7 Ways To Craft Your Facebook Posts For Maximum Shares

Facebook recently changed the way users interact with content on fan pages: any user, including non-fans, can now post on fan page walls and like/comment/share fan page content. In other words, a Facebook user does not have to first like your fan page before they can interact with your content. This is a good thing!

Since this change, the emphasis has shifted slightly from gaining more likes (fans) to increasing the number of shares on each piece of content. When you craft your fan page updates in a manner that naturally inspires fans and their friends and visitors to your page to share with their networks, you set in motion ripples of viral visibility. Basically, free additional exposure.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been observing which posts from fan pages and from personal profiles (with Subscribe enabled) garner the largest amount of shares. I also recently asked my Facebook fans and friends for examples of great posts with large numbers of shares. Following are seven tips I’ve compiled for you that seem to help create the most shares:

1. Use an eye-catching image.

Your photo should make people laugh, cry, or go “awww!”

Photos on Facebook have always gotten a slightly higher EdgeRank score, which means better visibility in the News Feed. But, don’t necessarily use an image on every single post; keep it interesting by mixing in links, videos, questions (app), and text only updates.

A fun example is this “social network flowchart” by Breaking Copyshared on Facebook by “Caribbean King” on October 20th that garnered a whopping 14,642 shares – see screenshot below. (Hat tip to Susie Daniels for the link to the post).

Social Network Flow Chart by BreakingCopy.com

Example Facebook post with over 14,000 shares

The only narrative with the image was a smiley face “:D” – but, given the humor and relevance of the chart to pretty much anyone who saw it, the image gathered huge momentum. Currently, though the Caribbean King has just 673 fans (likes), his “People talking about this” number is 5,002. For most fan pages, to have a “talking about this” number over 7x greater than the number of likes is unusual. (I’ll save the in-depth discussion about the new public-facing “people talking about this” stat for a separate post. My quick advice, though, is do not waste too much time obsessing over this number. Instead, focus on posting quality, relevant posts that people naturally want to share.)

I came across Breaking Copy’s social network flowchart on November 1st when a friend shared it on my Facebook personal profile wall. I found the creator so I could give proper credit (Daryl Lang), and shared the image on my Google+ profile, where it ended up with over 1,480 shares. (And, an edited version by Carmelyne Thompson got 1,105 shares). Though Google+ is gaining in users and momentum, clearly Facebook’s vast userbase makes for significantly more shares. 10x in this one example if we just compare Caribbean King’s Facebook post to my own Google+ post.

When you do share photos, make sure they look great and are eye-catching in a smaller version, given most people will see a reduced size in their News Feed and/or mobile app.

Other photo examples with large numbers of shares include:

  • NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow’s photo from a friend in Afghanistan with over 2,800 shares. (Thanks to Amy Thomas Polk for the link).
  • A humorous map of Australia with funny Q&A from the Australian Tourism website, posted by Sam Bush, with 19,600+ shares! (Hat tip Mehdi Benaniba for the link).
  • Warren Buffet’s “How To Fix Congress” posted by Gene Vallee with 156,600+ shares. (Props to the Direct Marketing fan page for the link).
  • Disney‘s “Life is all about perspective” – cute photo of Bambi and possums with 8,200+ shares. (Thank you Hana Zima for the Disney tip). Note this post has a very short narrative (tip #2) and is written in a way anyone can share (tip #3).

2. Keep the narrative short.

A study by Buddy Media showed that posts 80 characters or less in length receive 27% higher engagement rates. Considering how much content flies by fast in the new moving Ticker at the top right of your Facebook home page, and also in the News Feed, it makes sense that a shorter post will catch Facebook users’ attention quicker.

A fun example is this post by my friend Melonie Dodaro with a cute puppy and teddy bear, which got over 1,700 shares. Melonie shared this on her personal profile – with 4,816 friends and 718 subscribers. Note the narrative Melonie included: “How adorable is this?! Go ahead and share it.” This one example, in fact, makes use of the first four out of my seven tips here: it’s a (cute) photo, the narrative is short, it’s not written in first person, and there’s a call to action to share it.

Puppy and Teddy Bear - Facebook Post

Example Facebook post with over 1,700 shares

3. Keep first person to a minimum.

Even though I’m a big fan of writing in first person whenever possible, as it creates more warmth and connection with your audience, in order to increase your shares on Facebook, you might want to experiment with keeping the wording more generic. Write in a way that could sound like it was coming from others. As with Melonie’s example above “How adorable is this?!” could be said by anyone.

You can always use first person in your comments when responding to bring in the more personal touch.

Here’s a cute image I created using Snagit to illustrate one of my favorite Steve Jobs’ quotes: “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” The upbeat narrative I included was, “A special thought for the day!! A good reminder to just GO for it. (Probably still a good idea to wear clothes though, hehee!).” 105 shares from my personal profile.

Follow Your Heart - Steve Jobs quote shared on Facebook

Follow your heart - Steve Jobs quote shared on Facebook

4. Include a call to action.

Invite your friends, subscribers, fans and their friends along with visitors to your page to share your posts with their friends, subscribers and fans. Simple calls to action such as “Click like if you agree” often work well, so long as the preceding statement/question is relevant. Asking people to add their comments is good too. But, it’s the Share that will likely create the greatest exposure for your page/profile.

This image of 3-D sidewalk art posted by Gallery 2166 simply says, “Dare you not to share this. It’s too amazing.” Yep – 11,449 Facebook users have shared the image so far! (Thanks Jamie Burnett for the link to the image).

Sidewalk art - Facebook post

Sidewalk art - Facebook post with over 11,000 shares

5. Write about timely topics with helpful tips and resources.

Given the rapid changes on Facebook and the constantly moving social media landscape in general, there’s often plenty fodder to share up-to-the-minute tips, new strategies, and useful resources on your Facebook page and/or profile. These types of posts can be any length and might include links and/or photos or videos. The point is your Facebook network and extended community will find extreme value in reading and sharing the post.

This example from my own fan page is a post with seven tips for staying safe on Facebook – which received 247 shares. I wrote the udpate on the back of Mashable’s blog post about Facebook stating that a staggering 600,000 log-ins per day get compromised. Note the use of the simple, eye-catching image.

7 Tips To Stay Safe on Facebook

Example timely post - 7 Tips To Stay Safe on Facebook

Here’s another example from my fan page where I dispelled a couple of erroneous memes flying around Facebook: one asking users to unsubscribe from their friends’ comments and likes, and another talking about Facebook’s plans to charge for membership (both are not accurate!). The post received 516 shares.

If you’re in an industry that changes rapidly, keep your finger on the pulse and see what timely topics you can write about. Then, with the Facebook posts that do well, repurpose by turning them into posts on your blog.

6. Experiment with longer content.

Despite tip #2 above, now that Facebook increased the maximum update size from 420 characters to 5,000 characters, try writing a “mini-blog post!” Per my tip #5 above, so long as the content is timely, relevant and helpful, you stand a greater chance of getting lots of shares.

7. Share a great cause.

Surf Dog Ricochet posted this precious dog photo with a call to action: pet supplies company Iams had agreed to donate 50 bowls of pet food for shelter animals for every comment on the photo, up to one million bowls. The photo broke the record in just over 24 hours. Though the one million bowls of pet food goal has been attained, the image is still gaining comments and shares. So far: 21,439 comments and 4,180 shares! (Hat tip to Kristi Robertson for the link to this post).

Surf Dog Ricochet and Iams Pet Food - Facebook Post

Example great cause with over 4,000 shares

By the way, keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules around promotions; the #1 rule to know is you need to use a third party app if you’re going to conduct any kind of drawing, sweepstakes, contest, or competition. Your own content in an iFrame app qualifies so long as you include the correctly worded disclaimers. See this post for more information.

Share more videos

And a bonus tip, from Ryan Cohn of What’s Next Marketing:

Among large audience clients (celebrities and brands), we typically see the most shares coming from unique/interesting videos. Usually these are behind-the-scenes peaks, though we’ve seen great sharability from loved-but-forgotten YouTube videos too.

You may find that these tips are equally effective for increasing your number of shares on Google+ too.

…and, one more tip for you on the subject of shares: Whenever possible, take time to click through and thank those who share your content. On Facebook, this is really easy to do as the Shares show in a popup window and you can easily click like and add a quick comment. ;) People love to be acknowledged.

What have you found that’s working well on your own profile and/or fan page? What catches your eye on other profiles/pages and compels you to want to share with your own networks? Please do share below and feel free to include permalinks to examples so others may benefit. Thank you!

 

 

Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Facebook for Business, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Tips, Relationship Marketing, Social Networking
  • Joseyjosen

    I’m so glad I found my solution online.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Daily-Health-Tips/124019331028590

  • Chloella1

    PLEASE open this picture and like for me! competition ends JUNE 15, 2012.  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=479242548767823&set=a.479242448767833.126272.110257492332999&type=1&theater

  • Redhairistrouble

    Speaking of illegal facebook contests that are against the TOS….

  • traveljunkies

    Never too late to learn more. I’m posting this link to my traveljunkies clients who want to grow their business

  • Pingback: Tweet-Parade (no.47 Nov 2011) | gonzoblog.nl

  • http://twitter.com/Karenita59 Feel the Hugs

    Thanks for this…always trying to figure out what people want. You gave quite an easy way for us to up the posts and share….so Feel the hugs!!!

  • Marie Jonsson-Harrison

    Thanks for excellent information, always needed especially with all the changes that Facebook are constantly doing, so thank you! http://www.facebook.com/Naiveartbymarie Love Marie xxx

  • http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/RalphPaglia Ralph Paglia

    I have found that the right “Infographic” works a lot better for getting shares than the same info in a matrix, plain chart or text… But, my main focus is B to B, so stuff like Infographics may work better than for me than for those who are targeting consumers.

  • http://twitter.com/TheDailycoffee The Daily Coffee

    Really great stuff, Thanks!

  • Pingback: 7 Tips for Your Facebook Business Posts from Mari Smith - SEMO Marketing Solutions

  • Pingback: The Big List – All The Resources You Need to Answer Your Facebook Marketing Questions | PostRocket Blog

  • http://twitter.com/BeverageEvents Beverage Events

    Thank you for the post. This is one of the most helpful I have read all day! Great work Mari!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shopson Stephen Hopson

    I stumbled onto this very valuable article about how to increase exposure for your name or FB in the right way. What I cannot seem to figure out is how to make sure that when I share a photo from my FB page (for instance, https://www.facebook.com/StephenJHopsonAwakening) is there a way I can control whether people remove my page name when they share my photo on their timeline? I notice that when you share posts, FB gives you the option of removing the name of the original source making it seem as if that photo that you (or I) originally posted was in fact originally posted by whomever is sharing.

    Does that make sense?

    So in other words, if I posted a photo on the above mentioned FB page and others subsequently share it, is there a way the name of my page as the source of that photo remain all the way through several shares? You indicated in your article above that if something like a photo went viral, it’d be great free exposure to the person who posted it but that’s assuming the name of the original person who posted it remains visible all the way through the subsequent shares.

  • Pingback: 3 Free Tools To Help Your Small Business Become Social (And Make It A Habit) |

  • http://seo.qalebfa.com/ ?????????

    hum

  • Jocelyn Grayson

    Appreciate this article! I wonder if you know of a way to schedule a post that is shared from another biz page. Can only schedule my own original posts, it seems. Any clever workarounds?

  • Pingback: Felix Relationship Marketing — Facebook marketing strategy - 5 easy steps

  • Montgal

    I appreciate this article, as well. I am at a frustration point where I am getting into my FB account less and less. It seems my account is getting little to no exposure to my postings at all. My friend’s posts are getting good exposure and comments. Mine, however, is getting nothing. My theory is it’s in my settings somehow. All of my postings are set to “Public” (even my account settings are set to ‘Public”). Still nothing.

  • Wynn’s

    Well done. I found this to be very helpful and encouraging. Great suggestions to help me kick things into gear! Just what I needed. :-)

  • Matthew Rissik

    anyone help me? when someone shares a status and gets likes on the share, the like dont appear on the original status

  • David Augustus Barreira Dias

    Of course, the connection is been created between the user, and the share activity .

  • softkitty
  • Wot not crafts
  • ozy

    I’ve actually done most of these, it’s more of a reaching out to the right audience issue which is tough to overcome. I, personally rather not post my page around as that it makes me feel insistent and I do definitely not want that, on the other hand, doesn’t help me much!

    any comments?
    https://www.facebook.com/cents.and.noncents

  • http://www.healththat.com/ Mohammad Likhon

    I agree with you.Thanks for share with us :D
    My Fan Page
    https://www.facebook.com/HealthThat

  • kana

    Thank you for this very interesting infographic ! I’m
    talking about Google Venice on my blog.

    ?????? ???? ? ????

  • katrin

    Great insight. Relationship marketing has always been there as the recipe for success.
    ??? ????????????? ??????? ??? ???????

  • Sara Lee

    Great Post! I have found another related article too in the link below:

    http://technology-vibe.com/blog/popular-contents-shared-facebook/

    Thanks

Online Training Courses

  • Facebook 101: Back to Basics - new online training course with Mari Smith
  • Facebook Marketing Success System - Facebook Ads course with Mari Smith featuring Dennis Yu
  • Facebook Marketing Masterclass - online training course with Mari Smith

JOIN over 91,000 beautiful peeps! :) Each week, we sort through the huge pile of new social media blog posts, resources, articles, tools, tips and more ... and Mari hand picks just three of them to send you via email. Enter your name and email below to start receiving our weekly top selections in The Social Scoop email newsletter, published every Friday.

We respect your email privacy. Your address is safe with us.

Archives

Connect With Mari





Follow Mari on Pinterest


Mari’s Tweets

Get The Books

  • Books by Mari Smith - Facebook Marketing and Relationship Marketing
  • Books by Mari Smith - Facebook Marketing and Relationship Marketing

Hire Mari to Speak

  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!
  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!
  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!

Find Out How...