Any business who has a business page on Facebook dreams of posting that one post that will go viral and reach thousands, or even millions of people. However, going viral on Facebook is not what it used to be due to EdgeRank, and a lot of companies are using Facebook merely to advertise themselves instead of posting content FOR their fans. EdgeRank is Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm which basically limits the amount of posts users see in their newsfeed. It was designed so users’ newsfeeds’ don’t become cluttered with every single post from every single friend and fan page they’ve liked. Since EdgeRank limits the amount of people who see your posts to about 10%, with any added exposure coming from likes, shares, and comments on your posts, it has become even more important to post quality, entertaining, and informative posts. Facebook viral marketing is not easy, but we’ve discovered some tips and tricks based off of research and experimentation and we want to share them with you!
Users on Facebook can do three things with posts. They can like them, they can share them, or they can comment on them. When they do this, it increases the amount of exposure your post gets because then their friends will see it. If their friends like it, share it, or comment on it, then THEIR friends see it, until it develops into a viral post that constantly gets shared, liked, and commented on by friends of friends of friends. However, to do this you need to be providing content that is likeable, shareable, and commentable. This does NOT mean talking about yourself constantly or turning your business page into a brag fest. Facebook users do not like this and, as a result, will not like, share, or comment on your posts. If you want to increase the possibility of one of your posts going viral, or just increase the chance of a higher number of people interacting with your posts, then you will want to provide content FOR the user instead of providing content about yourself and your company. So, with that in mind, here is a list of things you will want to remember when developing your Facebook marketing strategy and creating posts.
Providing offers, discounts, deals, or contests that ALL of your users can benefit from is a great way to get people to interact with your posts. Make sure to make your offer something that EVERYONE can benefit from, not just a specific demographic of people. That is, unless you are specifically trying to target a certain portion of the population. Keep in mind, however, that if you target a specific demographic with your offer, you will be limiting the amount of likes, shares, and comments you will be getting since it will apply to fewer people.
Depending on what your company offers, giving advice can be a great way to generate activity on your posts, while at the same time establishing your company as an expert on solving your fans’ problems. You want to keep your posts relevant to your company’s products and/or services though. For example, if you are a car dealership, you would want to keep your advice posts relevant to cars, such as how to change your oil, or what mile mark is the best time to get your tires rotated. Don’t go posting advice about something outside of your company’s field or industry or you will risk alienating yourself from your fans.
Warn Your Audience
This goes along with giving advice in that you will be providing valuable information to your fans while also establishing your company as an expert in the field. You also want to keep your warning relevant to your company’s service just like you would with giving advice. If you are a car dealership, don’t post a warning about a recall on children’s toys. Yes, it will benefit some of your users who have children, but a car dealership’s page is not where you would go to seek advice or get warnings about children’s safety. This would create confusion on your page and will deviate from your company’s voice and theme, which is not what you want to happen.
Entertain Your Fans
This is probably the most fun way to market on Facebook. Posting funny pictures or quotes are a great way to generate interest on your page, but you need to be careful with humor. Being edgy is probably the best way to generate interest on Facebook, but it can also backfire, especially if you’re more of a family oriented company or you appeal to more mild mannered people. Before you attempt to get humorous with your Facebook posts, make sure you understand your audience. If you don’t, you won’t get the reaction you hoped for, or even worse, it could end up being a PR disaster for your company. Again, relevance of your humorous posts is also extremely important.
Inspirational quotes, inspirational pictures, inspirational quotes with pictures, and inspirational stories and videos are all great ways to create an emotional reaction on your page. People love portraying that they are positive, forward-looking people, even if it isn’t necessarily true. Inspirational posts are very shareable posts since people like to share them as a portrayal of themselves and their character. Like anything else on this list, you want to keep your inspirational posts relevant to your company’s field and industry.
Blow People Away with “Amazing”
Posting amazing facts, pictures, or realities of life is one of the best ways to get a post to go viral. This and humorous posts are probably the most effective ways to drive interaction and engagement on your page. Relevance, again, is key here, but it seems that it doesn’t always matter when posting amazing tidbits because people enjoy being amazed so much. They WANT to be blown away. However, you need to make sure that your post is, indeed, amazing. If it’s something that is amazing to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be amazing to your fans. A truly amazing post is obvious and can be seen easily by fans on their newsfeeds. It jumps out at them and they can’t help but be pulled in by the content.
Some additional information to take into account when creating your Facebook posts; these numbers are based off of a New York Times study on social sharing:
- 75% of users say sharing on social media helps them better understand and “process” news that they’re interested in.
- 85% of users claim the responses they get from posting and sharing on social media provides more thought.
- 94% of users consider how helpful a link would be to another user before they post it.
- 68% of users share posts as an advertisement for themselves and to give other people a better sense of who they are.
- 73% of users claim social media helps them find other people with similar interests.
Successful Facebook viral marketing does not happen overnight. It takes time, research, and experimentation to figure out exactly what your audience likes and doesn’t like. These tips will help you get a head start and give you a general idea which direction you’ll want to head in to begin.
Certified Inbound Marketing Strategist | Content Marketing Specialist | Social Media Strategist | SEO