How do you grow your Facebook fan base if you’ve got no budget for advertising? The key ingredient is content. Not just any content, highly shareable content. Highly shareable content is the image or link that a user feels compelled to share with his/her friends and family. Once the link begins doing its rounds on Facebook, it will ultimately be linked back to your page which guarantees you an increase in views and fans.
But how do I know what will go ‘viral’?
Firstly, you need to take into consideration who your fans are. Go back and have a look at previous status updates. See what has gained the most likes and do more of that. If you’ve tried humour and it’s worked, then maybe it’s time to put up a meme-based image and see how it does. Chances are, it might go viral. If you’ve gotten good views on lifestyle content, post more of that. You will find that most users respond the best to images. Images can quickly convey information and can be shared on multiple platforms with little effort. In a country with an emerging economy (like South Africa), it is a good idea to avoid posting videos. Most users are conscious of bandwidth costs and will avoid downloading anything that will cut into their valuable airtime.
So I just need to find a funny picture?
If only it were that simple. Not only do you need to be in tune with what your community is demanding, but you will also need to be in tune with what is currently happening in the world around you. Posting random pictures out of context may not be the best idea. Make sure that your posts are topical (if it’s a meme, make sure it’s current). Also make sure that you post at times when you’re going to get high traffic. This is usually early morning and mid-afternoon. To be safe, you can go through old posts and see what kind of engagement you got at what times of the day.
So to summarize, here are the key ingredients you need for shareable content to work :
1. A deep understanding of your fans and what they like
2. A relevant piece of content that fits within the context of the community and what’s happening in the world
3. Good timing
You might not be successful the first time, but keep experimenting. Every community has a sweet spot.