Social Media Marketing: Buffer’s Study of 43 Million Facebook Posts

Buffer, a social media management tool, recently conducted a study analyzing over 43 million Facebook posts from business pages.

This study captured great insights showing trends within social media as a whole, alongside displaying the decision making of the biggest brands on social media and their responses to these trends.

The key findings:

  • Top pages are posting at a higher frequency
  • Overall platform engagement is down
  • Posting 5 times per day resulted in the highest engagement rates
  • Industries engagement dropped anywhere from 50–70%!

Ok Ok, these stats are nice to know, but what do these mean for my business?

It means growing on social media will be harder now than ever before.

Does that mean you should abandon the social space?

Of course not.

Instead you need to use these insights to get ahead of your competition to start dominating social.

I’ll break it down into 3 main categories:

  1. Content
  2. Strategy
  3. Advertising


Oddly enough the findings came back proving that images, not videos, received the most engagement.

Is this a cause to ditch video for images instead?

The best strategy will utilize both, but the reason for this engagement decline is the limited call to action that videos have.

At a platform level, videos receive less engagement, but in terms of actual viewership and brand penetration, video is still the way to go.

Next is the finding that the number of posts increased from 6.5 million to 8.1 million.

This means standing out on social media on the organic feed will be ever more difficult.

So it’s vital that the content you are promoting is super engaging and catches the reader’s eye as they scroll through the endless feed of saturated content.


The findings show that the optimal content amount is 5 times per day. That’s per day, not week!

The days of businesses posting once a week are over.

If you’re trying to reach the maximum amount of potential buyers, posting more is usually better.

What does this mean in terms of content?

You’ll need more.

As frequency rises, so does your need for quantity of great content.

This isn’t all bad, as now you’ll be able to test tons more content types, forms, and styles that you wouldn’t be able to do before.

In fact, unless you’ve done series’ of content testing that’s probably the best place to start.

Here’s an example for a fitness supplement company.

  1. Long Form Video — Testimonial
  2. Short Form Video — Product Shot/Function
  3. Photo — Product Placement or Overlay
  4. Funny Fitness Meme
  5. Design — Product

From there you’ll have to play around with the timing, captions, and call to action.

It will depend on your industry, audience, and content.

Aka — more testing — yay!

Ultimately this is more data for your business, so while it’s tedious, it will only benefit business in the long run if utilized correctly.


There are more businesses on Facebook ads now than ever before.

And this will likely be the case everyday for the next 10 years.

Yes the cost of Facebook ads are continuing to grow, but saturation levels won’t be reached for a good deal of time.

So take advantage of it while you still can, because once the big brands understand the ROI that social media proves, ad prices will soar.

The good news is that although there are more facebook advertisers, a great deal of them have little to no clue what they’re doing.

So if you have a solid strategy,

Run plenty of ad sets,

Test targets and call to action,

Then you’ll be better than 95% of your competitors without a doubt.

And that’s your only real concern.

Here’s another great way to get ahead:

Because you can now access the ads companies are running at the ‘Info & Ads’ section on their page, you can see the ads your competitors are running.

You can take advantage of this in two ways:

  1. You can directly copy their ads
  2. You can spot trends across the industry then simply create polar opposite ads

If their ads are better than yours from what you can see, then copy — nothing wrong with that.

If their ads are clearly half-baked, then go against the grain and see your CTR soar.

So if your competitor is running ads with a generic photo & a call to action being a promotion requiring a sign-up, then do everything opposite.

Your target audience likely come across these ads numerous times from multiple companies.

So changing your ads to be different than your competitors will allow you to get all of the potential customers that they missed.

Finally, it’s important to note that Facebook is the not the end all, be all platform.

If done correctly, you can create content for multiple platforms, then convert those to be native to each platform.

The upside of social media is still huge, and therefore more than worth the effort & associated cost for businesses looking to grow.

At Social Apex we’ve pushed our clients away from PPC & traditional marketing in turn for social media.

This has proven greater results and ROI every time across a variety of industries.

So while the requirements for social media growth continue to grow with platform use, it is still the #1 marketing medium when utilized correctly.

Use these stats and takeaways to build a dominate social media marketing strategy in 2018/for 2019.

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