Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on November 2nd, 2010

5 Secrets for Facebook Virality

 As more businesses and brands publish Facebook fan pages, launch social media campaigns, and join the conversation online, becoming an authoritative voice in a niche community is increasingly difficult. What is even more discerning for late adopters is that corporate giants and small savvy shops alike are sending social media whiz kids to master the message for the social “Webi-sphere”. 
Just like Google, Facebook has an algorithm that decides what news to pass along in friends’ and fans’ feeds, and what to bury under the “see older posts” tab at the bottom of your page. The details to their algorithm are as mysterious as Stonehenge, as impenetrable as the Great Wall of China (once was), and as moody as Christine O’Donnell during a full moon rising. While many brands have been successful with their own receipt for social media, your business could “feel it out” for finding your own receipt for success. Or, you could check out what we’ve learned at Volacci throughout our social media experiments. Here are 5 Secrets to Facebook Virality. Secret #1: Facebook’s Catch 22 Hey loser, you’re just not popular enough! I kid. But not really. It’s the Facebook Catch 22: the more friends and fans you have, the more viral your posts will go, but you need to become viral to consistently build up your friend and fan base. There are tons of experts out there who compare Facebook to high school, and for good reason. High school was cruel and so can Facebook. (see Facebook can actually seem bias against newcomers. If you don’t have 500 million friends, who is going to read your status update, posted story, or crazy image of your office manager dressed up like Cruella DaVille? It is actually common sense. You need friends to interact with you in certain ways. But you aren’t going to get interaction if you don’t have any exposure in the first place. That is why posting interesting and engaging content right from the beginning is extremely important. Secret #2: Post Links over Updates, Photos over Links, and Video over Photos Status updates, while sometimes amusing and informative, just don’t carry the interactive qualities of links to stories, photos of your company Halloween costume contest, and videos of your company lush falling face-first into the bobbing for apples bin (please don’t post that though). 
Another great reason that status updates are trumped by all is the fact that you can post a “status update” with links, photos, and videos. Don’t just talk, teach, share, and embrace your brand’s personality. Secret #3: Interaction Raises Your Fan Stock While this might come as a shocker, the more interaction you get from a post, either a like, share, or comment, the more visibility you receive in people’s feeds, and the more chances are you will grow your fan base. The more fans you get, the more viral your messaging goes. The more viral your message goes, the more people will tell two friends. And they tell two friends. And they tell two friends... Secret #4: Stalking People Doesn’t Help Your Virality, But Getting Stalked Does There was a theory early in my social media travels that if I pored over photos of friends and fans, that Facebook would take note and have my posts pop up in their feeds more regularly. Right? Wrong. Stalking someone doesn’t help you become more visibility in their conversation, but getting stalked certainly does. Once your fans or friends start clicking on your links, photos, and videos, they will see them more often in their news feed. Secret #5: Summoning the Power of Comments! When people comment on your links, your visibility is significantly raised in “top news”. If people ‘like’ what you have to say or post, your visibility foundation is strengthened even further. Once you begin to build comments and likes for your posts, you will go from “no-show” to “star of the show” in many fan and friend feeds. A great way to jumpstart this process is to get a close circle of employees, fans, and friends to start commenting on your links and posts. Their friends will begin to see their interaction with your material and may do the same. Thank You For Reading! No one likes people who don’t share, especially Keanu Reeves and his crazy gang of memes. So if you liked what you read, please share my post with any of our socially-labeled buttons, or we’ll sick the whole gang after you! You can also subscribe to our RSS feed as well to receive daily fodder from our blog. Thank you for reading!