share-abilityThe numbers are simply painful. On the face of it, you’ve got to wonder if social media—and Facebook in particular—is worth the time and effort. “Only about 1 percent of fans ever return to your actual Facebook page after they’ve liked it,” according to Contagious Content, an eBook by author Brian Carter and the software firm Marketo.

The rude fact is that most Facebook (FB) users focus mainly on their personal homepage, but even so, “no one sees every post from every friend or page they’ve liked.” By Facebook’s own data, that shakes out to an average page reaching a dismal 12 percent of its fans. (By other estimates, a FB business page is seen by only three percent of fans.)

The bottom line is that most social media marketing is invisible unless—and this is a big “unless”—your content is good enough to break through the clutter and demand attention. And simply posting to Facebook is not enough. To be effective, your message needs to engage the FB friends, and to motivate them to like, comment, and (perhaps most importantly) to share your material with others.

How to inspire share-ability…

To move from “invisibility” to “share-ability” the test is not what interests you, or for that matter, what might casually interest a Facebook fan. The test is a higher standard, and “what the post does to people.” Does this content sufficiently affect readers (emotionally touch them) in a way that they want to do even more (motivates action) and pass it on to others?

It’s not an easy task. But there are seven attributes of highly shared posts, according to some extensive research, of what works in Contagious Content. We like the way the eBook distilled thousands of posts to these essential concepts. Not every idea is suitable for every situation. But, based on this excerpt, consider how each tip could be adapted to your situation.

“Highly shareable posts do at least one of the following:

  • GIVE: Offers, discounts, deals or contests that everyone can benefit from, not just one sub-group of your friends;
  • ADVISE: Tips, especially about problems that everyone encounters; for example, how to get a job or how to beat the flu;
  • WARN: Warnings about dangers that could affect anyone;
  • AMUSE: Funny pictures and quotes, as long as they’re not offensive to any group- sometimes the humor isn’t quite as strong or edgy- it has to appeal to a general audience;
  • INSPIRE: Inspirational quotes;
  • AMAZE: Amazing pictures or facts;
  • UNITE: A post that acts as a flag to carry and a way to brag to others about your membership in a group that’s doing pretty darned good, thank you very much.”

For more on this topic, the Contagious Content eBook is available online. And read our previous post, Rules of Engagement: Motivations That Make Your Content Contagious.

Lonnie Hirsch


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Stewart Gandolf

Stewart Gandolf

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Healthcare Success Strategies
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is CEO of Healthcare Success, a medical marketing and health care advertising agency. He is also a frequent writer and speaker. Most importantly, he is happily married and a "rock-n-roll daddy" to two wonderful girls.
Stewart Gandolf
Stewart Gandolf


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