Photo Credit: Dominic Lipinski, WPA/Getty Images

THE DAY MY FACEBOOK POST WENT VIRAL

Well it depends what you class as viral.  For me this was viral.  Absolutely, crazy, mental viral!

Facebook can be a fickle old friend.  One minute you think you’ve got it all sussed and then the next the sound of those crickets seems to get louder and louder.

I was sat in my garden on the Sunday morning after the Royal Wedding, still in my PJs, drinking a cup of coffee in the sun.  Like everybody else, I had enjoyed the Royal Wedding frenzy.  I live very close to Windsor and was lucky enough to have a wander through Windsor and Eton on Friday evening.  There was an electric atmosphere and I am glad I went, to feel like I had experienced just a little bit of it.  Then something happened completely out of left field!

I was sat (as you do) drinking my coffee and scrolling through Facebook.  The feed was mainly taken up with Royal Wedding posts.  A photo caught my eye.  It was of Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mum.  It clearly had an impact on me.  Call me emotional, but I was sat watching the wedding on Saturday and was overwhelmed by her dignity and poise.  Something resonated with me.  Some personal stuff which I won’t go into it.  But also, on the business front, it reminded me of the women in my community. I have been running a networking community for a while now.  I didn’t set out to do it, it just happened.  The nature of the beast and by beast, I mean women, means that sometimes you get a lot of grief.  I have learnt a lot from this.  I have learnt that absolutely the best way to carry yourself is with dignity.  Even when you don’t want to, even when somebody has upset you or said something that just isn’t true.  The best way is always to be dignified.  Always.  Nobody likes somebody that is constantly negative about other people, nobody likes a snitch.  Nobody will do business with somebody who constantly conducts themselves in this way. Nobody.  So actually its always better to be dignified and by being this way, you always come across as super professional.

So, when this jaw-droppingly beautify photo popped up in my feed.  It really resonated with me.  A woman a million miles from home.  A woman thrust into a crazy world that was probably so alien to her it was painful. The photo really spoke to me.  I felt instantly proud of who she was and how she was handling the situation.  Now, I know that I was not the only person in the world thinking the same thing.  Clearly, I wasn’t.   But it was enough for me to share on my Facebook business page and write a very quick commentary on it.

I carried on with my day and didn’t think too much about it.  I post lots of things and sometimes the reach is pretty good and sometimes it isn’t.  A couple of hours later I checked and to my absolute disbelief, I saw that the Doria post had reached almost 4000 people with 35 shares and 300 reactions.  At that point, to me that was pretty spectacular. As the day went on, the reach, reactions, comments and shares were literally increasing in front of my eyes. It continued to have a life of its own, like some crazy post that somebody very famous would achieve.  At the time of writing this post, it’s had 7,381 reactions, 606 shares, 580 comments and has been seen by a whopping 78,400 people.

I’ve never had this sort of response to absolutely anything I have shared on any social platforms. Watching it unfold was exciting and very humbling.  Little old me running a home-grown networking community from Berkshire had actually made a post go viral.  Now in your world, maybe that isn’t viral.  You may be reading and thinking, why on earth is she making a fuss about this. In my world, that is BIG viral. Absolutely bonkers, crazy viral!

What did I learn?

I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.  Successful marketing starts and ends with a powerful image or video.  The posts that jump out at you and hit in you in the face are the ones that are told with images or videos.  What I learnt from my Doria post is that the picture in itself was not enough.  Facebook uploads hundreds of millions of images every single day, in every corner of the planet.  An image connects with the emotions, heart and minds of your audience because there is a strong enough emotional pull.  My target audience is women.  Just about every type, shape, size, colour, creed, business type, stage of business woman. From those that have never set up a business before to those that are already successful entrepreneurs. On Sunday morning, the emotions of a large percentage of women across the planet, were connected in some way shape or form to the Royal Wedding.

Facebook Tip No. 1 – Connect With Your Audience.  Show some emotion.

I have been building my tribe for a few years now.  I have not spent any money on Facebook advertising.  It has grown organically with blood, sweat and tears.  I have tirelessly worked like a nut case to grow my business and I have done it in a way which is raw and real.  What you see is what you get.  I have done it in a genuine and generous way by giving my all to it. I’ve shared all sorts of things on a business and on a personal level. Probably at times, I’ve given too much.  The authentic spirit has always been there.  I have never faltered from that.  Showing emotion and being raw and real is very important to me.

Facebook Marketing Tip No. 2 – Build a conversation.  It’s not always about you or your business.

It was a Sunday and I don’t normally get a lot of engagement on a Sunday.  I don’t work on Sundays.  The Doria post wasn’t work.  It felt right to share it.  There was a sentiment attached to it.  It was a gorgeous snippet of serendipity.  The timing turned out to be perfect.  I wonder how many other women on the planet were sat in their PJs drinking coffee and catching up on all things Royal Wedding! Had I waited and posted it later on, it may have been old news.  The #RoyalWedding was a trending topic so my post was relevant and timely. It meant that my business reached some new users that day.  Call it serendipity, a fluke, luck, right place, right time but for whatever reason, I got lucky!

Facebook Marketing Tip No. 3: Be opportunistic.  There isn’t always a right time.  If it feels right, just do it.

Watching the post go crazy all day actually confirmed to me that there isn’t an exact science.  Facebook and its crazy algorithms have a mind of its own.  We can work hard to get it right pretty much a lot of the time, but it isn’t always that easy.  We are in the hands of the Facebook gods and sometimes it’s just no more strategic than coming down to chance.

My Doria post did gain new likes to my business pages and it did gain new people for my free Facebook group. But it didn’t really translate to anything else.  I thought the post might attract increased traffic to my website to find out more about me.  It didn’t. I always go to the about section on a Facebook page and click through to a website if I’m interested.  In fact, thinking about it, I do this quite a lot. My first port of call is Facebook, not google.  Then I go find their website.

My Doria post is a good reminder that while we get sucked into trawling and scrolling the social platforms every single day, just because a post goes viral, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will translate to anything else.  It might have done, if I had a product business.  But think about it, why would anybody buy a membership to my community because of Meghan Markle’s mum?!

Facebook Marketing Tip No. 4: If your post goes viral, enjoy it.  It might not convert to revenue, but I certainly enjoyed the ride!

What did I really learn the day my post went viral?

Carry yourself with dignity and respect.  It’s about the impression you make on people.  It’s about the people who act with honesty and decorum, even when they are up against it.  These are the people we admire the most.

Next time you are in a situation that is making you wobble or go crazy with anger, think of Doria sat there on Royal Wedding day.  She was grounded, centred and very controlled.   Her dignity is what we will remember about her.  It’s what other people will remember about you, if you conduct yourself in this way.  That’s the lesson that we take away from this.

Here’s the Facebook Post that went viral.

Do you have any stories to share of anything that went viral on your social channels?

Amanda Ayres

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