Last week, Share Rocket shared the results of a six-month analysis of Facebook data from local news stations and the journalists they employ. In that post, our goal was to assess the effectiveness of different Facebook post types at generating Engagement on the platform by looking at more than 4.37 million posts from May through October 2017.

We found that video posts were still the most effective at generating Engagement, that link posts performed steadily over the six-month period, and that photo posts were driving nearly the same levels of Engagement as link posts in recent months. However, in this post, we wanted to dig into the data a little deeper to see how often local TV news Facebook Pages were posting each type of content as well as chart out the month-to-month performance of each post type.

First, let’s take a look at the Voice for each post type. In Share Rocket terminology, “Voice” is the number of posts that a certain account or group posted within a given time range (in this case, six months).

 

As you can see, link posts were the most-common type, accounting for more than half of all Facebook posts from the Pages we track between May and October. Next were photo posts, making up a little more than a quarter of the Facebook posts in our analysis. Photos were the only other type to see more than 1 million posts in the analysis. Just behind photos were video posts, which made up a fifth of the posts in our analysis. Finally, as we mentioned in our previous post, status updates were the least-used of the four post types by local broadcasters and journalists, making up less than 3% of the total Voice.

Now let’s compare the Voice numbers to overall Engagement totals for each post type:

In all, there were more than 1.2 billion Engagements on the Pages we track from May to October.

As we saw in overall Voice totals, link posts led the way in engagement in terms of raw numbers, making up nearly 49% of the total engagement in our analysis. On average, link posts generated 266.6 engagements per post during the six months, which was second among content types. But judging from the total numbers, it is clear link posts are the bread and butter of most broadcasters, generating a fair amount of engagement while also driving web traffic to the publishers’ content.

Engagement-per-Post by Post Types

Looking month by month, link posts were the steadiest form of content in terms of engagement per post. As we noted in our previous piece, link posts stayed between 255 and 276 engagements per post in every month we observed.

After links, video posts generated the second-most total Engagement of any content type, buoyed by their average of 428.7 Engagements per post over the six-month period. While they made up only 20% of posts, they represented 30.1% of total Engagement. Video posts were the only content type to account for a larger percentage of total Engagement than total Voice. While video posts generally require more time and effort to produce than link or photo posts, the potential payoff in Engagement (and therefore organic reach) shows why some national outlets like Fox Sports have chosen to focus on video production and its potential for monetization. For local stations owned by large station groups, content hubs have become a key resource for shared video that can resonate in any market.

Photos finished third in terms of total Engagement generated after it was second in terms of total Voice. Photo posts averaged 232.7 Engagements per post in the six-month analysis, which placed it third behind video and links among the four content types.

However, photo posts trended up in terms of Engagement per post in the later months of our analysis. For example, photo posts averaged 186.2 Engagements per post in May and June, but they averaged 268.7 Engagements per post in September and October. We’ll be keeping an eye on this data moving forward to see if photo posts continue to trend upward in terms of Engagement per post or if they correct back closer to the numbers they were generating early in the summer.

Finally, status posts represented only 2.9% of the Voice of the Pages in our analysis and were responsible for just 0.6% of the Engagement generated by them. In terms of Engagement per post, status posts never cracked the triple-digits in the six months we analyzed and trailed the next-lowest performing content type by at least 100 Engagements per post in every month. In short, status posts are rare among local broadcasters and ones that are good at driving Engagement are even rarer. A photo post would be more effective at driving Engagement, in most cases.

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Overall, this analysis helped make two ideas very clear:

First, video is still without rival when it comes to driving Engagement on Facebook. It was the only post type to generate a higher percentage of the total Engagement than the percentage of total Voice they represent. Video content on Facebook also has a very high ceiling in terms of Engagement per post, as shown in September when the average video post was generating nearly 500 Engagements.

Second, local broadcasters still have room for growth in the amount of video they post. Link posts represented more than half of all social posts by local broadcasters from May to October, and they were more than twice as common as the second-most-common post type, photos. One reason for that is that driving traffic to their own web presence is one of the only few reliable ways to monetize their efforts on digital platforms, and link posts are the best way to do that. However, we see that changing in the next year with an industry-wide focus on monetizing native video with sponsorships.

This coincides with the launch of our Monetize platform, which opens a new and significant revenue opportunity for stations. Video posts represented only a fifth of the total number of social posts in our analysis, but considering all the video tools and talent at a television station’s disposal (as well as the growth in content hubs to share the best video content within a group), we believe this represents a content niche primed for growth. For more information about our Monetize platform, click “Request a Demo” next to this post or call us at 1-844-776-2538.  We also invite you to check back here at our blog and encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter on the right to make sure you are up to date with the latest news.

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