Experts and industry leaders have been grappling with the question of what makes a Facebook post go viral for years. It seems to be an especially elusive science and controlled lab experiments often lead to inconclusive results. Now seriously, it is the undeniable dream of every company, celebrity or social media professional to create viral Facebook posts that are shared exponentially, reach huge audiences and generate long-term positive sentiment about the post’s author. The one large question mark remains: what makes a post go viral? The truth is that there is no formula that guarantees “shareability”, but we can get closer to understanding the features of hugely successful posts by checking out 10 types of popular posts and analyzing their secrets:
People are attracted to real-life stories that show a culmination of admirable values – friendship, loyalty, love, compassion, courage, and more. Try to tell a story of one individual that is universally touching.
Challenge your followers to think differently and suggest an out-of-the-ordinary point of view.
This is a tricky task because it requires both planning ahead according to specific dates, and being able to improvise quickly in response to spontaneous opportunities. If you get it right, the reward is worth the hassle.
Controversy is always good for ratings, but it can get even better if you approach it with a twist. Witty sarcasm will get you better results than a rant; clear visualizations will be more accessible than written reports; and a message from an individual is more effective than a public announcement.
Facebook users have enough experience with call to actions in the style of: “Like if you agree” or “Share to show you care.” Try a more creative approach.
Motivational sayings are successful because they are always relevant, and because they can be interpreted by your readers as a personal statement that bears an individual meaning to their own lives. When you combine that with a personality that is unanimously recognized as inspirational, you are on the right track.
This type of post aspires to get an enthusiastic “that’s so true!” as a reaction. If you can identify a common nuisance, absurdity or paradox that people confront all the time but never really bother to think about, you will see a wave of consent in the form of Likes and Shares.
Tease your followers with an enticing title, promise them a thrilling punchline, but don’t give it away! This is a great tool not only for enhancing virality but also for increasing click rates.
Organizing content in the form of a list is an especially engaging way to keep readers interested and curious. But you have to choose list topics that people can’t help but read.
It’s pretty straightforward. Facebook users scroll through an endless feed of updates from a large number of sources. If you want them to pause on your post and even share it with their friends you need to catch their eye immediately, and gorgeous or unique visuals are extremely effective for that purpose.
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