Why science and tech are thriving on social media


By   |   November 9th, 2017   |   Reading time: 4 minutes Brands, Digital Journalism

social media monitoring, social media analytics

We might not be living the Jetsons life yet, but the virality of science and tech publishers on social media indicates we’re ready for it. Here’s why science and tech thrive on social.

Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil Degrasse Tyson would be pretty proud that I f*cking love science is one of the most viral pages on Facebook, more so than many traditional publishers.

Just take a look at the average engagements per post for some publishers’ Pages in October, from data pulled from NewsWhip Analytics.

science technology facebook pages social media monitoring

While not on the level set by Tasty and the Dodo, it’s notable that three science and tech-based publishers are outpacing the likes of Fox News and Bored Panda alike.

Science and tech have a natural appeal on social media. We’ve examined NASA and National Geographic‘s viral success in the past. National Geographic continues to be second on Instagram only to Instagram itself, and NASA’s 500+ social accounts have its followers’ eyes hooked on the final frontier.

This is extending to other publishers in the space. Oddity Mall has seen an 80 percent increase in engagements since February, along with Circuit Breaker and INSIDER Inventions seeing similar lifts.

science tech facebook social media monitoring

Even some science and tech brands have seen amazing growth on their social channels. Check out this look at GE’s Facebook Page over 2017:

GE Facebook social media monitoring

GE’s Facebook Page saw a 827 percent increase on its engagements from January to October. We’ve highlighted GE before on the blog for making science and innovation appealing to the social media audience.

Show us something new

While flying cars and space travel might still be restrained to Blade Runner and Star Wars, our social data indicates that people are still hungry for any glimpse of the future they can see, or even just something that takes them out of their ordinary lives.

science tech top posts facebook

In just these ten posts, we can see that they’re generally showing off some new invention, technological innovation, or act of nature.

It’s pretty amazing to note the high percentage of engagements that are coming from Shares. Seven of the top ten posts had upwards of 70 percent of their total engagements come from shares. That’s an incredible distribution rate.

This video from INSIDER inventions had shares account for 82 percent of its total engagements.

Be visual

Just as notably, the top ten were all non-Live video posts. Expanding our view to the top 500 posts from these 15 Pages, we can see videos accounted for nearly 75 percent.

video science technology facebook

It makes sense that science and tech would make the biggest impact by being visual.

Make them go wow

As we mentioned. the top stories all show something out of the ordinary, something that really ‘wows’ followers.

For example, this story saw nearly 47 percent of its total likes and reactions come from just the Wow reaction, more than any other reaction on the post.

We saw recently that content that invokes a strong emotional reaction on Facebook can also drive a high correlation of shares. Looking at just the wow reaction, we can see these publishers are getting their audiences reacting strongly.

Short and snappy

The headlines of the top 100 posts from these 15 publishers tended to be concise and teased the content that the text accompanied.

Some, like Tech Insider, NowThis Future, INSIDER inventions, and Oddity Mall, they provided simple context around the technological innovation and its impact.

For I f*cking love science and UNILAD Tech, the captions were often commentary on whatever media was being posted.

Only eight of the 100 top performing posts used any emoji. Instead, it seems these publishers generally let the multimedia do the talking for them. The captions are full of words like ‘coolest’ and ‘mesmerizing’.

Gadgets, the environment, and the utterly bizarre

So what can publishers and brands glean from the success of science and tech publishers on Facebook? Looking at the top 100 posts from these Facebook Pages, posts about new gadgets accounted for 33 percent.

These posts were primarily about gadgets that would impact the average person, but others related to advancements in infrastructure, transportation, and health.

Even for brands, these sort of innovation-focused posts, drive results. This video from Google drove nearly 190,000 engagements, which is notable for a brand.

Beyond futuristic tech and gadgets, posts around environmentalism, science, and nature, also did quite well. Some of these posts were politically charged, showing that the “Trump bump “continues to infiltrate nearly every vertical.

Many of these posts also had some “big picture” undertones, whether it was about a new way to soak up oil spills, curing leukemia, or even showcasing the ones behind the science.

This video from GE drove more than 1.7 million views, 13,000 reactions and likes, nearly 9,000 shares and 1,000 comments. GE made its mark by using 360 video to add some additional innovation.

Weird news also worked. Again, it comes down to showing users something different.

It’s worth embracing your inner nerd and thinking like a scientist when you create content. Get excited and consider that as you find ways to get your audience excited too.

For a look into the top stories from science and technological publishers on social, take a free demo of NewsWhip Spike.

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