Jul.13Share

Viral marketing is the most important thing you can generate as a social media marketer. In case you don’t know, viral is the exponential growth of post reach. It happens a bit when followers like or comment on your post, but shares are the gold standard when it comes to viral on Facebook. I’ve broken down this month’s most shared posts from three top brands – BMW, Nike, and Starbucks – to come up with three easy ways to get more shares.

1. Using the Product – BMW

BMW Top Shared

BMW Top Shared

Your followers are interested in your product, that’s why they liked your page! Product updates are a fantastic way to get more shares. BMW posted on June 30th about a feature in their new 7 Series that allows the car to remotely enter and exit garages and parking spots. It’s an amazing feature, but that’s not what drew the shares. What drew the shares was the fact that other brands are unable to offer it, and BMW fans want to show their friends that their car of choice is unique. When someone shares a post it becomes a part of their timeline, and people want to show that they support the best brands. Take advantage of this by plugging the feature sets that you know outpace the competition.

2. Inside Information – Starbucks

Starbucks Top Shared

Starbucks Top Shared

Like I said earlier, a share is an extension of your Facebook profile. People like to break news to their friends, to show that they’re on top of trends. When Starbucks announced that the Caramel Cocoa Cluster was the Frappuccino FlavOff winner, people automatically wanted to share the post because they – as followers of Starbucks – were able to break the news to their friends. The post also contains useful information (the drink is $3 for certain days), and so people feel that they can help their friends by sharing. This is similar to the BMW example because both are newsworthy, but in this case people were anticipating the winner of the FlavOff contest. Building anticipation for a social media post (release, contest) makes the post more of a newsworthy event, and thus more of a shareworthy event.

3. Common Experiences – Nike

Nike Top Shared

Nike Top Shared

“Meet TJ” was a Nike post on the 7th that already has 2500 shares. It’s about a guy named TJ, who is always beats you. You’re second, TJ is first. “You bring your family, TJ brings scouts.” This fantastic campaign taps into the common experience of followers – anyone who’s ever played a sports knows a TJ, that kid you just couldn’t beat. Even pro athletes know a TJ. But Nike offers you the chance to #TakeOnTJ, to get the one up on him this year – by buying products of course. In my opinion this is the best way to drive viral. Common experience are by definition common. People are comfortable sharing these types of posts because their friends can relate. These posts fit right in on people’s timelines because they are experiences. There is even a hint of nostalgia because most people’s days of serious competitive sports are behind them. Facebook is used to share parts of our lives – tap into this and you have an instantly viral post.

What do These Posts Have in Common?

1. The bulk of the post is on Facebook. For BMW, the announcement comes as a blurb in the post itself. For Starbucks, and image conveys the message. For Nike, it’s a quick video. It’s common knowledge that you have two clicks to link a user to your content. For these posts no clicks were required – the share button is the first click.

2. They’re visually appealing. We process images much faster than words, and these images draw us into the post. If you want shares, the first step is to get people to look at your post. If you’re unsure of Facebook image dimensions read this article.

3. The brand follows up. In all three posts, the social media manager is posting as the brand, replying to comments, thanking people and offering feedback. This brings the post alive, makes users feel valued, and makes them more likely to add the post to their timeline.