Prompting Facebook Fans To Share Leads To 77% Higher Share Rate

The average Facebook user has nearly 250 friends, according to research conducted by The Pew Internet And American Life Project. Have you checked out the “Friends of Fans” metric for your Facebook Page? This one metric alone shows the huge potential in getting your fans to share more often — reaching this massive “Friends of Fans” network.

But what can you do to get your fans to share more? Based on research conducted at Buddy Media between December 18, 2011 and February 11, 2012, of more than 76,000 posts from 1,200+ pages, we have some tips to increase the virality of your Facebook content.

Post Visual Content

Photos and videos are shared more often than status updates and links, yet brands are missing a tremendous opportunity to improve sharing of their content. In fact, videos are shared most often, yet brands post videos the least. The moral of this story: post more visually appealing content and see the number of shares increase.

Make It “Cute”

Of the posts we analyzed, 50% of the top shared posts contained a picture of a cute animal. Content self-described with keywords such as pretty, beautiful, cute and adorable led to a share rate 49% above average.

The moral of this story is to post visually stimulating content that appeals to the emotional sensibilities of your fans. Not every brand can post a picture of a dog licking a baby’s face. But the more content you can create that evokes an emotional response from your fans, the more your fans will share.

Use A Call-To-Action

Using calls-to-action prompting users to share leads to 77% more sharing than average. Despite the overwhelming evidence for using share calls-to-action, we found fewer than one percent of brands are actually prompting their fans to share.

This is a huge missed opportunity for brands. Most brands are simply not giving their fans enough direction to increase the number of shares.

It seems obvious: if you tell people to share your content, they will listen and act. Yet most brands are not taking advantage of the enormous opportunity to spread content beyond their fan base.

So if you’re looking to increase sharing on Facebook, here’s a recap:

  1. Post visual content. Photos and videos are shared more than status updates and links.
  2. Make it “cute.” Aesthetically pleasing content is shared far more than the average post.
  3. Use a call to action. Ask your users to share and they will listen.


Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Marketing Metrics


About The Author: is the Vice President of Analytics and Insights at Buddy Media, and oversees the company’s analytics and insights team. A self-proclaimed “fanatical explorer,” Tami has more than a decade of industry experience in deep-dive web analytics, usability consulting, competitive intelligence, landing page design and multivariate testing. Tami shares information on social media best practices in Buddy Media's white papers and data reports.


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  • Nick Stamoulis

    Visual content is great on social sites because people can see it right in their News Feed, there is no need to click through a link to another site to watch a video or see a photo. It’s gets attention just because it’s different. 


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