We’ve found the secret behind Media pages’ incredible viral reach, and it can have serious impact for Brands.
Everyone wants you to make shareable content. Yeah, us too. After all, it makes sense that having your audience share your story would be an easy way to reach another, probably-receptive audience. But for the first time, we’re now able to demonstrate that Shares directly correlate with viral reach, more than any other kind of interaction.
The likeliest way to get viral impressions is when content gets Shared, rather than Liked or Commented on.
For Media pages, the least likely way to get new audiences to see content via their friends is when their friends Comment on a published post.
There is a 72% chance that if someone sees a Media post referred from a Facebook friend interacting with it, that interaction was a Comment… but a 99.8% chance that the referred post that winds up on their News Feed is there because their friend Shared it.
The numbers aren’t as good for Brands.
There is a 28% chance that if someone sees a Brand post referred from a Facebook friend interacting with it, that interaction was a Comment… but a 94% chance that the referred post that winds up on their News Feed is there because their friend shared it.
Another major finding from our research is that most unique Media impressions come from viral reach – and from their posts being shared. This fits the general pattern we see in our Promoted Post Detection tool (an exclusive component of our social media analytics tool), that almost all Media engagement is organic. Now, we know that this organic engagement almost certainly comes from content being shared.
But for Brands, it’s not the same story. Shares only correlate 55% with unique impressions for Brand posts.
Strangely enough, Likes correlate most strongly with overall Brand post impressions.
This phenomenon happens for a more obvious reason than it may seem: there are simply more Likes happening to the average Brand post than there are Shares. Keep in mind there’s still a very high correlation between Shares and unique viral impressions – but because viral impressions only make up 6% of all Brand impressions, most Brand post impressions that come from social referrals will come from Likes.
The lesson here is clear:
To get friends of your target audience to see your branded content – and to get the broadest reach possible on Facebook – your content must be shareable.
How do you do that? Look to the Media outlets your audiences follow for inspiration, since viral reach is their bread and butter. For more, see Socialbakers Executive Chairman Jan Rezab discuss this in his latest Social Media Minute.