Upon analyzing 12 of my Facebook photo posts, I noticed that the most successful posts tended to be profile pictures, the second most successful tended to be cover photos and posts with other people, and the least successful tended to be promotional posts and photos without recognizable people in them. The factors I looked at were the type of post, the color and light, the content, the caption length, and how closely the golden ratio overlay fit onto them.

I was surprised to find that my most successful profile photo post was also the one that fit most closely to the golden ratio overlay. It also had nice color and light, proving the importance of composition and visual qualities in engagement. In photos with other people, the color and light was slightly less predictive of engagement, and emotional tone became more important. Photos that were happy, had many recognizable people, and had positive interactions between the subjects, tended to be the most successful. Photos with friends, family, and my boyfriend all did well.

The type of photo definitely affected engagement in ways that are hard to account for, by exposing more people to certain types of content. More people tend to see profile photos and photos that have other people tagged in them; more exposure leads to greater engagement. Photos in albums might never be seen, and will not appear on a news feed unless someone clicks on the album. My worst performing photos were the ones that were included in albums and did not include any recognizable people.

In choosing and editing my next three posts, I chose photos that had a happy emotional tone, nice light and color, and some that included friends and family. I cropped them using the golden ratio overlay and edited the colors to brighten them.