Infographic: The 3 content types that get the most social media shares

How-to posts, quizzes and lists with pictures have the best potential for going viral. Here’s why.

What were the last few links you or your friends shared on social media?

I most recently clicked on two articles my friends shared on Facebook: One was about the 15 things I should start doing before I’m 30, and the other was a Buzzfeed quiz to see which emotion I am from the movie “Inside Out.” (I got Joy!)

According to an infographic from Uberflip and Buzzsumo, these links are among the three types of content people share most: picture lists, quizzes and how-to posts.

What makes these content types so popular, and what should you know about them?

The infographic shares a few insights. For example:

How-to posts: Seventy-five percent of people like learning online, which explains why how-to posts are so successful. They are most popular on Facebook and Pinterest, but they get a lot of shares on LinkedIn, too. For example, the article “The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes, and How to Correct Them” got almost 35,000 shares on LinkedIn.

Quizzes: Eighty percent of the most shared articles of 2014 were quizzes. The infographic shares a quote from Josh Little of Qzzr: “A great quiz is like a mirror—it’s hard to walk by one without taking a look.”

Picture lists: Picture lists work best when they tell a story, explain a process or draw contrasts. A picture list that recently went viral compared U.S. school lunches with lunches from around the world. Internet users shared it more than 470,000 times.

Check out the infographic for more:

(View a larger image.) ​

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