You were planning for a promotion as the festive season approaches.
You prepared a list of enticing no-brainer deals and promotions to be shared on social media.
You even studied the time when your audience is the most active.
You got everything covered and as you review your plan, you felt confident, excited and oddly satisfied.
You can already feel the success around the air.
“Your post has been published.”
Except that it didn’t go viral as expected. No one was picking it up.
No likes, no comments, no engagement.
I understand how that feels. I was as frustrated as you as I’ve followed social media blogs that gave tactical advice such as focus on certain content types i.e. quotes or what not, but all these in my experience, all went to naught.
There was simply no result. Syok sendiri lah.
So back in March last year, I challenged myself to see if I can hack my way to content virality on social media, specifically Facebook.
I didn’t have a specific time frame on how long this experiment will take, but the ultimate objective was to understand what is the formula behind virality.
So I ended up creating a Facebook page named HelloBaby by focusing on baby-related issues.
Why Did I Pick A Baby Niche?
To be honest, I didn’t have a specific niche when I started out. All I wanted to do was to find out the formula.
I was expecting my 2nd child within that week (lil’ guy arrived on the 18th of March). Yeah, so that’s how it all got started.
What I need to mention though is that I decided to focus on Chinese community on Facebook – so by default, all my content will be in Chinese. If you noticed, Chinese / Malay media sites often have the most engagements and interactions.
I don’t understand why but if you know, please do leave a comment below so we can learn together.
Here’s how the page stats looks like from March’17 to May’17:
- 1091 Page likes
- Total 193 posts
- Highest reach 44K in a single post
Not too impressive right? Wait till you see this.
On the 18th of March, one of my posts had a whopping 130 shares. It was the 3rd day after I created the page.
3 weeks later, on 7th of April, I posted another piece of content which had 29K video views, 813 reactions with 265 shares.
Since then, 1 out of 10 posts would go viral (at least 40 shares).
All these are real stats generated organically through Facebook without having any ad budget.
Through my trial and errors, I found there are 3 key milestones you need to do in order to get your content viral. I’ll be breaking this series into 3 posts so it’s easier to digest.
Rule #1 – Know Your Audience First
Coming up with a well-defined audience is the most important step in when it comes to content. In fact, all marketing activities should start with the consumer or end user on mind.
You might be thinking:
“Aiyo, siapa pun tau lah, ini Marketing 101, just tell me something I haven’t heard.”
The problem with this is most people and not giving it enough depth and stop at profiles like:
- Targeting desktop gamers
- Targeting parents
- Targeting kids
The actual profile should look like this which had depth that defines the behaviour:
- Parents with baby (0-6 months) issue, especially on breastfeeding
Let me explain further.
As my Facebook page goes by the name HelloBaby, my primary content is about baby-related issues such as feeding, bathing and etc.
I knew that my audience were mums, but what I failed to understand at that time was to define my “mum audience” into very specific segments, it could be:
- Mum-to-be that are expecting their first child
- Mums with few children
These 2 segments may appear to be the same, but their concerns are very different, in other words, they consume different type of content.
So my first few posts were something like this:
Well like I said before, I didn’t know what would work for me and so I assumed that these might trigger some reactions, but it failed.
Observe First, Then Curate
To understand how to create relevant content, I started to join different mum groups on Facebook to understand what topics were mainly discussed within the community.
I saw a few threads were talking about newborn sleeping issues, so I figured I should do something related to newborn sleeping behavior, and here’s what I did:
I only had less than 10 likes on that page, so 17 shares were extremely good.
I then realized that, instead of me assuming what content should be created, it is smarter by observing what people are discussing and create content around that.
What this means is to observe what people are discussing then create content around that.
As soon as I realized that, I got a home run on my very next post:
So remember, when someone tells you that “quote” works best on Facebook, please don’t follow blindly and just post random quotes every day.
With the audience defined, I was able to refine my content focus on mums with first baby and topics such as – breastfeeding, pumping techniques, newborn bathing, and newborn health advice.
I even posted a content about baby poop and it went viral. Shit is real.
Always Begin With Your Audience On Your Mind
The main take away from this post for you is to really find out what is your target audience actively discussing, what are their primary concerns and curate that content.
You can see that I don’t have well-designed banners, most of the time these content are created with PowerPoint. While I agree that design helps in amplifying the content, but it’s more important to get the context right.
The way to get the context right is to really understand your audience.
Find out what is their issue and answer it.
Hey, thanks for reading! I would happy to hear on your experience in getting content viral on social media, feel free to comment down below your thoughts.
In the next post, I’ll be writing about how to validate and promote your content and why promoting content is as important as curating it.