So a crazy little thing happened…I created an image quote and posted it on Facebook and in the last two weeks it has been shared over 26,000 times and reached over 2.5 million people and I’ve gotten 2000 new likes on Facebook. OMG. Is this real life?
On April 20, I signed up for a webinar with Post Planner entitled, “How to use Data Driven Visuals to Drive Traffic on Facebook”. I use PostPlanner as my daily scheduler and quite like it, so I was excited to hear what the webinar was about. During the webinar, Josh Parkinson the CEO of PostPlanner discussed how he uses the data about visuals provided on PostPlanner to get increased reach on Facebook. For those of you who are not familiar with PostPlanner, they are all about data and all about giving you the tools to create a highly engaged Facebook page.
Here’s a screenshot of the PostPlanner dashboard. What you are looking at is a collection of viral quotes & images that have gone viral on Facebook in the last month. In Post Planner, images are given a star rating based on how viral they are. As you can see above, the 4 images have a 5 star rating, which means they were virally shared on Faebook.
What can you do with these quotes to boost your own reach?
Well, you can do one of two things…first you can share the quote to your Facebook page. It’s already gone viral, so you know people like this quote and are willing to share. Or you can take this quote and create another version of it using your own fonts, graphics and background..or you could even include a little spin on it.
The Psychology of why we share on Facebook
Anyway, my main takeaway from the webinar was the psychology behind WHY people share. I’ve always been fascinated by why people share the content they do on Facebook. What compels them to do so. The NYT did a study on the psychology of sharing (as reported by Coschedule) and it had some pretty good theories:
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to others. 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action
- To define ourselves to others. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about
- To grow and nourish our relationships. 78% share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with
- Self-fulfillment. 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world
- To get the word out about causes or brands. 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about
I thought long and hard about this, because it is fascinating to think about WHY people share things…what compels them to hit the share button on some images and statuses and not others. At the end of the day, I realized that people share things they can relate to, they share things that are funny or nostalgic or are deep in their hearts.
How to create a viral quote on Facebook
With all of my new found knowledge, I went to Photoshop (although you could totally use Canva) and created a square meme entitled, “You are still a good mom” and proceeded to write some funny reasons why you might still be a good mom. This was an original post that I created using the principles I learned in the webinar as detailed below.
According to Post Planner, here’s what it takes to make a viral quote image:
- Proven, audience tested quote
- Large, legible font
- High contrast between text & background image
- High quality relevant background image
- Your logo
Why I think my image went viral
Moms are my target demographic. They are my ideal blog reader and the people that I can relate to the best. Personally, I’m one of those keep it real moms who doesn’t hide the fact that motherhood is hard sometimes and that you can’t take yourself to seriously…but most of all you’ve got to give yourself some grace. That in a nutshell is who I am and who I want to be the personality of my page. So I created this meme as an extension of the page’s personality. It was funny and relatable. It was entertaining and shareworthy. Women were tagging their friends and commenting things like “totally me” or “this is us” type of comments.
My second attempt at Facebook virality
In the last two weeks, the image has been shared over 2,600 times and reached over 2.5 million people! AMAZING! Armed with my new strategy and feeling pretty confident…I attempted to recreate this success with another visual as seen below.
By all accounts this had the makings of another viral image. It incorporated all the graphical elements laid out by PostPlanner, plus it was funny and relatable (ok..well at least I thought it was)…and it totally flopped! It only got a reach of 700, 16 likes and 2 shares.
So what does this mean?
It means you cannot guarantee that a visual will go viral. You cannot guarantee that every post you do will be a hit. BUT, what you can do, is keep trying. Keep trying different images, different quotes and different posting times. Because my Mom meme was such a success, I plan to continue to incorporate these visuals in my Facebook posting strategy at least a couple times a week.
Now it’s your turn!
I want you to create an image to share on Facebook, but before you create it, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my target market?
- What topics would my target market find funny? interesting? nostalgic? shareworthy?
- Create your graphic (800px X 800px) with a high contrast background & text
- Share it on your Facebbok page
- Return here in a week an report your results!