In today‘s digital landscape, creating shareable content is critical for entrepreneurs looking to grow their brand and reach new audiences. But with Facebook‘s algorithm favoring engagement over reach, simply posting is no longer enough. You need to make content that compelled your audience to actively share it across their own networks.
So how can you create viral Facebook posts that get shared hundreds or even thousands of times? As a digital marketing consultant who‘s helped dozens of startups and small businesses improve their social media strategy, here is my comprehensive guide on making your Facebook content go viral in 2023.
Understanding the Facebook Algorithm
The key to creating shareable posts is understanding how the Facebook algorithm works. Unlike old chronological feeds, Facebook today shows users the content it believes they find most meaningful. So what signals matter most?
- Relevant Content: Posts related to a user‘s interests get prioritized. Make sure your content offers value to your target audience.
- Engagement: Posts with lots of reactions, comments, and shares are deemed higher quality. Encourage your audience to interact.
- Video: Video content, especially native video, has very high reach on Facebook. Short videos can be ideal for virality.
- Groups: Posts made directly in Facebook Groups, especially closed niche groups, can spread rapidly amongst engaged members.
By keeping these key factors in mind, you can create content deliberately tailored for the algorithm.
According to research, the below types of posts generate the highest number of shares on Facebook:
- Humorous posts – Posts that make people laugh or smile tend to get shared readily. Memes, jokes, and funny videos often go viral.
- List posts – Posts formatted as lists or "X ways to do Y" perform well thanks to their scannability. Lists on entertaining or useful topics spread easily.
- Controversial posts – Posts covering hot-button issues or containing unpopular opinions spark discussion and debate, driving shares.
- Personal posts – Heartfelt stories and vulnerable posts help followers relate. Sharing personal experiences can rally your community.
- Infographics – Information presented visually in infographics is easy to digest. Infographics get shared 3X more than other content.
- Surprising facts – Posts that include fascinating facts and statistics tap into our curiosity. We love sharing bits of surprising knowledge.
- Videos – Especially short, entertaining videos under a minute long. Funny videos are extremely viral.
Based on analysis of thousands of high-performing Facebook posts, here are key best practices to make your content more shareable:
Hook viewers quickly
You only have 2-3 seconds to grab attention on Facebook. Use eye-catching elements like bold graphics, videos, gifs, and emojis to capture interest fast.
Optimize with the 80/20 rule
80% of your post‘s text should explain what the content offers viewers. 20% should encourage sharing and interaction.
Use relatable messaging
Connect with what your audience cares about. Tailor content to their pain points, interests, and values for maximum relevance.
Include strong calls-to-action
Prompt viewers how to engage, e.g. "Like if you agree!" or "Tag a friend who would love this!". Specific CTAs boost shares.
Posting 1-2 times per day builds audience habits. Followers are more likely to share your content if they see it frequently.
Leverage peak times
Post when your audience is most active. For most, early morning and late afternoon drives the most reactions. Analyze your own engagement data.
Promoting Your Content to Reach More Users
Creating shareable posts is only half the battle. You also need distribution tactics to help them reach a wide audience.
- Share posts prominently – Pin engaging posts to the top of your Facebook page to keep them visible.
- Run ads – Use Facebook ads to promote your best content to more of your target demographic.
- Share across channels – Post your content across your other social profiles to multiply potential touchpoints.
- Encourage employees to share – Get your team sharing content from your company page to their own networks.
- Re-share evergreen content – Surface your most evergreen, popular posts periodically by sharing them again.
- Partner with influencers – Work with relevant influencers to share your content with their engaged followers.
- Publish content groups – Join related Facebook groups and share your posts where your audience is already active.
Real-World Examples of Viral Facebook Posts
Here are some examples of companies using these tactics successfully to create viral Facebook content:
- GYM Launcher – Their post "25 Gym Memes That Are Way Too Relatable" includes funny gym memes formatted in a shareable list. It generated 9.4K reactions and 1.7K shares.
- Purple Mattress – This post experiments with controversy saying "Pineapple does NOT belong on pizza." It sparked debate in the comments, gaining 22K reactions and nearly 7K shares.
- TOMS – TOMS drives shares by tapping into emotions. This post telling the story of how shoes impacted a young girl‘s life received over 34K reactions and 9.6K shares.
- Bliss Point Media – Their infographic "50 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses" racked up 4.2K reactions and 2.3K shares thanks to its visual, information-rich format.
As you can see, these brands know how to create content engineered for sharing based on viral best practices.
Key Takeaways for Entrepreneurs
Creating viral Facebook posts takes effort, but pays dividends in brand awareness. Here are my key tips for entrepreneurs:
- Analyze Facebook‘s algorithm and create content that caters to it
- Experiment with highly shareable formats like videos, lists, and infographics
- Use psychological triggers like humor, surprise, and controversy
- Craft bold, benefit-driven messaging and calls-to-action
- Promote posts through ads, employee advocacy, and influencers
- Study analytics to find your audience‘s peak engagement times
- Continually test and optimize until you crack the code for viral content
If you can consistently create shareable content tailored to your audience, you can rapidly grow your Facebook presence and exposure in 2023 and beyond. Let these tips inspire you to connect with more users and take your business to the next level.