Despite what some experts will claim, there’s no “right or wrong” content when it comes to social media. What works for the audience of one business or brand might be considered ‘pointless noise’ from others. What’s important – is knowing what works for you. Or more accurately – what works for your audience.
That’s why every year it’s a great idea to reflect on the social media posts that resulted in the biggest impact for your business. You should probably do this more often than once a year, but use this time as an opportunity to assess the old, and improve with the new.
How you measure impact is your choice, but I’d suggest a simple starting point is “reach” – How many people saw the post? In the past we’ve suggested not using this. Just because they saw it, doesn’t mean it had any impact.
Nowadays however, because of social media algorithms, obtaining organic reach is one of the hardest things to achieve, and (without going into a huge explanation of how the algorithms work) your furthest reaching content, is often your most engaging content. I’d argue that now more than ever, ‘reach’ could be considered a stamp of approval for quality, or at least an indication that it ‘worked’ for your audience. Dull, pointless, irrelevant content that doesn’t connect with your audience doesn’t tend to achieve much reach. The algorithms make sure of that. Sure I’d still hope that you have other measures and analytics in place to ensure reach = impact, but for now we’ll keep it simple.
Learning from your best reaching content allows you to up your game in 2020. Knowing what worked and why means you can replicate it, improve on it, and deliver even better content that your audience will love you for in the future.
Here’s our Top Social Posts of 2019, and a short analysis of why they worked.
Top Twitter Tweet of 2019:
Nostalgia goes a long way on Social Media. Especially for people a certain age (which I guess includes me now!!). And it’s not just on social.. pick up a local newspaper, and I’ll bet it’s packed with more “from our archive” content than actual recent news.
No surprise then, that my own top tweet of 2019 was all about my delight at finding the Argos Book of Dreams. Seems other people shared the same excitement at flicking through over 40 years worth of Argos Catalogues reminiscing about retro tech and childhood board games, while laughing at the incredibly stereotypical view of gender based advertising in years gone by.
— Gary Ennis (@nsdesign) October 30, 2019
With over 10,000 impressions, and over 100 clicks to the Argos Website (if only I’d had an affiliate cookie!), this tweet was a winner in terms of Twitter engagement.
Connecting on an emotional level makes for good content. What content have you got, or (like I did here) you can find and share – with the aim of resurfacing memories? Facebook do this daily to you (with their “on this day” memories), so pinch a winning play from their playbook, and don’t forget to at least occasionally get nostalgic! Hang it off something ‘real-time’ on Twitter (latest news, trending topics, or even just via a #ThrowbackThursday) and you’ve got a winning combination.
Top Facebook Post of 2019
Of all the social media algorithms, Facebook is arguably the most ruthless when it comes to squeezing your organic reach down to the bare minimal, so interesting that our top Facebook post of 2019 actually breaks many of the “what not to do” rules that you’ve probably heard before.
One of my regular “Group Selfie” photos, this one (with a reach of over 3,000 people) was from a free digital marketing mentoring workshop that I deliver every year on behalf of my local Chamber of Commerce. Given it’s healthy volume of Likes, Comments, Clicks and Shares, it’s clear that people engaged with it (including those in the picture itself!). This is despite the fact that it was an automatic ‘cross-post’ straight from Instagram (I used ifttt.com), which is usually warned against (best practice being to create content specifically for the platform) and posted at 1pm (and not at a time when my audience are ‘more active’).
Don’t worry too much about “best practice”, and abiding by all the so called rules etc, and just focus of posting good content that you believe your audience will appreciate. A cross-post from another platform will still work if the audience on both enjoy it, likewise the time you post it really shouldn’t impact you (especially on Facebook) as the algorithm either shows them it, or not. Facebook is a social platform – so pictures of ‘people’ always work well. Showcase yourself, your staff, your customers, and your company culture. Play along – Facebook is full of cat videos, funny memes, and lighthearted nonsense, so ensure you’re ‘being social’ and resonating with your audience. The power of fun goes a long way!
Top Instagram Post of 2019
For many people, Instagram offers escapism. The chance to get lost in a feed of beautiful, artistic, inspirational images, browsing for hours before surfacing back into the real world. Yes it’s true that some are starting to turn against this ‘airbrushed version of reality’ and are demanding more of an authentic representation (especially from businesses and brands), but the fact that my top Instagram posts from 2019 showcased Scotland’s amazing coastline prove that the ‘beautiful’ side of Instagram still has a part to play in marketing.
View this post on Instagram
Both short videos, the first is a view from the rugged Lerwick coast in Shetland, the second a view from the Arran ferry, with the snow covered mountains in the distance. Scotland sure is pretty, and my Instagram stats prove others think so too!
What inspires your audience. What can you show them that makes them stop in their tracks (or in their scrolling!) and makes them say – “wow…..”. Things you take for granted, like a boat trip to deliver a workshop, or a walk to work through the town centre might be a brilliant ‘share’ with your audience today. Take photos and videos – lots of them. Of anything and everything, and increase your reach through relevant hashtags connecting with others sharing similar themes. Instagram allows creative freedom to share beautiful ‘moments’ with people, so don’t stop using the filters just yet!
Top LinkedIn Post of 2019
For me, LinkedIn is more often than not the best performing social media platform. It usually generates not only the biggest reach for my content, but also the greatest impact, and yet again this year it has generated leads, opportunities, and paid work.
Like last year (with my Viral Sensation), a post on LinkedIn has generated the biggest reach from all my social content, and this time it was a simple update sharing some good news. with over 20,000 views, this top LinkedIn post of 2019 simply told everyone that we’d won a lovely award from CeeD, generating a significant volume of engagement, with over 250 likes, and 60 comments.
Good news stories celebrating business success (when done with humility and authenticity) help remind your audience that you’re good at what you do, and on LinkedIn, reinforce their reasons for connecting with you. Showcase your brand through highlighting your people – celebrate them, your customers and your wider network.
So there you have it… the top posts of 2019 from all our social media platforms. These were the updates that worked for us, what worked for you?.. Go check your own numbers, and feel free to share your findings with us (we’d love to know!).
Here’s to continued success and a clearer vision in 2020 (see what I did there?)….