best types of content to share on social media

No matter what kind of business you run, your audience probably expects you to be on social media. If they can’t find you on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another popular platform, they may start to wonder how legit or “with it” your business actually is.

But if you’ve been playing the social media marketing game for at least a few months, you know that it isn’t enough to just be on social media.

Instead, you need to share content that gets your audience’s attention and engages them. Otherwise, you won’t get the likes, comments, and shares that show people that your brand is worth paying attention to.

And you won’t get those all-important website clicks—the ones that will get you more email sign-ups, webinar registrations, and sales. (There’s no shame in thinking it. We all have $$$ on our minds.)

So here’s the million dollar question (no pun intended—okay, maybe it was): What types of content should you share on social media to get the best results?

Keep reading because I’m breaking it all down below!



Need some help writing social media posts that attract and engage your audience?
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1. Infographics

In a recent study, Noah Kagan of OkDork and Sumo crunched the social media data for over 100 million pieces of content. What did he find?

Infographics get more social shares than any other type of content.

It’s no surprise that infographics top the charts as the most shared content on social media. After all, who doesn’t love some good eye candy?

But infographics aren’t popular with audiences just because they look good. Instead, infographics are popular because they’re visual—and our brains love visual information.

Visual information is easier for us to process than text. And the visual content in infographics can trick our brains into reading the text in them. This is what makes infographics so engaging and easy to consume.

Want to include infographics as part of your content marketing strategy but don’t have a design bone in your body? Don’t sweat it. Tools like Canva and Piktochart make it easy to create stunning infographics even if graphic design isn’t your thing.

Related: Why you should create evergreen content to grow your business + free content idea list

Example: Here’s an example of an infographic created by CoSchedule.


example of infographic


2. List posts

Kagan’s study showed that people give infographics a lot of love on social media. But there’s another type of content that gets almost as much attention: list posts.

List posts are posts that provide a list of things. I share a ton of list posts on this blog. Here are just some examples:

And if you haven’t noticed yet, this post is a list post too 😉

Kagan found that list posts get more social media attention than how-to posts, what posts, and why posts.

And in case evidence based on 100 million data points isn’t enough for you, HubSpot found the same results when they conducted their own study. Their data showed that among 5 types of content, lists posts accounted for the greatest portion of social shares (22.45%).

Why are list posts so effective? They have magnetic headlines.

But that’s not all.

Some people argue that our brains are wired to respond to lists. And this makes us more likely to engage with list posts and share them online.

Related: 9 essential characteristics of great blog posts + template and example

Example: Here’s a list post on Neil Patel’s blog.



example of long-form content


3. Why posts

Infographics take a bit of extra time to make. So unless you have a massive team, you probably can’t create them all the time. And although list posts can be pretty simple to put together, your audience doesn’t want an endless stream of lists.

So what other types of content do well on social media? Kagan’s study shows that why posts are your next best bet.

Why posts are posts that make some sort of statement and then provide a list of reasons why that statement is true. Here are some examples of why posts on my blog:

In HubSpot’s study, why posts earned 22.32% of the total social shares among all types of content they examined. That’s just a few one hundredths behind the percentage of social shares that list posts earned!

So when you and your audience need a break from list posts, take why posts for a spin.

Related: 18 things to include in every blog post + free blog post template & example

Example: I packed a one-two punch with this blog post by making my why post a list post too.


Why people stop reading a sales page




Need some help writing social media posts that attract and engage your audience?
Download my 7 free social media copy templates + examples.

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4. Long-form content

There’s a reason why list posts and why posts do so well on social media even though they don’t have the same visual appeal as infographics and video: they’re types of long-form content.

Long-form content is in-depth content that provides detailed information about a topic. It usually contains at least 1000 words if not many more.

With so many people consuming content on mobile devices these days, you might think that short content would win out on social media because it’s faster to digest. And besides that, don’t people find cat memes and GIFs to be WAY more entertaining than a blog post that’s packed with words and numbers?

Well, that’s not what Kagan’s data showed. Kagan found that content that was more than 1000 words long got more social shares than content that was less than 1000 words did. And the longer the content was, the more social shares it got.

But that’s not even the best part. Kagan’s data shows that most of the content he analyzed was less than 1000 words long. In fact, there was 16x more content that was less than 1000 words than there was content with at least 2000 words.

Why does this matter? It means that most people aren’t putting in the time and effort to great high-quality long-form content. And it means that there’s a greater opportunity for you to stand out online by creating the value-packed long-form content your audience is craving.

Related: How to use the skyscraper technique to create better content than your competition + free blog post template & example

Example: Quick Sprout engages its audience with long-form content on topics relevant to its audience and brand.


example of list post


5. Interactive content

Back in the 1960s—long before the Internet was a thing—Cosmopolitan magazine was on to something: quizzes. Yes, those seemingly silly guilty pleasures are that old!

Fast forward about five decades and quizzes and other types of interactive content are one of the most shareable types of content online. In fact, these days, interactive content is all the rage.

Why is interactive content so popular? It isn’t static like most forms of content, including blog posts, infographics, and images. It’s something people can engage with on a deeper level, and because of this, it creates an experience.

Quizzes are the most popular form of interactive content. That’s partly because people love taking quizzes AND they love sharing their results online.

Want to create a quiz without having to write a line of code yourself? Use a quiz-making tool like Qzzr.

Example: Buzzfeed’s quizzes may seem bizarre, but they’re incredibly popular with its audience.


example of quiz


Create the best types of content for social media

You want the best results possible for your business on social media. We all do. But figuring out what kind of content will give you these results can often feel like a guessing game—one that usually isn’t much fun to play.

But the good news is that you don’t have to create every kind of content, throw it at the wall, and see what sticks. Instead, you can use the list I’ve shared above to focus on the types of content that have been shown to give you the best bang for your buck.

This way, you can spend less time creating mediocre content and more time crafting content that gets you more engagement, shares, and conversions.



Need some help writing social media posts that attract and engage your audience?
Download my 7 free social media copy templates + examples.

Send me the templates

The 5 best types of content to share on social media + 7 free social media copy templates

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