facebook page likely has seen several videos of friends and family, dumping a bucket of icy water over their heads to raise money and awareness for the ALS Association through the #IceBucket #challenge. Even InkHouse is getting in on that action. Just between July 29 and August 12, the ALS Association reported receiving millions in donations from the campaign.
The idea of creating a personal video used to be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. You needed an expensive camera and a way to edit and save it to a DVD; so you could then share with people who were too polite to say “no” to watching a three-hour video of your wedding or your vacation to the Grand Canyon.
Fast forward to 2014: the “video camera” is now omnipresent in laptop webcams, mobile phones and even small portable cameras like GoPro, and editing also has become a breeze with easy-to-use software. YouTube has made it so you no longer have to save your “film” to a DVD in order to share it. And thankfully YouTube also has helped to create best practices when it comes to video length so hopefully people still aren’t making loved ones sit through three hours of a wedding or trip video. There are even great prescriptive articles that help videographers understand what makes a video successful and possibly shared on Facebook. Hint, it has something to do with 21 seconds.
Even brands are getting in on this new world of accessible video. I’m not talking about a brand’s big budget commercial posted to YouTube as an afterthought. I’m talking about big brands that are leveraging the benefits of online video, thinking about video produced for an online audience rather than how they can use something created for the small screen online as well. The enlightened are seeking out and partnering with influential digital content creators. Together they are using mediums such as Vine and Instagram videos to create advertising their target audience will consume and actually share.
Everything has its tipping point. I’m curious to see if the Ice Bucket Challenge becomes the tipping point for video posts on Facebook. Of course by then, I suspect that Facebook will have changed its algorithm once again, sending social marketers back to the drawing board.