Wouldn’t You Just Know It?

A couple of weeks ago, we posted The Sweet Spot of Sharing about sharing, e.g. what makes posts, video, and blogs engaging and go viral.

Wouldn’t you just know it that after we hit the send button we came across some more “sharing” data that is so good, we, well, need to share it.

Marketo published a well-researched eBook called Contagious Content: What People Share on Facebook and Why They Share It. At 35 pages, it’s dense, but chock full data and examples that we’re going to boil down for you today (but we really recommend you download the full report because it has implications far beyond Facebook).

How many of your fans see your organic posts?

Marketo analyzed 2,953 Facebook posts and a total of 31,423 data points and found:


This compares with Facebook’s own analysis in Jan 2012 that the average page was reaching only 12% of its fans organically.

A Facebook post that is highly shareable does at least one of the following:

1. GIVE Offers, discounts, deals or contests everyone can benefit from — not just one sub-group of your friends

2. ADVISE Tips, especially about problems everyone encounters — for example, how to get a job or how to beat the flu

3. WARN Warnings about dangers that could affect anyone

4. AMUSE Funny pictures & quotes — as long as they’re not offensive to any group — sometimes the humor shouldn’t be strong or edgy because it needs to appeal to a general audience

5. INSPIRE Inspirational quotes

6. AMAZE Amazing pictures or facts

7. UNITE Posts that act as a flag to carry or a way to brag about your membership in a group that’s doing darned good, thank you very much

Four mistakes that prevent people from sharing your Facebook posts:

1. Talking about yourself

2. Being edgy or defensive

3. Being too obscure or niche

4. Asking for likes