Why the internet laughs at my face—and other things we learned in 2017

multi-colored hot air balloons in the sky
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Image via Kyle Hinkson under CC0 1.0

At Hootsuite, we’ve published hundreds of blog posts and crafted thousands of social posts. Some work wonderfully. Others fail miserably. Today, I’d like to skip over the mountains of mistakes we’ve made in the past and focus on Hootsuite’s most successful social posts of 2017.

Stick around and you’ll find out more about:

  • Our top-performing social posts of 2017 and what we learned from them
  • Successful examples of Facebook video, LinkedIn, and Instagram content
  • Why the internet loves to laugh at my face on LinkedIn (a true story, I’m afraid)

Let’s jump into what worked in 2017.

Bonus: Download our free guide that shows you how to 10X your social media performance and beat your competitors. Includes the tools, tricks, and daily routines used by three world-class social media experts.

Our top-performing Facebook video:

TED Talks Facebook Post Screenshot | Hootsuite Blog
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Our top-performing social video of 2017 was a listicle of TED Talks for social marketers. This video was based on a successful blog post (written by Hootsuite’s Dara Fontein).

How it performed:

Video views: 132k
Shares: 1,051
Link clicks: 2,551
Comments: 353
Likes: 2,402

Why did it work?

If you look at the copy in the social post, you’ll notice a very clear promise to the reader: we did work so you don’t have to.

This value proposition—“we spent 10 hrs hunting down the best TED Talks for social media marketers (so you don’t have to)”—came from Dara’s original blog post. It’s a good reminder that the content format doesn’t really matter. It’s more important to have a compelling concept and simple story that can be told across multiple platforms—whether text or video.

In terms of promotion, we invested a bit of paid budget. “Our secret here,” explains Hootsuite’s social marketing lead Amanda Wood, “was targeting the ads to people who are interested in TED Talks and social marketing. This helped us gain traction with a specific audience who would appreciate the value of the video.”

How we’ve replicated this success:

As we saw success with the TED angle, we created a similar social video called “3 TED Talks to Boost Your Creativity.” It wasn’t as successful. Guess you can’t win them all.

We also use Hootsuite’s social video integrations—including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram—to schedule successful video content again and again. This feature is included in all our plans including for free users.

Our top-performing Facebook post:

Screenshot of Facebook post featuring an article on Instagram Hacks
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Instagram is a fast-evolving network with an endless amount of new features. And we know that our audience of social media professionals need to keep up with these changes.

In this Facebook post, our goal was to use curiosity to attract readers to our blog post, enticing the reader to make sure they know all of these helpful tricks.

How it performed:
Link clicks: 14,194
Likes: 1,656
Shares: 477
Comments: 45

Why did it work?

If you look closely at the metrics above, you’ll notice that this copy was incredibly successful at driving one particular metric: link clicks. This is the holy grail for promoting blog post content on Facebook as you obviously want people to click through to the post, not just comment or share.

“This was very much intentional,” explains Wood. “The copy specifically called out a specific audience—people who run a brand’s Instagram account. We knew they’d click through as they want to make sure they are up-to-date on Instagram’s hidden tricks and new features.”

As a side note, if you’re wondering how we gather data about our social media performance, we use our own solution Hootsuite…

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