Do you struggle to decide what you should share on your company’s social media channels? Not sure what you should be prioritizing to make sure you get maximum engagement and visibility?

We can help you with that. In this guide, we’ll look at the four main social channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and highlight not only what types of content perform best on each one, but how to tailor your content outputs to best support our findings.

Using different content types for sharing on social media

Content on social media can be divided into four main types – images, videos, links and plain text posts. We can’t offer you a fail-safe algorithm for sharing each of these, but we can share which types work best on which channel, and how you can harness that for your brand.

What content works best on Facebook?

According to a study by Rival IQ looking at 1,800 brands and companies across 12 industries, images on Facebook receive the highest engagement rate cumulatively across a week. Images are also the most commonly posted content type.

However, videos often achieve a very similar engagement rate, making them the second-best performing type of content, even though they only account for around 3% of a page’s posts (less than one post a week).

One interesting point to note is that the only industry for which images didn’t achieve the highest engagement rate is the media industry, such as TV, radio, newspaper and magazine brands. For these types of businesses, video was the most engaging type of content.

When it comes to harnessing these insights for your Facebook page, it’s important to consider the industry you’re in and what you have at your disposal. Since images are so popular, creating an image library of appropriate content, such as product or service images, to share on the channel is a must. Taking photos at events and around the company can help add to this resource.

What content works best on Twitter?

According to Brandwatch, tweets with images receive 18% more click-throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets than those without. However, when looking at the Rival IQ study, the posts that receive the highest engagement rate on Twitter are videos. One reason for this may be that YouTube videos, when added as a link to tweets, play in the platform rather than redirecting via a link to the YouTube page itself.

There are other factors to consider though. Around 6,000 tweets are sent every second and, while users are scrolling through their newsfeeds, it’s a lot easier to scan over and dismiss images and text tweets compared to a video. If a user wants to watch a video, they will dedicate more time to that content and feel more connected to the brand and video once they’ve finished watching it. According to Hootsuite, those videos will attract 10x more engagement than other content.

Also, once a user has watched a video, Twitter is 28% more likely to show them more videos in their feeds.

What content works best on Instagram?

As you may have guessed, photos achieve the highest rate of engagement on Instagram, surpassing videos and carousels. Posts that contain either another Instagram handle, a hashtag or a location can gain anything from 12.6% to 79% engagement.

As highlighted in the Rival IQ study, the one industry that doesn’t see singular photos achieving the highest engagement rate is the non-profit sector, such as charities and fundraising organizations. For these organizations, the top-performing content format is carousels – posts that share more than one photo at a time.

As with Facebook, building an image library is of paramount importance for any business that wants to use Instagram effectively; over a third of Instagram users have bought a product after seeing it on the platform, and 60% of Instagram users have discovered new products, so make sure you’re posting things that people will be interested in.

What content works best on LinkedIn?

As a predominantly B2B social platform, the majority of users (62%) on LinkedIn are looking for content that is educational and informative. So, the content type that performs best on LinkedIn differs from other platforms – while images perform well, links and blog posts also have high engagement rates.

What is interesting is that posts that contain a link to a blog post or other website landing page receive an 11x increase in views if they include an image. While photo posts on their own don’t do as well as blogs and links, photos can still increase engagement rates of other content types.

Writing blogs that feature industry news, research, how-to instructions, industry tips and company updates is a great place to start.

Professional vs personal content

Social platforms can be segmented by whether they’re primarily used to reach a B2B or a B2C audience:

Sharing on social media crossover

Although there’s a split of social media platforms between B2B and B2C, most accounts and pages perform best when the content shared includes posts about the people behind the company.

While it’s important for a business to present their services or products on social, including personalized content, such as news about company charity events or office goings-on, can boost engagement as people get to know the faces behind the company. Interactions with users can also assist with this – so, when someone comments on a post on a company page or account, responding to that comment is a great way to build rapport with the user and show you’re both active and engaged on social media.

Reassuring customers of the fact that they’re not dealing with a faceless corporation is important. People are more likely to recommend your brand if they’ve received friendly service, according to Brandwatch’s study.