Content on social media is of paramount importance, and also one of the trickiest things to get right. At a recent conference, Scott Monty, Global Head of Social Media at Ford Motor Company said, “Content is the currency of social.” Content is the most significant factor in whether a person comes back to your page after the initial ‘Like’. Great content needs to be able to engage consumers, stimulate dialogue, and evoke a response.

What kind of content works on social media?
What kind of content works on social media?

It is, however, not easy to get the balance of different types of content right. Several people advocate the 70-20-10 model, based on the 70-20-10 rule for learning and management. According to this model:

70% of content on your page should add value to your audience – 

it should be focused on their interests. Advice, tips, interesting links, global or local news and events, questions – depending on your audience. 20% of content on your page should be other people’s content. Share others’ promotions, pages, and tips; spread their message to your audience.10% of the content should be about you.

Messages that are promotional in nature – 

Messages that are promotional in nature products, sales, new items, contests and giveaways, etc. But even with a model to follow, things are not always too clear. The model may not work for everyone, and even if you do adhere to it, it isn’t easy to decide what to focus on for the majority – 70% of non-brand related content.

Vishal Pindoriya at Sendible Insights, says in a post on Social Media Today, that five types of content get the most attention on social media: content that is funny, engaging, controversial, vital, and authoritative.

Digital Services –

Another study from NPR Digital Services defines what types of local content creates the most engagement. While the study is based on data gathered from local news stations on Facebook, the results can be adapted to any page, and they correspond to the above-stated five content categories quite well. Here are the nine types of Facebook posts that garner the most engagement:

Also Read: Are you leveraging your content well?

Place explainers:

Every city has traits, quirks, and habits that are begging to be dissected. These characteristics are well-known to locals, but no one ever stops to explain why they even exist in the first place. Place explainers investigate, answer, and explain these questions. This isn’t limited to just places, it can be about anything that is a common occurrence  but no one talks about overtly, such as why the rim of a cocktail glass needs to be salted.

Crowd pleasers: Announcements that make people happy or proud, will generate congratulations and cheers in huge numbers. For instance, India winning a cricket match. These can be brand-specific as well, as Nokia recently announced being declared the third most-trusted Indian brand.

Curiosity stimulators:

These are things that are different and pique peoples’ curiousity. Little-known facts, unbelievable or unique occurrences and events – chess was invented in India, parents named their new-born daughter hashtag, anything that  creates interest.

News explainers: News explainers make sense of the news. Rather than just telling you what happened, they dissect why or how it happened.

Major breaking news:

It is important to be current with global and country events. Taco Bell is good at this, with topical posts around the US Elections.

Feel-good smilers: Humour, which tends to make people feel good, plays a role in feel-good smiler content. This is why pictures and videos of puppies and other animals go viral. Another example is Coca-Cola‘s video of security camera footage.

Topical buzzers:

A topical buzzer rides the viral coattails of the story, such as Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space. The key to deploying a topical buzzer on your site – knowing when something is beginning to buzz.

Provocative controversies:

Stories that make people angry and trigger polarised reactions and opinions create a lot of debate. Starbucks does this well, by declaring their stand for or against highly-debated political issues, like same-sex marriage. While this could be a huge risk, it has paid off for Starbucks, with pro-gay rights groups declaring, “I’m going to Starbucks because they support the right thing.”

Awe-inspiring visuals:

We already know that images are the best way to increase engagement. Awe-inspiring visuals capture that wonderment through photos and videos, and are always winners. These nine categories are, by no account, the only types of content that do well on social media, but they certainly can work as a primer of sorts, to help brands figure out what kind of posts they should be doing more of. Do you agree with these? Have you found that there are other types of posts that generate a lot of interest? Do you abide by the 70-20-10 rule? Share with us.


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