What’s the biggest wish for a social media manager? That’s right, it’s to make a Facebook viral post that reaches millions and racks up countless impressions. But how exactly can you do that? The joke is to throw a kitten into your post, but there’s only so many things cat videos can do. (Besides, you’ll have to compete with other hundreds of thousands of cat videos.)
Here are 10 ways to help make your Facebook post go viral.
Don’t worry about appealing to absolutely everyone. It’s never going to happen. Your primary goal is to create content for your target audience. Once you have that core message, you can explore ways of how that message can identify with the broader human nature.
Your ultimate goal is to have your audience love your posted content enough to share it with your friends—who in turn can appreciate it on a broader level and share the post with their friends. This is one of the key strategies of making a Facebook post viral.
If you’re a marketer, Facebook has amazing tools that can help you zero in on your key audience.
One way to create a Facebook viral post is to post something that amazes someone, either with a fact, anecdote, image, or video. Not all news spread like wildfire. The fastest spreading news is always about something that astounds or amazes.
People love to laugh, and people love to be a part of a group that is having a great time. While not everyone shares the same humor, everyone knows someone who can appreciate something they themselves had laughed at or have enjoyed.
People are tribal by nature. We have a need to belong. That’s why you see patriotism, sports fans, alumni associations, family units, and local communities. Unity symbols like flags and logos can inspire a lot of people to come together and invite others to join.
Everyone loves a feel-good message or story. Facebook viral posts tend to be positive, which is great for you, because no one likes to be the bearer of bad news. However, just be careful not to overdo it on the sappiness.
While positivity is generally always better, an occasional warning or scare tactic can really motivate people to spread the news. We’re still wired for the flight and flight response—and because we’re tribal in nature (see #7), we want to warn our closest family members and friends.
This is most effective only if you are respected and trusted to be reliable.
Hashtagging is one of the new strategies of making a Facebook post viral. While hashtags began on Twitter, it didn’t take long for other social sites like Facebook and Instagram to adopt them. Make your hashtags relevant and easy to type out correctly.
Similar to Amaze (#9) and Warn (#5), posts that inform can greatly increase your chance of going viral. People love knowing something their peers don’t and will happily share that information to show that they knew it before anyone else.
For the first time in our modern tech age, nostalgia is a shareable feeling. You see it every Thursday with the hashtags, “#tbt” or “throwback Thursday.” There’s an interesting sweet spot where a generation of people who can remember the “good ‘ol days” and a time before the internet are also savvy enough to use hashtags.
You rarely get anything for nothing. A viral post always has something to offer. It can be something as simple as a special 2-for-1 deal or as something more complex and engaging like a new perspective, interesting fact, or analysis.
The most important thing is to offer it freely and not behind a paywall or form that your audience needs to complete before engaging with your content.