Over 10,000 views, 334 reactions, over 1,200 post clicks, 56 comments, and 12 shares. You read those numbers correctly.
You're probably wondering how much this post cost our client. Let's just say you can count the number of dollars on two hands.
So how did this happen? Because you'd also be right in assuming that it's very hard to make a post about remodeling or home building go viral.
Let's break it down.
The Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Facebook Post
Going viral is every Social Media Manager's dream - but it's so hard. Unless you've read Ryan Holiday's breakout book Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, you might not realize just how complicated it can be to get the perfect piece of content shared to point that it would be considered viral.
So how did a small town Marketing Agency based out of Colorado Springs, CO manage to do just that for a Design Build Remodeler in Des Moines, IA?
Step 1: Coffee.
I say this in only half-jest. This post, crafted on a Thursday afternoon from my in-laws' cozy living room I'd been traveling for nearly 3 weeks straight at that point.
To say 2/3 of my diet wasn't coffee would be a complete fabrication. with my pit bull pup in my lap, couldn't have been created without lots and lots of coffee.
Step 2: The Right Content.
Real talk: good content performs better. Period.
There's only so much a marketing agency can do to make blah content digestible and shareable. So having content that tells a story, elicits emotion, is visually appealing, and depicts the brand well is important.
Step 3: Professional Photography is Share-Worthy.
Not only was the content right, but the photography was incredible. Smiling faces, true joy, beautiful awards, and stunning backdrops - taken by a professional photographer.
And this is your intervention if you possibly still think professional photography isn't a worthy investment for your home builder or remodeler business - you're wrong. Plain and simple. Better content performs better on social media, thus playing into the platform algorithms and increasing the reach of the content. It's not an art form - it's an equation.
Step 4: Messaging and Tone Reach the Right Audience.
Look - even if you win all the awards in the world for remodeling, your audience wants to feel like the stars of your award. They want to be thanked for voting for you, and they want validation for choosing you as their remodeler.
And so, after a delicious white chocolate mocha from a cafe on Lake Michigan (you guys, the mixing spoon was dipped in handmade white chocolate), I was in the right mindset of gratitude. Coupled with the great content and photography, a thankful post would make all the difference.
It was also critical to tag the right business pages in the post in order to show up on their Facebook pages also. This helps drive traffic from these pages with larger followings to the post. Tagging Remodeling Magazine and GuildQuality gained that much more traction - plus it opened the possibility to the post being shared by either page!
Step 5: Posting at the Right Time.
Even if you have the best content, photography, and messaging possible, but you post at 3am and your audience isn't online to receive the post, it'll fall flat. You'll want to know how to make a FB post shareable.
So how do you know when your best times to post are? I'll admit that this takes some trial and error, but you can gain the data required under your Insights tab in your Facebook company page. You can find out general information about your audience such as gender, age, and level of engagement. But you can also discover under Posts what times your audience is viewing your shared content.
In this example, you can see early morning between 3am-5am perform well, as well as after 3pm. This post was strategically posted at 3:17pm CST when the majority of their audience was idly scrolling through Facebook towards the end of their Throwback Thursday workday.
Step 6: Responding to Comments Gains Engagement.
It was only natural that this post immediately began racking up likes and comments. Responding to comments, congratulations, and questions alike was important.
Not only does tagging a person and responding to their comment encourage more comments, but it also helps drive engagement and reach on a post. People are far more likely to comment on a post if they know you will respond no matter what.
Step 7: Inviting Those Who Liked the Status to Like Your Page
This is actually a super sneaky hack I just learned a few weeks ago. With over 120 post reactions, this was the perfect opportunity to use my newly discovered social media hack.
By clicking on the post reactions, you can see a breakdown of who loved, liked, wowed, or any other relevant Facebook reaction. From there, you can see who of these people already like your page. Those who don't like your page yet are just a click away from an invitation! Simply select "Invite" and they will receive your invitation.
A major benefit to gaining Page followers this way is that it's free and entirely not spammy. You already know these people are engaged with your posts and interested with the content you are putting out. It's nearly a no brainer.
Step 8: Boost that Bad Boy Using the Mari Method.
Once all of the elements of the post have come together in the perfect storm of Facebook algorithm success, it's time to put a little money behind it.
One of the best proven methods for boosting a post for brand awareness is called the Mari Method, named after Mari Smith. Essentially, you leave the post as is first. Mari explains that the best posts to boost are the ones that are already organically performing well. Posts that are outperforming others do even better when a little budget is added under them.
And so, I did what all hardworking Inbound Marketers do after posting the perfect Facebook post. I went out for brick oven pizza and local craft beer then went to sleep. The next morning, however, I woke up to see that the post had gained over 2k likes overnight. This was my immediate indication that this post was in need of the Mari Method.
With only $10 to further boost the post to this client's target audience, the post continued to soar to astronomical numbers (for a remodeler). Within a couple of days, the post had rounded 5k. After a week, we sat at 8k, and now 2 weeks out we sit at 10k.
Why Does Going Viral Matter?
Call it luck, call it vanity, call it success... Going viral is a cultural phenomenon these days. It's the mark of a great brand, a good story, and a powerful delivery method.
If you view where social media marketing aligns with your sales funnel, you'd see that it is very top of funnel. You are sharing your content hoping they'll be interested to enter your website or blog and start to qualify themselves farther down the sales funnel.
Going viral helps widen the mouth of that funnel. It exposes your brand and your content to more people than otherwise would ever have heard of you. It's a huge mark of success for most businesses - and it's definitely a great way to build your brand awareness online.
And, honestly, it sure makes a great story.