7 Top Secret Fixings For Cooking Up Viral Facebook Posts

7 Top Secret Fixings For Cooking Up Viral Facebook Posts

Do you ever see a post coming up again and again in your Facebook newsfeed, and wonder how on earth to make your own content go viral?

Have you ever wondered if there are secrets for ‘cooking up’ your own viral Facebook posts?

Well, while I cannot give you hard and fast rules that will guarantee your posts go viral, I can point out what many viral posts have in common. Incorporating these strategies into your own posts will give you the best possible chance of achieving the virality you want to achieve for your business page!

#1: They touch on current events

This does NOT mean using tragic circumstances to sell your product! There have unfortunately been a few brands who have failed massively using this tactic.

What it does mean is taking part in the excitement of a current event by subtly associating your brand with the event, and/or keeping your brand top of mind. For instance, after the recent birth of the royal baby, more than 500 brands shared posts related to this exciting event.

lego

#2: They’re relatable

Have you ever seen a post on Facebook and immediately thought, “YES! I know EXACTLY what he/she is talking about!”. This is what I mean by being relatable.

Any time you can combine humor with an idea or experience that people can relate to, you have a winning combination.

creative-mind

#3: They draw on emotions

Associating your brand or product with a strong emotion such as love is a great way to bump up the virality-factor. You can do this through a photo, video or even just a plain old text post; the main ingredient is simply that people feel something when they see your post.

converse

#4: They get people involved

Posts that get people engaged and invested are no doubt more likely to go viral. Asking questions or getting people to complete a task are both ways to get your fans to like or comment on your post.

We also know that part of the ‘virality equation’ is that people love to be the one who ‘finds’ a post first; if they enjoy your post, AND have already invested in it by taking a moment or two to respond to it, they will be more likely to share it with friends.

find-a-word

#5: They incorporate humor

You don’t have to be a comic-genius to share or create humorous content! Take the example below: a fan sent in a photo of their baby wrapped up in a Subway sandwich wrapper. The company didn’t even have to create the image; they simply had to share it.

This picture is also super cute, which certainly doesn’t hurt!

subway

#6: They are inspirational

This one is similar to #3 in that a good quote will often evoke strong emotions. A simple quote and image can go a long way to encouraging or motivating people, making it more likely they will want to share with their friends.

disney

#7: They offer great prizes!

While certainly not all contest or promotion-related posts end up going viral, there are definitely examples of this happening. And in general, the more unique the prize, the more viral it goes!

Take a look at the example below, for instance: Skittles held a contest giving away a Skittle vending machine, of all things, and the contest post accumulated over 12K likes.

skittles

Image courtesy of Ross Simmonds

As mentioned above, there is no ‘secret sauce’ for guaranteeing your Facebook posts go viral. However by incorporating the strategies above into your posts, you stand the best chance of getting your content in front of the largest audience possible!

Have you ever had a post go viral? What do you think it was about the post that made it so popular? Share your most viral post below so we can take a look!

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Tim Justynski
Tim Justynski
8 years ago

Great Post Kim! My numbers are up too! I like to use emotion with a lot of my FB posts. Meaning, if you have them recall something awesome in their life or in a past vacation. (Which is what my company does, Orlando Vacations)

Kim Garst
Reply to  Tim Justynski
8 years ago

Love hearing this, Tim!

Kim Garst
8 years ago

I didn’t get that at all but definitely an interesting perspective.

Laura Walsh
Laura Walsh
8 years ago

What a great article! I agree that using humor and capitalizing off of current events (though not inappropriately using them to your advantage of course) is a great start for a recipe for a successful Facebook campaign. But I don’t necessarily think that aiming for a “viral” post by definition should be the goal. Going viral is completely by chance and a lot of factors are involved. I believe that social media marketers should not be posting with the goal of going viral, I think we should focus on posting quality content. Going viral would just be an added bonus! Thanks for the great tips, Kim!

Kim Garst
Reply to  Laura Walsh
8 years ago

I agree with you, Laura, in that virality is definitely not something you can predict BUT I think there are things you can do to give yourself an above average chance of hitting a winner.

Sue Curry
8 years ago

Yes, I recently shared a post about a local and beloved restaurant closing its doors. The community was sad that childhood memories with family and friends from years past would now be forever erased as the popular establishment would be selling the property and closing forever. This post garnered more shares, comments and likes than I have ever had! Your outline above hit the mark, combining #1, 2 and 3! Thanks, Sue

Kim Garst
Reply to  Sue Curry
8 years ago

Great example of this working! Thanks for sharing, Sue!

Jacqueline Piepenhagen
Jacqueline Piepenhagen
8 years ago

Thank you Kim for all the positive feedback. I have been finding I get more writing feedback/connections by using my LinkedIn page. I have never been able to figure out Google, so gave up on that one. I am actively involved with a couple of writing forums, but as for my FaceBook page if it’s going to cost me, I will have to consider closing it due to my tight budget.

Kim Garst
8 years ago

Great to hear this, Jennifer! I think, ultimately, that we will get more relevant viewers on our fan page. Fingers crossed 🙂

Kim Garst
8 years ago

Glad I could help, John!

Bill Lampton
Bill Lampton
8 years ago

After reading this article, I bookmarked it. Well worth keeping and re-reading, so I will put it to use repeatedly.Thanks so much for providing this helpful list, and for illustrating each point so clearly!

Kim Garst
8 years ago

Response posts are excellent for engagement! Thanks for dropping in, Ryan!

Kim Garst
8 years ago

I have had this happen as well. I haven’t seen a consistent pattern on how or why this is happening, unfortunately. I think, as always, every time Facebook changes something up, some things fall through the cracks.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago

I love this post-Kim! You are so right, many of those variables contribute to images that do well – particularly those that manage to capture a few of these elements at once ie emotions + current events + getting people involved.

Kim Garst
Reply to  Donna
8 years ago

Great point about consistency, Donna! You are so right! Thanks for adding this valuable nugget.

Kim Garst
8 years ago

I have used those too, Antonio and you are right! They do get a lot of engagement!

Kim Garst
8 years ago

Humor is a huge engagement tool!

Neil Jay
7 years ago

That photo does not evoke that reaction in about 99.9% of people lol. You look at it and automatically think awww and ‘I wish I’d done that!’ either way a photo like that is viral gold. One way or another it would of been popular.

Kristin Smedley
Kristin Smedley
6 years ago

Great post! My most read/shared blog post of all time was just last week when I posted about turning a very hard/sad situation with my son into a very fun one… and it resonated with folks – I got nearly 1000 views in two days. I think it was because many people I know have teen drivers in their homes and know what a big deal driving is… and my son cannot do it b/c he is blind. But the post wasn’t a sad one, it was about how I turned the milestone birthday into something most teens would want to do.

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