When it comes to online content and storytelling, there are few sites as savvy as BuzzFeed. New research uncovers the phrases that generate the most amount of shares for the social news site.
BuzzFeed launched in 2006, pioneering the concept of ‘listicles’ (top 10 lists often about pop culture) and turned native content mainstream. It combines artificial and human intelligence to detect, produce and increase viral content.
The site has got plenty of traditional publishers worried, accounting for a disproportionate number of posts shared, liked and discussed online and offline, attracting 10 million UK users in November 2014 alone.
But what is the secret to its success? While BuzzFeeed’s owners have often denied resorting to ‘linkbait journalism’ (using deliberately alarmist language to get people to click), the content has become known for including certain phrases and themes in its headlines to entice readers.
Software engineer and technology blogger Max Woolf has compiled a list looking at which three-word phrases generate the most Facebook shares for BuzzFeed.
The chart is useful to marketers, as it shows the type of emotive language that is most likely to get people clicking. The list shows some common trends, directly referring to ‘you’ the reader, and often uses rather instructive language suggesting the post is important.
The chart first appeared on the social network Reddit and the discussion thread is here.