Likes, Loves, and Shares:
Over a decade ago, Mark Zuckerberg founded a company that would help college students connect within their own schools and across campuses. Genius. The program became so popular that it quickly expanded out of college campuses and became available to the public at large, allowing anyone to connect with people from their past and present. The transition was very dramatic. Now, the program is so widespread that is has its own verb: facebooked.
Facebook is more than just a cloud-based program. Let’s face it – facebook is our life. It’s how you pretend to know all the details about what is happening in the life of that kid whose brother sat behind you in math class 25 years ago. It’s how we all stay up to date on the latest baby animal videos from zoos across the world. And, most importantly, it’s where we go when we need to rant about something really personal and dramatic. It’s such an integral part of the typical life these days that there is an outcry anytime they change their format, and when we realize their privacy policies reflect the fact that it is a free program open online to the public, we feel betrayed that Mark himself could possibly access our friend list.
Like any social network from our past (especially if you were a part of the whole teenage girl scene), everyone strives for one thing: popularity.
Finally, there is a place where the nerds, geeks, jocks, and everyone else can be equally popular, because everything is done through pictures and writing. Finally, you have that shot to grab everyone’s attention and reactions to your posts. Now, all you need are interesting words and pictures to get the attention you deserve. The only question is this: how do you create those perfect facebook status updates that get hundreds of likes and shares? If you follow these simple steps, creating those posts will be easier than facebook-stalking your favorite baby animals.
PICTURES ARE WORTH…EVERYTHING.
People scroll through their newsfeeds quickly, generally looking at pictures and visual text blocks (called “memes”). Most of the time people react to pictures and memes without even noticing who posted it. So, if you want your status update to get a lot of reactions, include a picture, meme, or link that gives the readers a visual to latch on to. If it’s a picture of a baby, animal, or food, you’re off to a running start.
KEEP IT SHORT…OR LONG.
Most status updates should be short. Keep them that way. Use just a few lines so that speed readers can get through it and react without slowing down the speed at which they are spinning through their newsfeed on a smartphone. If you are telling a really deep story, though, then don’t leave out the details. Hook the reader in the first few lines, then go into a longer version they can choose to expand and absorb.
SHARING IS CARING.
When working on facebook, it is important that you do unto others as….whatever that phrase is. If you are in the habit of liking and sharing other people’s posts, then they will be far more likely to like and share your posts in return. Doing this also does something funky to facebook’s internal algorithm forging a stronger connection with the people on your friends list, which means that more of them will see your updates.
DON’T GO FISHING.
This one is a matter of opinion. The term “fishbooking” refers to those posts that are clearly meant to elicit sympathy. If you’re the type of person who wants all that dramatic nonsense, then by all means, post whatever is on your mind. If you are interested in more emotionally healthy reactions, though, keep your deepest darkest angst away from your wall. Wait until dark times pass and post logical, informative stuff based on your experience rather than just cursing up a storm.
Fishbooking is a legitimate way to get immediate likes, but more people will just be irritated and stop following you altogether.
Are you using your facebook status to recruit people for a cause? Maybe you’re going to an event and want some friends to tag along, or maybe you are doing a charity fundraiser and want people to click the link and donate. You should definitely post about these things more than once, but limit it to 2-3 times/week. If all people see are posts about you asking for things, they will likely start ignoring you eventually.
SHAKE THINGS UP.
Don’t post pictures of your wedding or new baby every…single…time. Sure, these are things that people want to see, but if that’s ALL you post, you’ll quickly be labeling as one of THOSE people. Mix things up! Post articles you found interesting, pictures from your daily life, and random experiences you have. Yes, many people like the ruffles and baby drool, but it makes some people nauseous, and you don’t want to lose those followers.
KEEP BUSINESS AT WORK.
This one is actually serious. If you run a business and have regular facebook marketing going on for that, keep it separate from your personal page. Sure, you can share your business page posts on your personal page occasionally, but don’t get so business oriented that people think you’re always selling them useless stuff. Keep your work life and real life separate.
ABSENCE MAKES THE PEOPLE CLICK.
You know those people who you see at the grocery store and say hello to, and in response, they start talking and don’t shut up? That’s you if you’re posting on facebook ALL THE TIME. Give people a break every now and then. Let them see a post from you and think, “oh, I haven’t heard from them in a few days!” The hardest part of doing this means that you may need to take a temporary hiatus from your own facebook addiction to keep from fishbooking every day. Repeat after me: Hi, I’m <NAME>, and I’m a facebook addict.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to become a part of facebook’s popular crowd in no time. If you mess up and post something that no one reacts to, remember: you can always delete it.