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How Brands Use Facebook: Hashtags, Content Types, and User Engagement

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
August 1, 2013

Nearly 20% of all Facebook posts from the Interbrand Top 100 Brands now incorporate clickable hashtags, according to a recent report by Simply Measured.

That percentage reflects a rapid adoption of the tactic by marketers, taking into account that the tags were rolled out by Facebook only on June 12.

However, brand posts containing hashtags are not driving additional engagement, instead performing at the same level as posts without hashtags—and suggesting that people are not yet discovering brand posts by their tags.

Below, additional key findings from the study, which examined how the Interbrand Top 100 Brands used Facebook from May 1 to June 30, 2013.

Top-Performing Content

  • During May and June, photos accounted for 74% of brand posts on Facebook and received 95% of total engagement on brand posts.
  • Photos posted by the top brands averaged more than 9,400 engagements per post, making them by far the most engaging type of content. 
  • Videos are the second most engaging content type, averaging more than 2,500 engagements per post. 
  • Brands have recognized the power of visual content: together, photos and videos account for more than 80% of brands posts. 

Status Updates

  • Although status updates trail photos and videos, they rank third in per-post engagement.
  • Analysis of over 500 status updates from the top brands shows that the longer a status update is, the less engagement it typically receives.
  • However, if a status update is too short (shorter than 50 characters), it also has a lower engagement rate.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Thu Aug 1, 2013 via web

    Great insight and statistics! Thank you for sharing with us, we'll have to forward this on to a few people

  • by Gracious Store Thu Aug 1, 2013 via web

    It is not surprising that photos are the greatest means brands used to engage with their customers or prospects, and these photos are the most easily shared among friends and fans.

  • by Sheetal Sharma Fri Aug 2, 2013 via web

    This post is really helpful to all the marketers who handle social media marketing, the importance of hash tags and keywords have been explained very well with examples emphasizing on the knowledge to be gained.

  • by Futa Sakai Sun Aug 18, 2013 via web

    Thank you for the great article!
    By the way, can I translate this article into Japanese?
    I'm sorry to contact you here.

    I am a marketer working for Tokyo-based startup providing marketing technology solution for businesses.

    I'm sure that this article is also insightful for Japanese marketers.
    But, the thing is, most Japanese cannot read English.

    My company's blog has an decent size of audience of 40,000/month.
    I will make sure that the article will have the note which attribute it to your original post.

    The URL of the blog is;
    My Profile is;

    All the Best, Futa Sakai

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