How to Go Viral on Facebook - 18 Tips for Brands and Content Creators
Whether you're a content creator or a business owner, going viral on Facebook can be a game changer. With over 3 billion monthly active users, it's ridiculously lucrative for brands and individuals to have their content seen and shared by millions of people.
However, going viral is no easy feat to achieve. With constant algorithm changes and fierce competition, your Facebook post has to be on point to stand out. In this article, we'll share 18 strategies on how to go viral on Facebook.
What Is Considered Viral on Facebook?
Ok, first things first, let's define what going viral means on Facebook.
Typically, a Facebook post is considered viral when it reaches a large audience organically through likes, shares, and comments. It can also refer to content that gains massive attention and engagement quickly.
This process often starts with a single post, i.e., a video, photo, or anecdote, that catches and holds your follower's attention. If they then decide to like, comment or share your post, Facebook's news feed algorithm takes notice and exposes it to larger audiences.
How to Go Viral on Facebook
Know Who Your Targeting Audience
Going viral doesn't mean reaching Facebook’s entire user base. It's about targeting the right audience for your content or product. Understanding your target audience's demographics, interests, and behaviors helps you create tailored content that drives engagement rates.
Tools like Facebook Audience Insights are great analytical tools to get insights into your core audience. You can also check user surveys on which topics, products, or types of content are currently trending. This information can then be used to craft your viral content strategy.
However, if you need more data to work with, start by targeting audiences who are just like you and work from there.
During the content creation process, ask yourself questions like:
- What trends am I most drawn to?'
- Which tone of voice do I find most engaging?
- What topics consistently pique my interest?
- Which types of posts do I often share or comment on?
- What content formats attract me the most?
And so on. You'll then have some idea of the audience your content will attract.
Use Compelling, Shorter Headlines
When people mindlessly scroll down their Facebook News Feed, a catchy headline can stop them in their tracks. According to AdEspresso, the average length of a Facebook ad headline is five words. So deviating from this average may hurt your chances of going viral on Facebook.
Craft headlines that are intriguing, informative, or humorous. You can also use numbers and statistics to make them stand out.
For example, let’s compare the following headlines:
‘30 Days on Plant-Based: Unexpected Transformation!’
‘My 30-day journey with a plant-based diet.’
Facebook users are more likely to click on the first headline because it creates a sense of curiosity and anticipation. The phrase ‘unexpected transformation’ suggests that something significant occurred, encouraging users to find out more.
Engage with Your Audience in a Way that Makes Them Engage Back
Sometimes, you'll see content creators ask generic questions like ‘How was your day?’ or What's your current favorite song?. While there’s nothing wrong with them, they’re hardly interesting enough to make people comment.
Instead, try asking thought-provoking or even controversial questions or statements that your audience thinks twice. For example, if you're targeting digital marketers:
'Most viral content is a result of luck, not strategy. Change my mind.'
'Is traditional white hat link building still feasible in 2023? Let's discuss.'
These are more likely to spark a discussion and encourage people to interact with your post.
Remember that Facebook's algorithms favor posts with high engagement, so the more comments and reactions your post receives, the more likely it will be spread around.
Cover Topics that People Care About
Everyone has an opinion, and in the era of social media, everyone wants to share it. Creating content that people have strong opinions about can significantly help your post go viral on Facebook.
One way to discover what topics audiences are passionate about is by staying on top of current events and trends. For example, if a recent news event has stirred up a lot of conversations, create a Facebook post that ties into it. This can range from a video giving your unique perspective to a blog post that thoroughly explains the event and its impact.
Of course, you still want to stick to industry relevant content when posting. If you are a fashion brand, trending topics in the fashion industry would be more relevant to your audience than political news.
When most people think of viral content, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Facebook Videos have a higher chance of going viral than any other type of content.
According to a survey by Databox, nearly 70% of respondents said that video content drives more ad clicks on Facebook than other content types. This preference for videos over images and text is a crucial insight for anyone aiming to create viral content.
Beyond simply gaining more clicks, videos also engage viewers longer. Users often pause their scrolling to watch a video, giving content creators a larger window to convey their message and encourage interactions.
However, most viral videos from Facebook do not extend beyond 2 minutes. As such, it’s important not to drag out your videos to maximize reach.
Provide Valuable Content
Typically, people view content as a means to an end.
They have a problem and are looking for ways to solve it. This is where your content comes in - providing value by offering solutions, insights, or entertainment.
How-to videos or educational content, for example, offer value by teaching viewers something new. Humorous videos provide entertainment value, while informative articles give insights that can help users make better decisions.
Think of yourself as an educator or entertainer, not just a marketer. When you create high-quality content that offers tonnes of value, you're more likely to get more views, and reactions.
Be a Personality
Influencers, bloggers, and celebrities have one thing in common - they're interesting. Each brings something unique regarding personality, perspective, and style.
Think about your favorite influencers or celebrities on Facebook. What makes them stand out? Is it their sense of humor, bold opinions, or relatability? These traits make them more memorable and engaging than others.
When creating content, don't be afraid to inject your personality into it. This can help differentiate you from others and make your content more shareable.
Use Relevant Hashtags and Keywords
Keywords and hashtags increase your visibility and help you get discovered on Facebook.
Use relevant keywords and hashtags in your posts, video titles, headlines, and descriptions. This will help your content show up in searches and related content sections.
To find relevant hashtags and keywords, use the following methods:
- Use the Facebook search and type in keywords related to your content.
- Explore trending topics and their associated hashtags.
- Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find popular niche keywords and phrases.
- Check out what keywords and hashtags your competitors are using in their posts.
Post at Optimal Times
When attempting to go viral, you want to post when your target audience is active.
According to SocialPilot, the best times to post online are between 7 am-9 am, 1 pm-3 pm, and 7 pm-9 pm, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays.
You can also use Facebook Insights to see when your followers are online and tailor your posting schedule accordingly. If you don't have your own data, try experimenting with different posting times to see what works. We advise using a post planner tool like Hootsuite to schedule your individual posts in advance so they go out at peak times.
Learn From Your Previous Popular Posts
Not every piece of content will go viral, but they can still be used as a reference for future posts.
Remember that each like, share, and comment provides data about your audience, shaping your future content strategy. For example, if your healthy eating posts trump all other posts, you could try posting more of that type of content.
When looking at your popular posts, analyze what specifically made them successful. Was it the topic, the format (such as video, image, or text), the time of posting, its visual elements, or how you interacted in the comments section? This information can help you tailor future posts for maximum viral potential.
Ask Your Followers Or Even Influencers to Share Your Content
Navigate to Facebook Ads Manager. This is where you'll manage all aspects of your Facebook adverts. You'll now have access to a comprehensive view of your campaigns, ad sets, ads, and performance metrics.Sometimes, a simple request is all it takes to increase your reach.
If you want your post to go viral, ask your followers to share it with their friends and family. This can be done in the caption of your post or even in the comments section.
You can even reach out to niche influencers and ask them to share your content. Like all content creators, influencers want to put out quality content that gets positive reactions. If they see potential in your post, they just might share it with their followers.
Be Genuine and Relatable
On TV, celebrities are largely seen as perfect, flawless individuals. However, it's often not the case with content creators who have risen to fame through social media. They're often more relatable and authentic, sharing their struggles, failures, and embarrassing moments.
Think about it. How often do celebrities post unfiltered opinions on their social media? Thanks to their teams of publicists, agents, and managers, celebrity social media content is more polished and curated. But with content creators, it's the norm. And this is what makes them so likable and relatable to their audience.
So, how does this tie into going viral on Facebook?
Sharing genuine and real aspects of your life or work can create meaningful connections with your audience. This connection can lead to more engagement as users find your post personally relevant or emotionally resonant.
Whether you love or hate them, memes draw a lot of attention. They capitalize on the many user’s short attention spans and elicit strong emotional responses. They are humorous and relatable - two key factors for viral content.
Additionally, memes are incredibly shareable. They often have a simple, easy-to-read format and typically compel users to share for laughs. By incorporating memes into your Facebook content strategy, you may get the viral boost you've sought.
Collaborate with Others
Partnering with other content creators or brands can expose you to a new audience and expand your reach. It also can lead to more creative and diverse content. By working with others, you can tap into their unique perspectives, ideas, and skills, which may enhance your content.
Joint ventures, like co-hosting a Facebook Live session, co-creating a video series, or even running a joint giveaway, can significantly boost views. Such collaborations often combine both parties' strengths and follower bases, creating a synergy that can lead to higher visibility and virality.
Run Contests and Giveaways
Sometimes, it pays to be kind and give away valuable stuff. It's even more beneficial when you do it on Facebook, as a whopping 78.4% of contest shares are done on the platform. Furthermore, Contests with prizes over $1000 have an engagement rate of 5.8% per 100 followers.
Simply put, posting interactive content like contests and giveaways on Facebook often goes viral.
Contests can take many forms - photo contests, caption contests, sweepstakes, challenges, etc. All allow you to interact with your audience and encourage user-generated content (UGC).
Here are a few tips when planning a contest or giveaway on Facebook:
- Offer a prize that your target audience would want.
- Make sharing your contest easy for participants to share your content, i.e. adding a social media button to your contest's main page.
- Have a limited time frame for the contest or giveaway to create a sense of urgency.
- Partner with influencers in your niche, i.e., people or pages with a large following and high engagement rates.
Just follow all community guidelines Facebook sets, and you'll be well on your way to going viral.
Post On Other Social Media Platforms
Think of it this way - if your target audience is on multiple platforms, why limit yourself to just one? By sharing your Facebook posts on other platforms, you are increasing its chances of going viral.
By diversifying your social media presence, you can attract new followers and increase your overall engagement.
If you're relatively new, we recommend starting with a modest budget. You can then tweak your campaign, and scale it if your ad metrics improve.
Include Emojis and Symbols
People love emojis and symbols. They're colorful, cute, and help your audience better understand your Facebook post. As a result, your content becomes more eye-catching and shareable. 😊👍🌟
When incorporating emojis or symbols into copy, just avoid overdoing them. Use them sparingly and ensure they’re relevant to the content. You don't want to distract your audience from the main message.
Try Different Content formats
While short-form videos have excelled lately on Facebook, it doesn't mean that other content formats won't work. Experiment with content types such as a long-form video, blog posts, images, GIFs, polls, quizzes, surveys, etc., to see what your followers prefer.
You can then track your top-performing posts and see what works. If, for example, more people tune in to your Live videos, double down on creating more of that type of content.
Remember, variety is the spice of life. So don't limit yourself to just one type of content - mix it up and discover what works best for your brand!
These 16 strategies should help your content marketing efforts and you go viral on Facebook. While you could get lucky and go viral overnight, the key is to consistently implement these strategies and build a viral recipe that works for your page.
So keep creating valuable and engaging content, experiment with different formats, involve your audience, and, most importantly, have fun! You might hit the jackpot and achieve viral success on Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many views does it take to go viral on Facebook?
According to Facebook, it's your post's total engagement, rather than just the number of views, that determines its virality. The platform focuses on the percentage of people who create a story from your post compared to the total number of viewers. This means that a post is considered more viral based on how many viewers actively like, comment on, and share it, rather than solely on the count of its views.
However, your post's number of views provides some indication of its potential for virality. Generally, a post generating hundreds of thousands or millions of views within a short period, like 24-48 hours, can be considered viral.
How many likes is considered viral on Facebook?
Again, the number of likes your post receives is not the sole indicator of virality. A post may have thousands of likes but barely any shares or comments, making it less viral than a post with fewer likes but significantly more shares and comments.
As a general guideline, a Facebook post can be considered viral once it reaches around 100,000 likes. However, it's important to remember that this is an approximate figure and not an official metric from Facebook.
Does Facebook pay for 1k views on reels?
Content creators who post Facebook Reels can expect to be paid a few dollars per 1000 views. However, this monetization program is invite-only, meaning that not all creators can participate.
How many views do I need to get paid on Facebook?
Content creators can use the Brands Collabs Manager tool to connect with brands and monetize their Facebook videos. You need at least 1,000 followers and meet one of the following engagement criteria over the last 60 days:
- 15,000 post engagements, i.e. likes, shares, or reactions
- 180,000 minutes viewed
- 30,000 1-minute views for 3-minute videos