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The 7 Secrets Of Going Viral On Facebook

adam   •   September 12, 2010   •   4 Comments
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Want to go viral on another social media network. Check out: How To Go Viral On Social Media [ROUNDUP]

Would you like to infect thousands if not millions of Facebook users with your idea or information? I certainly do.

Going viral requires you to understand that this isn’t a business to consumer communication, it is a consumer to consumer communication. You need to think about how consumers talk to each other, what they would consider worthy of sharing and getting the right people to spread it.

So how do you go viral on Facebook?

It comes down to these 7 points:

  1. Your Following
  2. Your Interaction
  3. Your Content
  4. Your Headline
  5. Social Proof
  6. Timing
  7. Your Push

1. Your Following

So why is your following so important? Because

  • The more followers you have and
  • The more responsive they are

The higher chance you will go viral.

With a reasonably responsive list a good post can get 5-10% of the amount of followers you have in shares. One of my great articles on another site received 300 Facebook shares from a fan base of just under 3,000 fans. Some of my other popular posts received 150-200 shares from a similar fan base.

Here is how to boost your followers on Facebook

Depending on your niche you may have followers that have businesses or lists of their own. This is great as I have had happened before, these people also shared my link to their list. Having influential people on your list enables your idea to spread.

2. Your Interaction

A Facebook following will do nothing if you don’t nurture the relationship. A warm list will help you achieve many things. 1,000 warm people will do far more good than 100,000 cold people. Make sure you give out value frequently and engage with your following to build the trust.

Yes this takes time, sorry you can’t build trust or rapport in instantly. If you ever do prove me wrong let me know.

3. Your Content

Ok, firstly you need to understand that people aren’t going to share you latest product or service deals. Consumers will only share valuable information, something that makes them look good for sharing.

Your content must be valuable, it must solve a problem or provide great entertainment. Facebook has an interesting mix where both informational and entertaining information can go viral. You will find that videos that go viral are generally of the entertaining nature and links that go viral are providing great information or entertainment.

Developing Your Content

  • Offer some amazing information
  • Ask your following what they would like to learn about
  • Have a look at viral content that you get and see why you would want to pass it on
  • Be entertaining
  • Be yourself, don’t try to be something else just to try and get viral
  • Look at what has gained the most comments or shares before and try something along those lines again

Going viral is an art mashed with science. There are things you can do to help but you can only guess (an educated one) at what your followers are interested in and will share with others.

Keep trying until you succeed.

4. Your Headline

The headline is the most important aspect to going viral. Your headline needs to attract people to click on the link to even have a look at it.

I could talk a lot about headlines but here is a great resource on creating headlines.

5. Social Proof

In many studies people will always behave differently depending on what their peers are doing. If a lot of their friends think something is great, they will too. You can increase social proof by doing a few things:

  • Get your friends to share it, ask them on an article you think deserves to go viral
  • Put a Share button on your page. The larger the amount of shares it shows the more likely someone will be to share.
  • Put a like button on your page. The same principle applies.
  • Anything else that shows other people have liked your article or post

6. Timing

Timing is tricky one to accurately get but there are certain principles you should abide by. With Facebook feeds flooded with so much information you need to know when they are watching.

Each audience of each page will read their feeds at different times so you need to test. You can put out your content (the same piece) at 3 different times in the day and see which one gains more interaction.

Some other general guidelines are:

  • Monday – Wednesday is the most active period
  • Depending on your audience, either work hours or after work / dinner is a good time

7. Your Push

If you have a great piece of content it may take a little bit of work to get off the ground. Share it on your personal profile, page feed and maybe even pay for advertising if necessary.

Like the post yourself and even add a comment to it related to the post.

If you have a bunch of nice friends you can ask them to share the link as well.

[Bonus Point] 8. Shareability

Now why didn’t I just say 8 secrets of going viral. Well then the headline wouldn’t be as catchy and I really mean that.

On to the extra point, making your content easily sharable is another key factor in getting your content to go viral.

Make sure you have on the page:

  • A Facebook like button
  • A Facebook share button (Yes I am aware that Facebook do not recommend this button any more but as even Mashable tested and found out, shares are a lot lower with just a like button.)
  • Ask in the post for people to share the article. So if you really like this post, please share it with your friends and it would help me greatly in getting more shares than another writer I am competing with for the most shared article.
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