For most creatives, having your images and posts shared on social media channels (also called just "channels" these days) is a good thing. It increases your exposure, sometimes exponentially.
If social shares are part of how you measure your success, you'll want to read this info to help you tailor your social media strategy to get more shares and exposure.
I mainly measure success by income and lifestyle and look at how all our marketing (and our clients' marketing) contributes to THEIR definition of success. Shares are important, but ultimately if they don't support or result in sales, they are not working for you. I am NOT saying you have to sell directly from social media to be successful. It's your total online presence, and how it supports your marketing efforts that matters.
For example, we don't usually sell directly as a result of a social media post. However, people constantly say, "I saw you on Facebook and Pinterest..." Would I quit doing social media because it doesn't result in a direct sale? Heck no.
That said, here are recent findings from a variety of research that show what types of content get shared most, on what devices, and at what time of day. The info is summarized here, read the entire article at Social Media Examiner.
- Mobile Sharing Doubled in 2014
Mobile device users now spend 20% of their activity on that device sharing content. On a desktop, just 6% (a drop of over 30% in 2014). January 2015 research says that 80% of consumers now own a mobile device. Personally, I've seen a jump in our website analytics for viewers on a mobile device, as have our clients.
- Facebook Dominates in Sharing Activity but Instagram Rules on Level of Engagement
For getting the most sharing activity, Facebook outstrips the sharing activity of the next in line (Pinterest) by 10 to 1. However, Instagram (which I love) has a very high level of engagement, far outstripping Facebook, when you consider shares, likes and comments combined. Keep in mind that research shows that both sharing and engagement rates are declining. That's why we strongly recommend that you have a multi-faceted marketing approach that is not limited to only social media.
- People Tend to Share "List" and "Why?" Posts
Probably because it's easy to quickly scan these types of posts and read more if they are interested in the content. This article is a "List" post. Also called a "Listicle," it's an article in list form and it's one of the most shared types of content. Examples of "Listicles" would include articles like "5 Reasons I Create in the Morning" "Four Steps to DIY Photography" "The Top 7 Reasons..."
"Why" content explains a concept or clarifies a topic. How-To articles are this type of content. Also, "What" posts are often shared. They take the form of a question. Example: "What Time of Day Are You Most Creative?"
- Post During Early Afternoon
Posts published during the afternoon hours get more engagement, especially if you post on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Engagement rates fall below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday. Our experience supports this, and we publish our newsletter (and post it to social media) on Thursday or Friday for the best results. This is the trend for now, and as people flock to publishing on those days it may change in the future.
If you really want to leverage your social sharing, try these times and notice what works for YOU. Your audience may be more active at different times.
Twitter - 5 pm for highest retweets
Facebook - 1 pm weekdays for the most shares
Linkedin - Most shares on Tuesdays from 10-11 am
Pinterest - 9 pm Friday or Saturday night for the most traffic
Google+ - 9 am on Wednesdays for best engagement
Instragram - Evening hours
Hope that helps!