How to Win on Facebook: 8 Lessons Learned From Analyzing 1 Billion Posts


If you want to know what works when it comes to marketing, you need to study the competition.

This includes both the tough and the weak competition.

By doing this, you can determine why the best succeed and why the others fail in their efforts.

To do so effectively, you need to look at one particular area of interest.

The BuzzSumo team decided to compile as much data as possible on marketing on Facebook and then complete an in-depth analysis.

Overall, they analyzed over 1 billion Facebook posts and came up with findings that will change the way you market on Facebook. 

They were kind enough to share their data with me and allow me to walk you through it.

I’ll break down the findings and let you know exactly how you should use them.

But first…

Why Facebook? Why not any other social network from among the hundreds?

While it would be worth analyzing other networks as well, Facebook is the place to start due to its size.

At the start of 2016, Facebook had 1.59 billion monthly active users. That’s over 20% of the global population.

This means that customers for just about every imaginable business can be found on Facebook.


Finally, no other social site generates as much referral traffic as Facebook does—not even close. It’s a unique platform because users are more than willing to click on links to visit content published on websites outside of Facebook (sites like yours).


Okay, so we have the right network and a ton of data.

Let’s look at the findings.

1. The best time to post isn’t when you think it is

When you post on Facebook, your posts are shown to some users who have already “liked” or “followed” your page.

The exact number (or percentage) will depend on your organic reach.

Your organic reach is determined by a bunch of different factors. The most important ones are the amount of engagement you get on your posts and the amount of competition your posts have.

Competition is a crucial factor. If there are many other posts created by friends and by other pages a user has liked that are published around the same time as your post is, Facebook can show only so many of them. The more competition, the less likely your content will be shown.

Intuitively, it makes sense to post when the most users are online, which is during the day. That way, a greater percentage of your followers could potentially be exposed to your posts.

But the BuzzSumo analysis actually found the complete opposite.

The red line in the following graph represents your competition—the number of other posts published around the same time.

The blue line shows the engagement that posts receive at different times of day. Engagement includes commenting, sharing, and liking posts.


The pattern is extremely clear.

Posts get the most engagement when the total number of posts is at its lowest.

Conversely, there’s too much competition during peak times (during the day), which leads to low engagement.

The conclusion from this data is to post between 9 PM and 11 PM in the time zone that most of your followers live in.

BuzzSumo mainly looked at US pages, but you can apply the findings to any time zone.

Why? Because they also tested it for another country: France.

They found that posts published between 11 PM and midnight had the highest average engagement (240.06 shares). Likewise, posts published from 10 AM until noon performed the worst.

Almost identical trends.

2. Certain types of posts perform over 5 times better than others

There are 6 main types of posts you can create on your business page:

  1. Questions
  2. Image posts
  3. Videos
  4. Links
  5. Giveaways
  6. Coupons/Discounts

As part of the analysis, BuzzSumo looked at the performance of each type. Note that interactions means the same thing as engagement (total number of likes, shares, and comments).


There’s one type of content that isn’t on the graph that actually performs better than all of them.

No, I didn’t lie to you before; there are only 6 main types. But there are a few different subtypes of each of the types.

Most importantly, the BuzzSumo team dug into different types of question posts and found something huge.

Question posts combined with images resulted in an average of 616.70 interactions. However, questions posts that were text only received 144.45 interactions (terrible).

Finally, the analysis didn’t just look at the total number of all types of engagement. It also included the breakdown by each type (comments, likes, and shares).


There are a few interesting points to note on that graph:

  • videos get the highest number of average shares (83.87)
  • giveaways get the highest number of average comments (33.91)

While the high number of comments is interesting, keep in mind that comments are usually required to enter giveaways and are almost always low quality.

A more practical analysis would involve looking at the average length of comments for each post type (maybe an idea for a future research project for BuzzSumo).

Overall, we can draw the conclusion that images and videos perform best when it comes to overall interaction while videos are best if you’re looking for shares in particular.

Additionally, combining questions with images (or videos) will yield the best results; do so whenever possible.

3. Sunday is a special day, especially for businesses on Facebook

Not all your posts will be equally important.

You’ll want to make sure that important posts (like links to your website or product announcements) are as optimized as possible so that as many people as possible see them.

We’ve already determined a time interval that’s best for posting, but we haven’t looked at the best day.

The analysis revealed that posts on weekdays all receive nearly the same number of interactions (on average).

However, posts on weekends receive a significantly higher number:


Sunday is the best day to post, with an average of 401.75 interactions, followed by Saturday at 365.30 interactions.

The research didn’t reveal the reasons why this happens, but you can take your own guess. Perhaps people use Facebook more on weekends, or maybe businesses don’t post as often (less competition).

Regardless, you now know that posts on Saturday and Sunday will get more engagement than on the weekdays. Save your important posts for the weekend.

4. The optimal length of articles for Facebook users is…

If you’re using Facebook as a business, you’ll be linking to your content (you’d better be).

And as I mentioned at the beginning, most Facebook users are happy to consume content on other websites.

However, it turns out they have a preference for this content.

BuzzSumo found a strong correlation between the performance of a Facebook post and the length of the article it’s linked to.


As you can see, when a post linked to a short article (under 1,000 words), it received the fewest number of interactions (171.65).

Posts that included 1,000-2,000-word articles performed the best (277.37 interactions), followed closely by 2,000-3,000-word articles (274.06).

The most interesting finding to me is that posts with articles of over 3,000 words performed about 18% worse than the other in-depth articles (225.02 interactions).

Since I use Facebook heavily for Quick Sprout, and most of my posts fall into this final category, I might not be getting the most out of Facebook.

This post (that you’re reading) falls under 3,000 words. Do you like it better?

The bottom line is that Facebook users enjoy in-depth posts, but they also don’t want to spend hours reading one. Keep your posts between 1,000-3,000 words when possible.

5. Users aren’t on Facebook to read

There are two main components to a Facebook post: the description of the post (the blurb you type) and any link or media you attach.

It turns out that the shorter your description, the better the post will do.


It’s clear that posts between 0-50 characters (that’s about 0-10 words usually) get the most interactions by far (411.16).

The number of interactions a post gets goes down as the number of characters in a post increases.

The simple takeaway is to make your descriptions of posts as short as possible. Leave any detailed explanations in the content that you link to instead.

6. Whatever you do, don’t post YouTube videos

As we saw earlier, videos get a good amount of engagement on Facebook (and the most shares).

However, there’s a certain type of video post that far exceeds the others in the amount of engagement it gets.

There are two popular options when it comes to videos. You can:

  • Embed a YouTube video:
  • Directly upload/embed a video on Facebook:

You wouldn’t think there’d be a big difference, but the results from BuzzSumo’s analysis showed otherwise:


When it comes to the number of interactions video posts get, embedding a YouTube video only gets an average of 140.75 interactions, a fraction of the 951.48 interactions that directly uploaded videos get.

You might suspect that there wasn’t a sufficient sample size of directly uploaded videos on Facebook, but BuzzSumo accounted for that.

For this particular part of their study, they analyzed over 53 million YouTube video posts as well as over 25 million directly uploaded posts—which makes for a great sample size.

The bottom line is that if you publish video posts on Facebook, take the time to upload the source video onto Facebook itself.

When you’re making a post, click the “upload photos/video” tab at the top of the text area, then choose the file from your computer. Then fill out the options, e.g., adding the title, etc.

7. Facebook users like Instagram

Facebook integrates nicely with other social networks.

If you use Instagram as well, you can check the Facebook option while posting a photo, and it will also be posted on Facebook.

It looks like a normal Facebook picture post with a small difference: it’ll say “via Instagram.”


You wouldn’t think this would make a difference, but the analysis proved otherwise.


Pictures that are posted on Facebook through Instagram received 23% more interactions than images uploaded directly to Facebook.

I honestly don’t know why this happens (theories welcome in comments), but the data is clear.

If you’re posting pictures on Facebook and also use Instagram, use Instagram’s “post to Facebook” option.

8. The effect of hashtags probably isn’t what you expected

The final big area of the massive analysis looked at the effect of including hashtags in posts.

You know what hashtags are, right? Any tag that is preceded by a “#” is a hashtag (e.g., #QuickSproutisgreat, #GamesofThrones).

In the past, hashtags almost always improved the amount of engagement you got on most networks.

Well, the research says otherwise when it comes to Facebook:


You can’t argue with data: posts without hashtags received 34% more interactions than posts with hashtags.

Unless you have a specific reason to include a hashtag, leave them off your Facebook posts.

Don’t apply these findings until you read this

There’s one key thing that you need to remember to apply these findings effectively.

Understand that these findings are correlations. They look at the average effect of different variables.

What this means is that the findings are best practices.

If your audience behaves significantly differently from the average audience, your optimal Facebook posts may look different.

These findings are great starting points, but they may or may not be right for you. Start by implementing them, but then test other options to confirm whether they are the best or not.

If you need help to do that, read through my guide to optimization.


Let me quickly summarize the 8 best practices that came from BuzzSumo’s research:

  1. The best time to post is between 10 PM and midnight of your audience’s local time
  2. Posts with questions and images get the most engagement
  3. The best day to post is Sunday
  4. Posts that link to articles between 1,000-3,000 words get the most interaction
  5. Short post descriptions get by far the most interaction
  6. Directly embedded videos get over 6x the interaction of YouTube videos
  7. Images posted through Instagram get a 23% boost in engagement
  8. Posts with hashtags get less interaction than posts without hashtags

These are all backed by an insane amount of data and are great best practices to follow for your Facebook marketing.

If you have any questions about the findings or research, as usual leave me a comment below.


  1. Hello, Neil, Perfect analysis. Being a Facebook Fan page Admin for years, I can say you’ve all the legitimate points.
    It’s important to understand your audience and their timing on Facebook. From evening to Night post engagement increases quite often.
    About Videos, I actually agree with the analysis. Direct embed videos get’s far better engagement. Nowadays, Gifs are also working like a charm.
    Anyways, great post. Got to learn many good things 🙂

    • Julie Syl Kalungi :

      I actually agree with you Deepak with regards to Gifs. I like them myself and some people even use them in blog posts!

      Neil Yo have done it again. I learnt to create full bodied posts after one of your detailed articles and saw an increase in engagement on my posts from an average 20 comments to now over 60-100 each! Its such an amazing thing.

      So it seem that like wine, full bodied is more interesting.

      I have noticed though that Facebook Videos are beginning to get less and less engagement or “Views” so FB is up to something again. You could post a video say 4-6 months ago and it would get over 100 “views” withing the hour and we all know what an FB video view means…But now they too are getting less shown. So Its back to how engaged is your audience and how engaging are you as a user.

      Thanks for sharing as always Neil!

      • Julie, could it before, FB would automatically play Videos on many different Browsers/Devices, where-as now they are moving away from that? Just a theory. Also, perhaps they have seen FB reduce its serving times because of all the videos that are loaded on their servers now, just another unlikely theory, but still a theory nonetheless.

      • Hi Julie, would you mind sharing which article you are talking about when you talk about the ‘full bodied post’?
        Google has no clue what I’m talking about 🙂
        Thank you!

      • Leonardo LaVito @ :

        It may be also…

        that more and more marketers…

        … are getting into using Facebook VIDEO!

        And so people are getting used to it.

        I think it’s getting to be a pretty massive thing.

        So much so that, I think earlier this month Facebook released a program to protect video copyright to the next level.

    • You want to program them on a daily routine so they get in the habit of looking out for your content, assuming they like it 😉

      I have been starting to see a lot more gifs lately.

      • Karen Gibson :

        Hey Neil,

        This is a very helpful article. I also have a facebook page, and I am trying lots of different things to increase the fan base on my page, but it’s not performing well. I have been posting updates like crazy.

        I am going to try some of the things you mentioned like posting questions and embed videos. I believe these will increase engagement.

        Thanks for your tips.

  2. Amazing analysis. Embed video has more interaction then YouTube video that is something new which i have to implement.

    • It makes sense since they want to grow video, and it makes a considerable size difference

    • Leonardo LaVito @ :

      It seems Facebook wants to take down YouTube and burn it to the ground in a fiery blaze of direct confrontation in order to capture the video sharing market. 😀

      • Seems that way

        • Is it because Facebook doesn’t want its User to be taken out of its platform to showcase any video like from YouTube. So when you upload the video directly from your desktop it is shown on the FB itself with good exposure to your community; and when you embed it from YT or provide a link from any site outside FB, then it discourages and hence the algorithms might be written in such a way to restrict the exposure of such posts. Just a theory, who knows better than Neil 🙂

  3. Facebook is known for its number of users.

    2 billion since the last time I checked.

    The target on facebook is that there are many noise.

    What you want to do is to be consistence.

    The big brand already have the market.

    But facebook has a space for the patient.

    I have been promoting a business on facebook for 5 years now so I know what I’m talking about.

    • Yes, they have space for the patient and the ones who are willing to take action. I think some big brands understand, but not all.

  4. Neil, your work is consistently first class. Kudos to you and your team.

  5. very well written and elaborative. I especially liked the way you have explained cleanly with the visualisations.

    • The visuals help you remember the data and allow you to make better, and more clear decisions when you’re in the zone and working.

  6. Solid points. I’ve definitely seen that weekends can have a massive impact. Thanks for putting all this together in such a clear and concise article.

    • I feel like it’s the opposite of what people expect, but makes sense with smartphones. People typically aren’t working on the weekends, but are still connected

  7. Solid view on the stats related to Facebook here Neil.

    Quick question about the videos,

    would you download the youtube pics and then post them on FB since posting directly from YouTube would give less interaction?

    Maybe giving credit to them in the caption / description?

    • If you’re taking someone else’s video, then you’ll want to credit/source to the original

      • We find the same things on our fan page that I’ve been reading in the comments. Yes, directly uploaded videos (is that embedding?) are the bomb in terms of engagement! And yes, our YouTube uploads keep getting taken down. Then we have to ask for a reinstatement and we’re banned from posting for a time. Would simply giving the credit to the original source in the status suffice?
        Now, to be clear, our problem isn’t with our business so much as it is a fan page. It’s with music videos on which the uploaders to YouTube are not crediting the source themselves. We are aware of the corporation that owns the copyrights to all this entertainer’s music. Would crediting them save us from being flagged by Facebook and protect us from copyright infringement as well?

        • Directly uploading isn’t embedded, its directly uploading it to your own account. Embedding it would be copy and pasting the link with the original source file. I would avoid re-uploading other people’s video in general as there’s a ton of problems with that as it is. Especially when you’re talking about music videos, there are big teams who’s sole purpose is to take the videos down.

  8. Neil, you hit #4 right on the spot for me. i love the content you put out but sometimes they’re just too long! Unless I’m at home at the end of the day, I just don’t have the time to read it. This blog post is just the perfect length. Thanks for insight.

    • I think the visuals help make it easier to digest for those that don’t have the time to read.

    • Kaluri Shankar :

      Yeah its true…

      • 🙂

        • You are right Neil…that’s the reason pictorial story telling is gaining popularity and now every media site (whether News, Entertainment, Sports or otherwise) uses it successfully to find enhanced engagement.

          I believe, for the same reason Fintech professionals are also driving efforts toward creating Infographic posts.

  9. I wonder if these tips will work regardless of location, language, kind of fanpage, the industry?

  10. Hi Neil,

    I pretty like the format of this post. It’s not too long like other posts. More importantly, you summarize the important facts in the conclusion. IMO, sometimes (often?) the complete reading of a Quicksprout post is needed to get all the important points.

    Nice work !

  11. Hi Neil,

    Another great post and I am working on Facebook as of now. As you said, I was already with my own brainstorming, posting at nights because that works far better. Also, I agree that posts on Facebook need to be shorter but the shared posts can be longer, it is important for the blog as well as you mentioned many times earlier.

    This is very helpful post and I am going to share it with few my friends now 🙂

    • I’m glad this helped. These were all interesting insights for me too, so I’m excited to see how this helps everyone

      • I was wondering Neil if it also holds good for Facebook Ads. What’s the best day of the week or rather days in a week and the time range when one should advertise on FB? Is there any study for Ads too? I know it would also depend on my Target Audience i.e. demography, but wanted know if in general any study being done.


        • A lot of tests will show specific times of the day/week but it’s just like you said that it would depend on your target audience, demographics, etc.

  12. Neil,

    Another awesome post. I do like this post size over the extremely longer versions. I think this size is easier to assimilate and retain as opposed to way longer versions. I like your quick summary as well. Well written, succinct, right to the point. There is only one thing missing…a download guide on Best Practices for Facebook.

    • Ah, thanks for the heads up Dade. This something different from how I normally post, but I’m glad you liked it.

  13. And that’s why I read your shiiiiz… Lol… Ok, so I don’t wanna toot your horn, but what the heck it’s Friday dang it… Rofl.. tooooot toot

    I just took a snapshot of the: Conclusion 8 best practices… thanks for this. There were a number of counter-intuitive ideas I love… (i.e. upload straight to FB instead of “having” to do both, article post between 1,000-2,000 [my honey hole], short descriptions on FB and not having to do a long article to pre-sell visiting the blog post, and posting at night)

    My BIG Aha & Take Away Test/Action: Also because of this I’d like to test something (at least for my main market: parents of high school athletes)… I wonder if doing FB Ads for a “late night” webby, that’s 30 minutes or so long, would have higher attendance and engagement?…

    Anyhoo, have a amazing weekend… SuperBowl Party here I come 😉 oh, after I do my weekend FB post… Lol


    • I learned a lot of thing I’m going to be trying out too. I can’t say for certain if parents would respond to 30 min ads, but I think it could be worth a shot.

      • I think I said that wrong… I meant use FB Ads to advertise a “content rich” webinar that is held late night (between 9-10pm) 😉 Anyhoo, totally a lot of really good info and stats that I started to test after reading (running a new FB campaign this weekend).

        • It could work, but would suggest you try out a couple different times to know forsure

        • Leonardo LaVito @ :

          It’s an interesting concept to try. 🙂

          Most webinars are held in the afternoons, early evenings. Well, according to North American time at least.

          In other countries, it’s probably early morning.

          Late at night in North America is probably late afternoon in many other countries. So the attendance stats should be pretty interesting.

  14. Hey great post.

    I consistently put the link to youtube videos I make (as well as other stuff like directly embed) and you are absolutely right. Youtube views when directly linked in are way worse.

    However, I also get a lot of views to youtube for that and I’m trying to grow that channel…I would lose a lot of views to youtube if I didn’t do that. Should I just stop do you thin/k?

  15. I saw the images from Instagram on Facebook. What makes me to engage with it more is this reason ->Instagram is picture uploading site. So people will upload interesting images on it. So when I see Instagram tag mentioned on post. I just think it is from a Instagram so it should have something interesting and I have to look at it. Facebook is general for all type of post. So lot people uplaod boring images and posts. But Instagram is special for photos. The one more thing is I don’t have account in Instagram. I am not even used it yet. I only know it is the site for sharing interesting images. So people who engage with Facebook post from Instagram might n’t have account on Instagram and might have interested to engage with it as it as from another platform which they did not use and can look at it from Facebook.
    And another point is that the name Instagram may stuck in people mind while take small scroll over look at the post and the little stuck may make people to take little bit interest on that image.. In my thought, it is rare case to see post from Instagram on Facebook. Rare case always makes interest. If I see post regularly from Instagram on Facebook, my engagement with that posts will become low day by day, and one day it will come from 100% to low.
    I don’t know what exactly people are using Instagram combining with Facebook in USA.
    And one more thing. If one man continuously see post, get bored and reduce his engagement, the post will get another new men attention.

    • I’m with you Selvakumar, you need keep adding fresh and new content continuously or you’ll lose your audience. I think what you’re saying makes sense, but download the instagram app and play around with it. That way you can get a feel for how it works and get more familiarity

    • I think the reason the Instagram photos get more engagement are the filters and editing capabilities in Instagram. The photos from Instagram are just BETTER. I see this in my posts – I crop, lighten, add color, etc. to the Instagram photo and it is just a better, more engaging and enjoyable photo result for the person scrolling through their social media accounts.

      I doubt the “from Instagram” designation makes any difference – it’s so small and a minor detail.

  16. Hi Neil, great article and summary. I post a lot on groups (with a lot of success). But I do have a question. Is there a way to find out where most members of a group are from in order to figure out the time zone?



    • I know you can do with your fan page, but I don’t think facebook offers that ability for groups.

  17. Gulshan Kumar :

    I don’t have regret why I not use Facebook.
    In my case, I get good result from Twitter, The reasons are:-
    1. Twitter is great platform to get traffic in comparison to wasting time in auto-publishing Facebook page or sharing in groups. FB is good for meeting old school friends.. 😛
    2. On Twitter Hashtag works great even for new profile, on Facebook it simply do not perform well.
    3. On Facebook reaching in news feed of target audience takes more time than ranking on Google!
    4. Twitter has much more better security and support in comparison to Facebook. It has been proved here.
    5. Facebook has some Privacy problem. Unlike this, see relation of Twitter and Google.
    6. Twitter feeds are showing in Google SERPs with complete description and link?
    Have you seen ever Facebook page post shows index frequently in Google SERPs?

    • I don’t see Facebook pages indexed too often in Google. But why not just use both. 😉

      You can get traffic from Twitter and Facebook.

  18. Phenomenal job on the analysis, BuzzSumo and huge Thanks to Neil for Summarizing and sharing. This is probably by far THE BEST and MOST USEFUL post on FB for Businesses. I ‘d been trying to figure out strategies that work and been testing for my early stage B2C startup However, this post gave me so much insight. Just pure gold!!

    Thanks again for putting in the work. Shared on my twitter. Will be putting in the learnings to work soon. Cheers!

    • I really enjoyed putting it together. I think you can do a lot with this information, especially to help your early stage startup to get moving

  19. Hi Neil

    This is timely for me as I’m struggling to get traffic from FB. This analysis truly unveils that marketers including me have misconceptions about FB marketing. I have never imagined that Sunday is the best day to post.

    Moreover Facebook and Instagram correlation is a nice finding. IMHO that enables FB fans to connect to businesses on Instagram. I need to hear your opinion???
    Thanks for sharing

    • Since most people have smartphones these days and don’t work on sundays, everyone keeps connected. I think posting through instagram is important but not the only way to do it.

  20. You made some good points especially about not sharing Youtube video links. I think its more effective to directly upload a video to Facebook. It seems like Facebook is heading towards more of a paid model to promote company and business pages. It would be interested in finding out how to promote posts without boosting them necessarily. Thanks for this article!

    • They would obviously rather have you upload the content to their platform as it builds their video network. You can promote posts without clicking boost right now by going directly through ads manager.

      • I’ve noticed that YouTube video shares now play right in the post as opposed to the way it used to take the reader off the page and onto another tab which was a YouTube tab. Is it the same effect either way as taking the viewer to another platform?

        • I wouldn’t say it’s the same effect because it’s very different. They experience becomes a lot easier for the viewer and puts a bigger emphasis on the quality of the content

  21. Thank you, Neil,

    Just a simple but sincere thank you for so concisely and logically detailing the really useful stats.

    Will save this and use as an indispensable resource.


    • You’re welcome Zarayna! This will surely help you make better decisions with your facebook marketing

  22. Hey Neil, the Sunday Facebook engagement data is completely true. I found this out early last year…and I’ve been implementing it ever since.

    I will also try out other areas your research convert and keep you updated via this post.

    Louis Kennedy

    • It’s great you noticed and it helps validate buzzsumo’s numbers. Sounds good, I look forward to hearing more about your findings.

  23. Michal Vilimovsky :

    Excellent post Neil, as usual. I confirm that the engagement rate largely depends on “how much engagement your previous posts generated”. I have a multilanguage website and one of the languages (Czech) performs much better than others due to the fact that I am a member of a very active group and each of my posts gets lots of engagement in the group, which then helps increase post engagement on the page. On the other hand the engagement rate on English and French pages suck because I did not find any useful groups with high engagement yet. But this really helps – being active in a very active group, share your content there first (get likes, shares, etc.) and then share it on your page as well.

    • It has a lot to do with momentum. Once you can get interact with enough people, you can build the momentum you need to get the post seen by more people.

  24. Thanks for sharing this Gold information Neil. I’ve been posting most of my post at day. But after reading this, I’ll try posting when the competition is low and see how it effects the engagement on my page.


    • It’s always worth testing out to see how it works best for you. I wouldn’t say this is the end all be all, but it’ll be a great benchmark.

  25. Daniel Daines-Hutt :

    Hey Neil

    Nice post

    Interesting findings on shorter content when sending from FB

    My guess is FB is a form of entertainment and quick endorphin release- likewise when they come across and the content is too long , they are not getting their fix in time and want to bounce back or leave?



    • Daniel Daines-Hutt :

      I just read this post on harvard business review with regards to the neuroscience of Facebook users and lowering resistance to keep heading back to Facebook – pretty interesting!

    • I think most people don’t enjoy reading so when they see a lot of text, they’ll just scroll right past it.

  26. You have done a good job here Neil. Thanks for sharing this analysis.

  27. Robert MacGuffie :

    Thanks for the info Neil. Frankly, I approach your posts with some trepidation. It’s because I know that, one way or another, I’m destined to go back to the drawing board by the time I’ve finished reading. That said, let me be one of the first to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • It’s okay to feel apprehensive about these strategies at first, the numbers can be intimidating. Try implementing a few things at a time to build your confidence

  28. Melanie White :

    Neil, I love it that you are a research geek like me. You save me hours of questioning and time by publishing info that is useful and relevant and makes life easier for us all. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom so unselfishly.

    • I always tell people I’m a professional web surfer 😉

      I’m happy I could save you time. Many others I’ve learned for have done the same for me, so I want to do the same for others.

  29. Maybe I read through this too fast but you appear to be missing the most important factor of everything … the quality of your post. An inane question or a boring photo is not going to deliver results and whether it is hashtagged or Instagram posted won’t make any difference. The quality/relevancy of your post be it question, video or photo correlates to the engagement factor.

    Be so good they can’t ignore you! ( Steve Martin ).

    • I agree with you Paul, it’s got to be quality content, otherwise your post won’t bee seen by anyone.

  30. I went on to read this post because I thought you finally found a workaround on facebook’s latest rule to getting more post engagement or reach on facebook pages.

    I’m not exactly one of those big companies that can afford to pay facebook to get more engagement on my page. So I’m not giving facebook much attention right now. Though I’m not completely ignoring it because I do agree that facebook is so much powerful than all the other social media platforms out there. It may just not be a good matketing fit for the little fish.

    But as usual, your posts are very informative and there’s always something new to learn about.


    • I think it’s worth paying attention to, even if you can’t pay for the engagement. Ultimately it comes down to your ability in creating content and value that can get people’s attention.

  31. Thanks for this post Neil,

    I am absolutely surprised at some of these findings. I’ve been doing a bit of trial and error recently but now that I have facts that are backed by massive data, it can only get easier. .

    I will definitely try some of these out (I actually jotted them by hand).

    Thanks once again for this Neil,

    Emmanuel Olonade

    • These should help you a lot with your decision making as you go about your daily hustle. Let me know how things work out for you.

  32. One of the best FB updates of all time Neil! Great collaboration with BuzzFeed on this one. I was seeing similar results that our best engaged posts were occurring on the weekends, and it is great to see some research backing that up.

    Unrelated, you ever coming back to War Room?

    Keep up the great work man.


    • It was buzzsumo 😉

      That’s great validation that your results are similar.

      Maybe next year, I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

  33. Very well written post. Great job Neil.
    I’d loved the caveat at the end. People fail to include those types of things in conclusions.

  34. Wow!!! This is great staff, Neil! Will try it on my FB page and client’s page the findings. Track and record if they are suitable to the industry.

    Thank you for sharing, Neil!

    • That sounds good! I hope you and your clients see positive results. Let me know of your findings 🙂

  35. Nirmal Keelery :

    Hi Neil,
    Thanks for the excellent article. I would have never guessed that the youtube video embedding actually result in lower results. And the sharing via instagram is also a great info.

    • Youtube is playing in facebook’s environment, so maybe they’re playing like this on purpose…

  36. Again a great article with lot of details. Simply loved it.

    The first point you raised about post publishing and engaging is something I recently thought off while working on Facebook content plan that if every one is posting at peak hours, how many will actually get engage to my content? After all every one is creating a buzz on Facebook at the same time. But so far I didn’t had any facts and figures to justify myself.

    The second point is again awesome. Adding an image with questions. Have noted down that.

    As far posting on Sundays is concerned, I have read on several places that in general weekend is one of best time for Facebook postings so I assume businesses will be posting more. Therefore relating to the first point, engagement level might be less.

    The content length and it’s relation with Facebook was an interesting fact. Seems like now we will be getting 1500 words blog posts from now onwards from Neil Patel 🙂

    As far hashtags are concerned, I recently (almost couple of months back) I read an article which showed the same finding that the more hashtags are added, lower the impact and engagement on Facebook. The ideal number suggested was “1”.

    I personally dislike hashtags on Facebook. They are irritating.

    Once again thanks for sharing some really good points which can help me to back up my opinion.

    • Even though everyone maybe posting around the same time, the people who post the best quality content + copy are the ones that get the most engagement. It’s difficult to stand out with all the noise, but that is the name of the game. The Sunday posting wasn’t too surprising, but definitely interesting to note considering that most people are not working on Sundays. I can see how you only need 1 hashtag, but I agree with you and think most people stuff their posts with too much stuff anyway.

  37. Clare Woodgate :

    Awesome job on the analysis, BuzzSumo and Great Thanks to Neil for Summarizing and sharing.

    • Thanks Clare 🙂 BuzzSumo did all the heavy lifting, but I was happy to put this all together.

  38. Vanessa Jencks :

    Thanks for this great post! I reach out to both US and South-east Asia based readers, but with different types of posts for each. This is an aptly-timed post for me as I was just recently trying to plan out my posting times for Facebook.

    On an unrelated note, We Chat is a growing social media platform that has kind of started to catch on in other countries other than China. It’s similar to KaoTalk. Is there a platform similar to these two in the States that’s as popular as We Chat in China? Even ?? and ?? have We Chat. These grandparents didn’t even have cell phones two to five years ago, much less smart phones!

    • It’s great that you have a variety of posts for your different audiences. Hopefully this data helps you enhance your plan.

      I’ve heard of wechat, but aren’t too familiar with it yet.

  39. It is so easy to get discouraged on Facebook as organic reach seems to continually drop but there are so many great takeaways from this post that I am excited to try!

    Love the idea of posting during non-peak times when the competition is lower. I am also going to try posting more on Sunday’s. We have great success with our email newsletter on Sundays so hopefully that will translate to Facebook as well. The posting through Instagram boost is very interesting as well and something I would have never expected. I will definitely give that a try too!

    Thanks for breaking down all this data so concisely!

    • You’re welcome Kevin! I was impressed by the data and enjoyed putting this together. Aside from making adjustments to how and when to post, I think the quality of the content and the value it delivers is becoming more and more important.

  40. Neil The Amazing Guy. Thanks for this insightful post. I will begin implementing this Facebook best practices right way.

    • I’m glad you liked it Edema 🙂

      Incorporate each lesson individually so you can track and analyze the differences

  41. “I honestly don’t know why this happens (theories welcome in comments), but the data is clear.” re: Instagram

    It’s probably because you’re sending 2 notifications out to people’s phones rather than just the one when you post directly to Facebook. Instagram will alert as well as Facebook?

  42. Khudos Neil,

    Very useful and impact ful writeup.
    It is going to be very useful for me.

    • Great to hear M B. I think this data will be valuable for a lot of people. I’m curious to see what everyone does with it 🙂

  43. Steven van der Peijl :

    Love the final summary with the conclusions of this article.. and I too like this size of the article better than the really big ones.

    My theory on the instagram pictures is that it seems to be in correlation with your other conclusion that you should not write much on FB (0 – 50 words).. writing much via Instagram is not possible (or hard anyway) and few people do this.

    On Instagram its always 1 or 2 sentences max so its very possible that influences the general Instagram pic posts results in this research.

    • This was a bit of a different post than the other ones, but I’m glad you liked it. Interesting theory… people are definitely using much less text on Instagram, so I can see that being part of it.

  44. Very interesting and useful information. Thank you so much for sharing it. I was especially interested in the best times as well as the Youtube vs. Facebook video reactions. I prefer YouTube because it’s easier and will continue to use it. But I definitely need to do more directly to Facebook. Thanks again – and Happy Valentines Day to come 🙂

    • I’m curious to see the results people notice when they switch up the times. I think when choosing between uploading to facebook or youtube, it will depend on your ultimately plan or strategy. Obviously as we know now, when you upload video to fb directly, it’ll have a much bigger impact.

      Happy Valentines day to you too Kaye 🙂

  45. 1 billion posts? That is surely something

  46. Hi Neil

    Brilliant post I tend to post on Facebook day time about 4 pm as I tend to write long content like you I do not know how many word I stop when I have enough. I will implement the weekend post and late at night since I can work easily until 1am to 2am and I also put picture with my post because I think of people who like picture and the picture make them understand the content as it not everybody who like reading. Also nice summary in your conclusion love to the point no fafing around. Not your usual style of writing but I like your style is in depth content suit me fine.


    • Too much content is a good problem to have 😉

      People will look at the pictures first, so whatever you put there will be a big factor with people clicking through or not. I’m glad these finding were helpful, let me know what you try and how it works out for you.

  47. Abdulhaq Shah :

    Thanks for your great post. I was doing those same mistakes which you mentioned in your post. Now i knew why by Facebook page wasn’t generating good traffic. Sure i will implement those tips and will you right back about the results.

  48. Another beauty, Neil!

  49. Thanks Neil for this very useful article.
    You’ve mentionned the french study but didn’t include a link. As a french people I would love to read it too … Can you give the link please ?

    • It was 404ing so my webmaster removed the link. I will let you know if I can find another link for it.

  50. Bhuboy Villanueva :

    This is really far out from what I am doing, I use to check weekly my page insights and see when most of my fans are online, and try my best to post on those times, I will give a try posting between 9- 11 pm, and Sundays and check the results.

    • It goes against what most marketers have been doing, but makes sense considering how rapidly everyones beginning to adapt to smartphone technologies. Keep me posted on your results.

  51. Neil, thanks for another insightful post. Regarding the issue of post types, what would be a good example of question posts for bloggers that supply market data or reviews? Are we talking headlines?

    • Yep we are talking headlines. In which you ask a question via the headline and ideally even include an image to get your point across.

  52. The most critical thing that wasn’t considered here is the actual quality of content in terms of how it’s relevant to the audience.

    For example, the post type that’s most often used by Pages is Photo. If you have millions of photo posts, a majority of them will not be as engaging and therefore, the average number of interactions will plummet compared to the post types that are posted less frequently.

    If you just get the top 10% posts of each type for example, I would bet videos and photos will have the highest average engagement in that order. That is, if you do it today and not a few months back or a few months into the future since Facebook is forever changing.

    Make sure you have relevant, timely and useful content and boost the important ones and you can worry less about best practices. This is true for website SEO too, after all, Content remains King and Authenticity is Emperor (without clothes).

    • You could be right. The funny thing with videos is Facebook counts it as a view if someone just sees one or two seconds of it. I believe YouTube looks at 30 seconds.

      • Yes, Facebook counts video views when displayed for 3 seconds and YouTube at 30 seconds. But video views are not counted as post engagement. Facebook native videos get higher organic reach by design (to discourage links to YouTube) and therefore has the potential to get more engagement.

        • When you’re playing in someone else’s environment, you need to play by their rules…. or you find another way around 😉

  53. hello,
    firstly to speak superb infographics
    and thanks to Buzzsumo for their kindness which allowed you to share this article with us.
    Got to know many things, though being admin of many facebook pages
    sometimes they generate few traffic for my websites
    thanks for the post..

    • Dhanush, glad to help. Buzzsumo collected excellent data and I enjoyed analyzing and putting this together. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  54. Important question:
    “they analyzed over 1 billion Facebook posts”

    Page posts only? Curious due to the Instagram sharing. My page posts from Instagram don’t say “via Instagram,” only my personal posts do. And if the study included personal profiles, that would also explain why these don’t get shared as much as native FB posts – you can’t set your IG-generated personal posts to public. You have to go in manually to set each one to public. This discourages sharing (unless you immediately go to FB and reset the audience – I don’t).

    • That’s a good question and I don’t know the answer to it. I will reach out to Buzzsumo who did the research. They may know.

  55. Neil

    This is a bit of a “me too” comment but I’m so impressed I feel a need to add to the contributions from a long line of appreciative peeps.

    Fact is, there’s no shortage of people telling us how to use Facebook effectively and frankly I’ve been a bit confused by it all.

    You have done us all a great favor: a) providing evidence, however upending or confronting , b) explaining it all so lucidly, c) providing very clear graphical illustrations of the key points, and d) giving us that summary of the 8 points.

    Many thanks

    • Hey Des, I’m glad you found this so useful. I figured the data in here will help everyone who reads Quicksprout make better decisions. Now I’m curious to see how this helps and what kind of results everyone’s notices from this.

  56. Taranpreet Singh :

    Hi Neil Sir
    Your well-analyzed lessons are very helpful for your readers. Beating the competition when you post in the night time or saving your important posts for the weekend etc., there’s ‘Value’ offered in this post to be utilized as per reader’s needs (bloggers/content marketer).

    And I’m taking my part through it to work over my blog site.

    Thanks for it!

    • It’ll definitely get you to rethink your strategy. As you begin to move around your content and shift the timing, you’ll discover behavior patterns that allow you to individualized your marketing.

      • Taranpreet Singh :

        Other than this, I wish to ask another question which is somewhat related to the future of social networking. I want to ask for your opinion how you think the definitions of running businesses should change. Clearing it a little further, what would be the next better form of Facebook or Linkedin? How that form should serve the purpose of making connections as well as running businesses?

        • It think the fundamentals of business will stay the same, but technology will influence new behaviors and radical change. Everything is moving towards content marketing through video and stories. This is how businesses will acquire new clients and customers

          • Taranpreet Singh :

            So, you’re saying that;
            if a future social networking platform is advanced in the sense that it provides features of Linkedin, Facebook & G+ altogether with backing of latest technology, the new form will definitely gain the support of target audience it will be dedicated to serve.

            If I’ve interpreted this correctly, I wanna thank you for your opinion as it has given me something very useful.

  57. Amazing info. Solid Basics.

    What I observed with my local regional marketing over fb :

    The best time to post is between 9 PM and Midnight (from my page insights)

    Posts with Videos having most engagement..sometimes photo posts not helpinng as expected. By end of a day… every video i post will reach min 50k to 1L minimum reachability but views only up to 2k to 5k .. it depends.

    The best day to post is on Saturday & Sunday and many times could be on Monday and friday too..

    Posts to links not yet tested.

    Short post descriptions get by far the most interaction but only with unique content or most unseen information.

    Directly embedded videos get over most reachability shares likes… YouTube videos not having much interaction because when we share from a page… the source of page will skip and only youtube video will get shared

    Images posted through Instagram not yet checked… will have to see on this.. Thanks for your input.

    HashTags- Partially can agree.. for in depth targeting we do have audience optimization and for broader target hash tag helps…

    Can we get demographics or nearest competitors regional information/ statistics? With your 1st point… it could be helpful if we can get only data from our list of competitors?

    Thank You for the article!
    Kindest Regards

    • Maybe that will be a future post, but I don’t have those data insights at the moment. 🙁

      Facebook does provide some information about competitor pages, but they don’t share a ton. 🙁

  58. Facebook is the best medium to attract social gathering especially for the sites that aim at India, African and most Asian countries. Mos of the population here, if not all and especially the young have a facebook account.

    • A platform with so many users connected makes it easy to move the traffic around and put them together into groups

  59. Philip Gillen :

    Hi Neil,

    It is wonderfully refreshing to read something that is clear, precise, well written and makes a great deal of sense. Well done!

    I fully agree with the analysis especially in relation to contests / giveaways. Too many of these type of Facebook posts annoys potential customers and does nothing to differentiate you from your competitor. Giveaways, in my opinion are overused. They are the only play for businesses with no imagination, strategy or knowledge of what their customer actually wants to see.

    The concept of “Shareable Content” is lost on many, many businesses. It has been my experience that identifying the type of content that your customers like engaging with is the real key to organic success on Facebook.

    Thanks for a great article,

    Philip Gillen

    Digital Genie Limited

    • It almost feels like many marketers and social media managers get desperate, trying to hit numbers and stray away from actually providing their customers with real value. Sharable content really just puts a label on content that attracts and keeps people’s attention.

      All businesses need an imagination, it’s what keeps thing wonderful and amazing!

  60. Hi Neil

    Great post, although it’s thrown me a curveball

    I’ve been looking at your Facebook page and that of your £100,000 project and would be interested to find out why you don’t use these findings on your own FB pages.

    The Nutritious Living Facebook page just posts links and has a low engagement rate on most posts with the exception of the odd post. Are these posts boosted/for ads? Or do they just go viral?

    Links posts were the 4th most engaged according to this article. How come you don’t post the other higher engaged posts?



    • I know, the nutrition blog needs much more work and doesn’t have high engagement yet.

      The strategies I share come from personal experience with my own properties or with the clients I work with.

  61. Thanks for this post. I am agree with all your points in this analysis, some of them I´ve been developing on my business. It was interesting to know that the best day to post in Facebook is Sunday, I´ll change that in my strategy.


    Juan Carlos

    • It was a fascinating report and I enjoyed putting it together. I’m curious to see what all the business and marketers do with it. Let me know how the strategy works out for you.

  62. Hi Neil,
    did a great post but with one drawback. Many of these statements differ considerably depending on the country. Culture of a nations is a very important factor that the root can change a lot.

  63. Vikash Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    A very Nice post with the in-depth knowledge about Facebook usage for business. I am sure if we follow all the above mentioned Points, we can make a lot from Facebook.
    I am happy that you shared this guide with us as I am going to start Ad on Facebook for my Health blog and eCommerce site
    Thanks for your time to share such an informative and useful article.


    • You’re welcome Vikash, I’m glad I could help. This was exciting to put together because the data will help us all make better decisions. Facebook presents a tremendous amount of opportunity for any business owner and marketer.

  64. Hernan Vazquez :

    Hey Neil! This comes super handy when it comes to actually make Facebook work for your brand! Something I’ve noticed that you need to have a consistent branding across your multiple social media channels to increase the impact (like you show on Lewis Howes example).

    Anyways, I’ll be applying this for my Convert and Prosper launch this week. It’s a membership site that talks about conversions, funnels and PPC. And since I’m giving away a MASSIVE discount this week, it will surely benefit from some Facebook love. Another amazing post. Thanks man! 🙂

    • Yeah you’ll want to have have the same branding so your marketing efforts remain consistent. The more people see the image, become familiar, and create an emotional connection with, that better engagement you have.

  65. Priya Florence Shah? (@PriyaFlorence) :

    Amazingly useful post for us heavy Facebook users, Neil. I’m wondering about the advice on posting to Facebook via Instagram. I do that a lot. But Instagram likes hashtags while Facebook does not.

    So would the best practice be to post first without hashtags and then go back and edit your Instagram post to add them? What would you recommend?

    • It’s a good question, I have to play around with it some more. I think post from instagram and then edit/delete hashtags off facebook

  66. They don’t seem to analyze website clicks, which is the key click if you’re promoting an article on your own site.

    Any thoughts on that? Thanks.

    Oh also: when somebody clicks a link, they don’t know how long the ensuing article will be, right? So how could that determine whether or not they engage on FB?



    • I don’t have this data. 🙁

      You can track engagement through other means as well, such as comments, likes, sharing, etc.

  67. Social media is the most powerful platform for online promotions.
    Every lesson is great, quite informative and infographics are amazing.
    Thanks Neil for sharing this informative post.

  68. I am trying so hard to get my FB page Fancy & Faithful JJ Boutique lots of members. People just come and go. It’s frustrating to say the least. I want group members and of course traffic to my website. Help.

    • Tammy, I think you need to share more content that gives additional value to your prospects. Whether it’s an ebook or a pdf guide, something that will solve a problem or provide a want or need. In an industry like yours, I would say you can share a lot of content as it pertains to fashion trends.

  69. Wow, great analysis Neil.
    This article was really useful :).

    • You’re welcome Rohit, I’m glad I could help. If there’s anything else you need help with, please let me know

  70. Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us.
    This post going to be very helpful for newbies.

    • I think it’ll be help for newbies and experts 🙂

      Let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  71. Ed Troxell Creative :

    Wow! What a great post! Not only was the content great but it was easy to understand as you go through it. You brought up some great points and some new techniques I’ll have to try. I did not know about the YouTube videos. I knew Periscope, but YouTube interesting.

    Thanks for also having a quick summary at the end as that helped tie everything together!

  72. Hi, Great analysis. Very important post because now days social media plays an important role to establish your business on web.

    • It’s almost everything. And the great news is that there’s an abundance of opportunity for you benefit with virtually any of the different platforms out there.

  73. Hi, Neil. An interesting thing is that you get a boost in engagement when posting via Instagram – and on the other hand posts without hashtags get more interaction.
    What we do on Instagram is post with the #hashtags, because this way they get more engagement in Instagram. And when you use the “post to Facebook option” that Instagram offers it directly sends your post with the discription to FB, and with the hashtags also.
    – We can post without hashtags on IG -> FB (less engagement on IG)
    – We can post with the hashtags from IG -> FB (less engagement on FB)
    – Or we can just go to IG each time and separately share the photos to FB, changing the description. But this way it won’t be automized.
    That’s a food for thoughts. Btw I enjoy reading your articles and thank you for help and consultations! 🙂

    • Thanks I’m glad I help. I understand your confusion and although it’s not automated, you can edit the facebook posts and remove the hashtags

    • Leonardo LaVito @ :

      Manually deleting hashtags from Facebook seems to be the only way right now. 🙁

      However, it would be cool if software developers took this idea and ran with it. 🙂

      Instagram share to Facebook, and auto-delete hashtags from description.

      It would be a pretty big plus.

      • Yeah, I’m sure there will be some new developments that come out from this. Lot’s of things are happening and changing

  74. Hey Neil – maybe I didn’t see that information … but I need to ask: Wich postings have been analyzed? Just USA or also Europe and other continents?

    Interesting – real interesting.


  75. Hey Neil,

    Last year you wrote that you will start a new software company about Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. I would like to know when will that happen since 1 month already passed. Good luck with your new company. It will be really exciting.

  76. Drew Griffiths :

    Suppose I better get an instagram account!

  77. Mark Whittaker :

    Neil … thanks to you and BuzzSumo for sharing this data. I have two questions. 1. Is there anything in the data that describes the type of questions that get the best engagement? For example, I often counsel people against asking questions that only require a “yes” or “no” response. 2. The correlation of engagement to longer form content is interesting, but how would anyone reading a FB post know how long the linked content is? There must be more to that story. Thanks!

    • The report didn’t say, but any questions that can evoke them will get them engaged. It could be yes or no, multiple choice, fill in the blank etc. A question creatively correlated to the picture do really well too.

      Not sure, the number of click throughs that immediately came back is what I would guess

    • Leonardo LaVito @ :

      “The correlation of engagement to longer form content is interesting, but how would anyone reading a FB post know how long the linked content is? There must be more to that story.”

      That is a pretty interesting question.

      I think also, it’s possible that it depending on the type of post, it is possible to tell intuitively from the title.

      For example, this blog post is 8 Lessons Learned From Analyzing 1 Billion Posts.

      In your mind, you can probably tell the estimated length of an article that consists of 8 lessons.

      If it was 32 Lessons, then you probably know that it’s going to be super, super long.

      So it’s possible that title also has a lot to do with it.

      Unless you know the site is BuzzFeed.

  78. Regarding the interaction on embedded videos vs. youtube… I wonder if that the measured the interaction that happens on YouTube *instead* of facebook for embeds. And of course it depends on the device. On my iOS devices if I try to watch a youtube video on FB it has to load the YouTube app. A bit annoying. On desktop, that’s not an issue, it plays in place.

    I think the best option would be to upload videos in both places.

  79. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar :

    This is really interesting. I’ve tinkered with posting different times on Facebook but rarely have seen much interaction. My post times of 7AM must not be working well.

    Are there any tools to delay a post’s sharing on a FB page? Right now, I just use WordPress’s built in feature to post.

  80. Another home-run, Neil! As a digital analytics and data visualization consultant, I love when you grok on data 🙂

    I have a few clarifying questions:
    – It sounds like what the data is saying that the best date AND time is Saturday & Sunday night. I’m surprised if Saturday night is indeed an ideal time, being that it’s prime social outing time. It would be awesome to see this data cross-tabbed in a heatmap visual to validate that point.

    – I’ve heard that Facebook posts with no more than 2 hashtags do well. I wonder if there’s a distribution of better engagement depending on how many hashtags a post contains that a histogram would show.

    – More just a comment: I would love to share blog posts from Instagram to FB but not sure if the link would get passed over properly, since IG doesn’t recognize links. I would love to know how others here handle this.

    Awesome stuff, thanks again!

    Lea @

    • I think as everyone is shifting over to mobile devices, most people aren’t working on Saturday and Sunday which is where I would imagine that high engagement is coming from.

      I’m not sure, I have seen Instagram posts stuffed, but think it’ll become more refined in the passing years

      Glad I this was useful, let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  81. Hi Neil,
    Amazing article, I’ve been looking for facebook marketing tutorial and i think this is most reliable source and worth start a campaign on facebook. Thank you for motivation.

    • Great to hear! Let me know what happens to your campaign after you implement the findings from the report.

  82. Hey Neil,

    I think the reason Instagram images would be engaged with more is because often the photos are better quality. People put effort into applying a filter which makes the image look better, and also people using Instagram are often putting more effort into their photo’s in general to be successful on Instagram.


    • That’s a good point Marc. People have access to all the different tools and filters at the touch of their fingers, so it’s fast and quick

  83. Hello Neil, about your point 7: Facebook owns Instagram, maybe there’s a little correlation with the higher visibility of instagram pics VS uploaded pics in our facebook feeds (and more engagement) ?

    • Perhaps, it’s difficult to tell what that correlation could be if any. Maybe it helps them get more users over…

  84. “Pictures that are posted on Facebook through Instagram received 23% more interactions than images uploaded directly on Facebook.”

    I think that is because people find Instagram posts more relevant sans promotional links. You can’t add a clickable link to your Instagram post and this makes people trust the intention of the person who posted it better and hence, more engagement.

    • That’s a good point. People are mostly sharing eye candy on Instagram vs a variety of different types of content on Facebook.

  85. Thanks to Buzzsumo and to Neil for this research, analysis and summary. It’s helpful insight — and given the sample size, more meaningful to me than most reports I read. That said, I’m going to dig around and into the Buzzsumo site as I’m particularly interested in breaking out the results by demographics, if possible.

  86. Nathalia Braga Bannister :

    Hi Neil,
    Great post!
    Just one question: so if the best time to post is at 10pm and the best day is Sunday, post on Sundays at 10pm should get more engagement? Isn’t too late for a Sunday?
    What time would you post on a Sunday?

    • It can vary for your audience, but based on the data you are correct. It’s not too late based on the data we see as it does well the next day to.

  87. Fascinating article. But I’d really like to see a bit better breakdown of article length as 1 – 1000 words is very broad and doesn’t really give a cut-off point. All the articles on my site are 800 – 2000 words. And yes I personally feel that anything much longer than that is too much.

    Also I’m very concerned about the YouTube videos, as if you don’t get your video’s from YouTube where do you get them from? I’d really like to know that.

    Same for images; most images online are copyright. On my site I use images from Flickr or Wikimedia and give a photo credit with a link back. Is that reasonable practice on Facebook? Thanks.

    • I wish we had a bit more data to determine what they’re specifically meaning with the content length. I think they mean in the sense of uploading videos to facebook instead of to youtube and then posting to facebook. If you’re using someone else’s picture, I think it’s reasonable to link it back to the source, or takedown by request.

  88. James Manktelow :

    Hi Neil

    Yet another amazingly useful post!

    You asked about article length – personally, I do prefer 1,000 – 2,000 words in an article. I find myself clipping your longer articles into Evernote but not reading them until much later…

    Please keep up the great work!


    • I think that’s a good amount to have in a post. Sometimes they’re long, but it’s great that you’re getting back to them.

  89. Thank you neil i love reading you post and get an idea i get from it , so that how i can improve my blogging.

  90. Hi Neil

    Thank you for such a useful post. My biggest mistake was the hashtags I’ll make sure I won’t use them from now, But is there any updated version of 2016 on What are the best times to post on social media.?.

    • This seems to be the only the data I have discovered so far, but I except we’ll come across more studies soon. Let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  91. Hello!

    Really interesting post! I have a question, if you have a Youtube channel like the main storage of your business, and you said that Facebook doesn’t reach many people with videos from youtube, How would you move a youtube channel to get audience?

    • You wouldn’t move them, consider them 2 separate platforms and environments. Within each environment there are a different set of rules that allow you to win the game. For instance, the video you put on youtube will need to be formatted differently before you post on you facebook. When you think of a person scrolling through their feed, you’ll want to engineer the video on facebook so it stands out differently.

  92. I think it is very important to market on Facebook nowadays. People are on their mobile gadgets all the time and the most visited app is Facebook. Not marketing on it means that you will lose all the customers you could have had if you used it.

    • Virtually everyone’s on it or signing up for it. For any marketer or small businesses, the platform is super simple and easy to use.

  93. Mastering Facebook marketing may take some time. It may take some testing and seeing if it will really get results. But it is worth it.

  94. Facebook works in mysterious ways for my blog ! Thanks for sharing!

    • I know right? We are also luckily beginning to get access to tools that allow us to look through the mystery 🙂

  95. Great post! I am a newbie with regards to blogging and am currently trying to build my email list. Your post gave me a lot of things to consider especially the timing, content, and size.

    Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    • Awesome, welcome to the wonderful world of online marketing 🙂

      Let me know how these techniques work out or if there’s anything else I can help you with!

  96. Great tips! For some reason my audience is not that active on weekends… I have a travel blog so perhaps they need their escape during the day. Also agree with you about You Tube, tried to post a few with no luck whatsoever… Thanks for the tips!

    • That’s interesting, I think that’s a great hypothesis. Why don’t you do a survey with your followers and ask them their idea time to research and plan their travel.

  97. Hi Neil,

    I find this interesting but have a few issues with the analysis.
    I understand that these are merely correlations but the data about videos for instance is not necessarily correct.

    Your point is that engagement of Facebook embedded videos is higher than for instance Youtube. I would counter that it might not be. A video is a video and people will watch regardless of the platform. However a lot of FB users may opt to view the video on Youtube itself where the engagement is not measured on the facebook platform. I think you may be seeing skewed data because of that. An embedded video will be higher engaged if it is shared via facebook (by necessity – as it’s on facebook) than if it is shared on YouTube. So I believe the numbers may be slightly misleading here.

    I’d also like to see the business value of this broken down by regions or countries. I have no data to support this but I believe in Europe FB is more social than business and we’re doing more advertising on the likes of LinkedIn to reach business people than FB. This is pure speculation based on experience which is why I’d be interested if this could be broken down further.

    Like I said though, interesting post.

    • You make a good point about the regions. I have no data on this, but I might be able to get some…

  98. Great post. Facebook is getting tough. Paid campaigns still perform well, but the regular posts are getting less and less interactions and shares. Will definitely try to implement some of these ideas. Thank you.

    • If you’re not investing time into creating high quality content, you’ll have to invest $.

      Keep me posted on how things work out!

  99. Hi Neil,

    Bless you for this cool post first of all. I would like to know if sharing the posts on Facebook and twitter are counted as direct back links anymore for search rankings? Can you throw some more light on it?


    Saurabh from

    • Links from social don’t directly help SEO as a “backlink”, but they do account as indirect “social signals”. Posts with lots of social signals do help in sculpting ranking positions.

  100. Hey Neil, Great post, (ofcourse).

    This post will help help people to understand the power of Facebook. I am going to use these step which you have mentioned.

  101. Hey Neil,

    This is an awesome article.
    Even I found it strange, that why images shared via Instagram received more of interactions.


  102. Neil, you really rocked by posting this wonderful piece about marketing on FB!
    Got to learn many new things from your post.
    Thumbs upppps!

    • That’s wonderful, happy to hear it! I’m here to help, so if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  103. It seems that Facebook now plays a major role in search engine rankings. It is a factor in ranking websites – it is not just about backlinks and onpage optimization anymore. I am loving the detail of this research. It really covered the activity on Facebook. I am wondering if a study on how Facebook contributes to SEO can also be done.

    • Most of it is a mystery and speculation from SEO’s, but it would be safe to assume that everything is about making better, quality content

  104. Really detailed. You have done a great job on this one. I think that Facebook marketing is important because the market is mostly active there with mobile technology. Advertising on search will simply not cut it anymore.

    • Mobile is growing at a rapid pace and the only limits to what’s possible is the extent of your imagination.

  105. Hey Neil, Great post, (of course).

    Thank you very much for your informative post. Really comprehensive. I am going to use these step which you have mentioned.

    • Your’e welcome! There’s a lot of great data here, so test and analyze one thing at a time. Keep me posted on your progress!

  106. Thanks for this Neil! We use Hootsuite to schedule our Facebook posts. So sharing about the times people are more likely to see your posts was very helpful and timely (pun intended 😉

  107. This info really will help us! We’ve been working hard with Facebook to get some traction and our Analytics hasn’t shown it to be worth the effort. Perhaps with implementing some of these ideas via Hoostuite or Buffer can assist us.

    We’d LOVE to find social media value and interaction with our audience!

    Thank you,

  108. Hi Neil, I’m from Indonesia and I’ve to admit that I’ve became your secret admirer for a long time. I have no idea how can you manage making every powerful post in here. Your article seems just well-written, there’re lots of good pictures, graphics, and sort of thing like that.

    I’ve tried to do once myself and it turned out useless. I’ve got exhausted and the result is just the same. I know this comment has nothing to do with this article, though I really do want you to answer this and help me to become better marketer and can make my blog just like yours.

    I also know that I might get the answer by looking around this site, but there’re lots of articles here, and I don’t know what article should I read. Moreover, I do need your answer right to me and I think you could give me some advices to craft a good content and reach more people

    Thank you for this post and other free materials you wrote in here.

    • I’m happy I could help Zai. The best place to start is at quicksprout university, which you can take a look at here

  109. Glenn Shepherd :

    Hi Neil,

    Many thanks for putting together this excellent post. I’ve seen a lot of opinions about the right/wrong way to post on Facebook and what does/doesn’t work. But this is usually backed up only by an ‘I know what I’m talking about, trust me’ attitude rather than actual, tangible data. This is the first time I’ve seen a post on the subject that actually gives not only the reasons WHY a statement is made, but also case study evidence to back it up. Thank you! I will be reading through this again and again for sure.

    I have a question about custom friends lists and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject:

    Usually, when people say things such as: “I don’t want my friends and family seeing all my marketing/business posts”, the response from many Internet Marketers is: “Just create a separate Facebook account for your business”, even though Facebook explicitly prohibits having more than one account.

    When people raise this concern with me, I just tell them to create custom friends lists so that only the people they want to see certain types of post will see them and the people they don’t want to see them won’t.

    Now, I actually suggested this to a Facebook ‘expert’ and the idea was completely dismissed. His view was that if you want to increase exposure then you absolutely have to follow strict techniques regarding the use of images, videos, links, etc. in order to get them to appear in your friends’ newsfeeds and that custom friends lists aren’t important or effectual.

    What I’ve found is that, if I post my content to my custom friends lists then I usually get people from those lists seeing and interacting with the posts rather than if I’d have posted the same thing to my entire friends list without segmenting.

    So, from what I have observed, it would appear that by posting to custom friends lists, not only are you posting only to people whom you want to see that content, but the post is actually also more likely to show up in their feed.

    For example: let’s say I have 100 people on my friends list and have this split into a “Friends” list and a “Business” list, let’s say 50 on each just for the sake of example. I may make a post that I would like just people in the “Business” list to see, but if I post it to everyone, it could end up being that no-one in the “Business” list sees it. But if I post the same thing just to my “Business” list then people in that list would usually end up seeing it.

    What I’m thinking with this then, from what I’ve observed, is that those 50 people on my “Business” list are more likely to see my content by my segmenting my friends list in this way than if I was to create a separate Facebook account with those 50 people on my friends list and just making a general, non-custom post to them all.

    I hope all that made sense! What’s your opinion on this, Neil? Am I on the right track with this? I don’t have any stats to measure it, I’m purely going off observation. I have hundreds of people on my friends list and have a number of different custom lists within that and I have definitely seen patterns in each case following what I outlined above.

    Thanks again for the great post and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my observations if you have time. 🙂


    • I think your observations are interesting. I mean you could split people into custom friends groups, and optimize how many people see, but honestly it becomes so complicated and I feel, unnecessary. However, I maybe wrong, but it could be worth testing out.

      I would just do professional and personal the same way, I think it almost becomes the same thing anyway.

  110. Hi Neil,

    Great analysis and updates.
    Its very useful as it its gets to meat of how to save time, get results and create efficiency.
    You are right about growing mobile market – plus I find the emerging video/vseo opportunities very exciting.
    Which point in your analysis surprised you most?


    • I guess the Sunday posting was really interesting. I’ve been doing that based on what’s been working for me, but to see it validated was exciting.

  111. Michelle Thornburg :

    WOW! Thank you so much for this great article. I would have never guessed that the best times for Facebook posts would be late evening and Sunday’s are the hottest post engagement day. This will definitely help me fine tune my posts!

  112. Great post as always!

    I’d like to know 1 simple question: why don’t you use plugins that feature facebook comments in your blog?

    Many thanks

    • I like being able to fully control my comments, which is why I don’t use them. Facebook doesn’t let you do things like customize the design…

  113. Thank You Neil for this valuable post !!!

  114. Hi Neil
    Great post – thank you. & interestingly I have noted my posts which I post in the evening get more reach. Quick question: If I post to facebook via Instagram the hashtags from the instagram post go on the facebook post. So would you suggest I go into facebook and delete the hashtags?

    Thank you!

  115. Neil – Does posting via social media management systems (like Buffer) have a negative effect on impression, exposure and engagement?

    • No, not that I’ve noticed

    • Leonardo LaVito @ :

      I have not noticed much of a problem with this either.

      Though I know some people say that you will get better reach if you post manually.

      However, even if it is a slight boost, I would not be sure that it is worth the time and effort.

      Unless it is a very important post, then sometimes I would post manually.

      Just in case…

  116. Sudipta Kumar Maiti :

    It really help full for me as a new blogger. I used to post at early morning , now found that I am wrong. Thanks you so much Sir.

  117. Hi, good work. There is a reason why Instagram posts connected with Facebook gets more likes. You simply can’t post a link or link other pages in your Instagram post so when it goes on Facebook it has no link and therefor the likes goes up. Any picture posted on Facebook with a link or linking other pages gets automatically less likes. That’s why

  118. Leonardo LaVito @ :

    Thanks for sharing these stats with us! 🙂

    It’s good to know. Also, many of these stats confirm my own experiences.

    For example, the fact that video posts get the most shares, I’ve found to be true.

    In general, video posts seem to go viral much more easily than image posts on Facebook.

    I have done question posts, but not question + images post to my memory. Will have to try that.

    I wonder what happens if you do a (question + video) post?

    • You’re welcome Leonardo. Question video posts may work, but would definitely be curious to test out or see the results others have had.

  119. If I’m going to use the post picture to Facebook via Instagram strategy – what dimensions would I optimize the photos for? Thank you for a great article!

    • Take a look at this

  120. Its a wonderful article.Great stuff.
    Thank u

  121. Awesome article. Thanks !!!

  122. Arbaz Shaikh :

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    you are a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will come back
    at some point. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a
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  123. Roshani Khanna :

    All points are very useful and informative. I must appreciate the way you have expressed your points through your post!

  124. Posts without hash tags are useful to attract more audience. It’s a new one. Thanks for sharing it.

  125. overall, they analyzed over 1 billion Facebook posts and came up with finding that will change the way you market on Facebook. they were kind enough to share their data with me, and allow me to walk you through it. they will break down the finding, and let we know exactly how should use them.


  126. This post is great, but it got 0 facebook shares compared to 1.2k shares on Twitter, which has avg time on 17min as compared to 40+ min on Facebook. Neil, Could you explain why ?

  127. generally, they broke down more than 1 billion Facebook posts and concocted finding that will change the way you showcase on Facebook. they were sufficiently benevolent to impart their information to me, and enable me to walk you through it. they will separate the finding, and let we know precisely by what method should utilize them.

  128. Not stopping by appreciating it, its another one very nicely done – logical, practical and informative, thank you.

    Dont laugh when you look at the site like in signature below, jumped to this article from the article on backlinks 🙂