One Extraordinary Facebook Post? Nope, that's not it.
July 31, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

So, I've been recently tasked with managing my company's Facebook page. I haven't been a big user of any social media sites before, but I'm managing ok.: new content is getting added, banners are updated, likes go up, a couple new users... that kind of thing. So here's what happened: one post got a huge Reach number compared to all my other posts and I don't know why. I'd really like to know why, so that, if at all possible, I can repeat it.

The More: We have about 135 Likes/ Fans; our average Reach was somewhere around 80, with a few posts Reaching around 150. One post from last week though has a Reach of over 3700. We make vinegar, and I post photos/ recipes/ links, etc. This post wasn't any different to my mind, just a link to another site with an article from almost a year ago that I found interesting (I checked the site to see if there was some promotion there, but there doesn't seem to be). I used hash tags, but I do on all my posts. I have used the same ones on another post since then, but didn't achieve the same results.

What happened? Can it be recreated? Thanks.
posted by Laura in Canada to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Does your activity log show who may have shared it or commented on it? Did it get picked up at all by Pinterest or a popular food blogger?
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:36 AM on July 31, 2013

You're on social media...perhaps you could ask your participants what they liked about it?
posted by xingcat at 8:37 AM on July 31, 2013

Response by poster: My Reach stats say 64 were Organic, the rest was Viral.
posted by Laura in Canada at 8:41 AM on July 31, 2013

Can you link to the post in question, and to another one that didn't, so we can perhaps compare?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on July 31, 2013

In the breakdown on the post, what does it say under Engaged Users/Talking About This/Virality? For example, we had a post that went massively bigger in reach than most of our posts do, so the stats went Reach: 2200, EU: 375 [if you click this, it should pop open a pie chart with a further breakdown of photo clicks/link clickthroughs etc.], Talking About This: 68 [pie chart with a breakdown of likes/shares/comments as a percentage], and Virality: 3%. I can also see that it was shared 17 times, and liked by 36 people, even if I can't see all of the shares. Are there any big spikes within those categories on your post?
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:56 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: From my experience of social media and blogging, that's just how it is and there's not much you can do to duplicate it. Sometimes you tick along at a steady if uninspiring rate of viewers, and sometimes you strike someone in just the right one at just the right moment. Then you might get shared by someone who happens to have an enormous following, linked from a widely-read site, etc.

There are entire industries revolving around trying to figure out how to make that happen -- advertising, entertainment. And even with enormous budgets and lots of smart, creative people, they can't do it reliably, either.
posted by Andrhia at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: OK, in the Shares, I see that a Page that likes us shared the post and they have a lot of Followers, who then passed it on it seems.
So, maybe it's just that they liked that post?

Post that went Viral:
Similar one that didn't:

@jetlagaddict, yes, there are spikes all along there
posted by Laura in Canada at 9:04 AM on July 31, 2013

The picture on the viral one is a lot more eye-catching. But correlation ≠ causation.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:07 AM on July 31, 2013

Best answer: It's definitely that they reshared the post-- their reach is a lot broader than yours, and so when they reposted it, it got a lot more eyeballs than your usual posts. (I had this happen recently on a personal page, and it shot up the number of people who liked my little page by something ridiculous like 50 or 60 people vs...13.) So to replicate that, you can try to make posts that are similarly appealing to them and to similar pages. And yes, using hash tags can help. You can also do cross-platform promotion with pinterest (there's a lot of love for vinegar there) or with a blogger if you ever do giveaways or contests.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks very much everyone... I'll pay closer attention to what the people with lots of followers who Like my page are looking for, assuming it meshes with our company.
posted by Laura in Canada at 9:14 AM on July 31, 2013

Best answer: Also, you asked a question in the post that did better. Asking a question in a Facebook post always seems to get more attention, even if people don't actually answer it.
posted by functionequalsform at 11:58 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Possible next step is to reach out to the page that shared it. Send a Facebook message, etc. thanking them, offering to share their stuff, etc. It sounds stupid but it's common practice a lot of the time for social media types. (Worst that can happen is you just get ignored or it goes to the Other folder.)
posted by dekathelon at 1:32 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

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