Call-to-action words like “watch”, “like”, “look” and “click” appear very often in posts on Facebook, however they do not seem to rise much engagement anymore. References to external websites don’t work as expected either. It appears you also don’t need to desperately entertain to get “likes”. Analysts behind the social media measuring tool Sotrender analysed what does and what does not engage fans on Facebook.

While the phrase “content is king” seems probably an overused statement to start with, it’s still one of the most important truths about any online activity. Sotrender experts studied brands’ posting patterns – what’s repetitive in phrases and ways different companies communicate. What’s more, the study checks if specific words and type of posts have the influence on how the fans react.

A total of 111 UK Facebook pages with over 2800 different posts from four different industries were analysed. And what is the outcome?

Action please!

Not surprisingly, the study proves that words companies use the most are call-to-action expressions. Of course, depending on the page’s subject, the words differ. “Watch”, “like”, “look” and “click” appear very often, regardless of the area of business. What’s significant, using catchy words in posts doesn’t seem to increase engagement. It proves Facebook users get insensible for constantly repeated phrases.

Surprisingly, even “win” doesn’t bring much buzz. Only in cosmetics & hygiene category of analysed brand pages, fans interact more when there’s something to “win”, “get” – or is “on sale”.

The favourite words amongst Facebook pages from all studied industries are:

Facebook in the UK: response in most popular words in selected categoriesFacebook in the UK: word use frequency

Emotions welcome

Of course, not all the verities come true for every business area, as not only brands but also fans seem to react, specifically for an industry. On Facebook pages of food brands, words attracting fans’ attention often refer to emotions – “like”, “love”, “good”, “favourite”, “happy” have highest rate of user engagement. Fans of clothing brands are more trends-oriented with words such as “fashion”, “style” and “collection” on top of the list.


Think twice on links

References to external websites, “www”, “http”, “com” or “blog”, are frequently used words, especially in cosmetics and food & beverages industries. Nevertheless, posts containing links bring fans’ engagement below average.

Facebook Interactivity Index - average vs. win

Speechless but vivid

At the same time, activities in the clothing industry show that you don’t need a playful status to engage thousands. Topshop wins competition and attracts over 28k users – just with photos. Only the brand’s 25th popular post contains words.

Asking questions in posts is a common way on Facebook pages to get comments but post with photos gain much more attention.

Likes/comments depending on type of posts in the clothes industry


The study’s reference period was between 1st February 2012 and 30th April 2012. It is based on data gathered and analysed with Sotrender, an online tool for analysis, reporting and optimization of Facebook marketing activities.



Authors of analysis: Dominik Batorski, PhD (Head of Research), Aleksandra Polak (Research Manager), Jacek Szejda (Analyst).