Knowing what people like to share and not share can save you a lot of wasted effort on Facebook.  Not all content is equal.  Even if there is always an audience interested in what you have to say – no matter how small or big – that content isn’t likely to go viral on Facebook unless it has universal appeal.  In this, Facebook marketing is different from marketing in other social media such as Twitter.  Unlike the often technology-savvy Twitter user, Facebook users are much more mainstream.  You have to stick to what’s popular among, and understood by, the majority of average people if you want to be marketable.

So you want to know what are the most shared and least shared terms on Facebook are to make your content more shareable.

What People Share Most on Facebook–and What They Don’t Share

In The Facebook Marketing Book, we find studies on the most commonly shared and least shared words on Facebook.  Statistics reveal that Facebook users are not at all keen on sharing technology-related stories. Tech terms such as “iPhone,” “Google,” “Twitter,” “apps” and “reviews”  which may often get retweeted on Twitter are among the least likely to go viral on Facebook.

A partial list of the most shared words are:

  • “facebook”
  • “why”
  • “most”
  • “world”
  • “best”
  • “health”
  • “how”
  • “top”

We can imagine what articles get shared with these keywords: “How to Do So-So…” “Facebook Log In Security Tips,” “Top 10 [blank] You Need to Know” and so on.

Articles that had linguistic content related to things such as “sex,” “media,” “learning” and “positive” and articles that contained numbers in the title were more likely to get shared. It’s not surprising that sex is a popular topic on Facebook, but it’s eye-opening that users are looking for positive stories and educational content as well.

Facebook users also enjoy watching videos, so multimedia content is also very shareable.

Some of the least shared articles were connected to words like:

  • “vs’
  • “iphone”
  • “google”
  • “review”
  • “apps”
  • “game”
  • “social”

Readability and Parts of Speech

The authors of The Facebook Marketing Book also observe that readability and parts of speech play a big part on whether content gets shared or not. The easier to read an article is, the more times it will be shared; whereas the higher the reading ability required, the opposite happens.

With regards to parts of speech, modifiers – that is, adverbs and adjectives – do badly in sharing.  It’s the nouns and verbs that count.  Adverbs and adjectives are empty words; verbs and nouns talk.

We learn here that keeping your content simple and easy to read is key to have your content spread in Facebook.

Why Facebook Is Mainstream

It doesn’t mean that there are no geeks or intellectuals other people with special interests like law or medicine on Facebook.  Quite the contrary: there are all kinds of people from all walks of life using the social network.  But many are not, and a tech fanatic who loves everything Android or an SEO consultant who obsesses with Google’s every move isn’t as likely to share stories about these topics on Facebook as they might on Twitter. How many people in your circle of family and friends are into the same strange things as you?

It’s not hard to imagine yourself finding a cool infographic about the latest Google Panda Update.  You want to share it on Facebook and maybe you do, but you know your mom and sister-in-law won’t be interested in it because they aren’t into SEO like you are.

Lessons for Facebook Marketers

Understanding your audience is key to effective Facebook marketing.  And here we learn that in Facebook we are dealing with masses of people who aren’t interested in specialized information, and instead want something positive and relevant to their own lives.   Use this knowledge to improve your marketing campaign and make your Facebook page updates more shareable.

 

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1 Comment so far

  1. Harriet on April 7, 2012 1:23 pm

    Thats really interesting that words like ‘google’ and ‘iphone’ are some of the least used words on Facebook. And ‘app’ as well. I thought those were the kind of words that were used most frequently because Facebook tries so hard to advertise that kind of stuff!
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