Posted January 4, 2008 1:43 pm by with 33 comments

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This article talks about how social networks can make a post go viral – or spread like crazy. It focuses specifically on the biggest social networks – MySpace and Facebook. Facebook tends to be a bit more technical – allowing you to utilize apps to spread the word. They also attract different types of people.

Social networks and related sites can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog. Twitter alone has sent a lot of traffic my way and I think it’s the easiest to use. Once you build a network of friends, just craft a compelling headline and link to your post. It takes a bit of dedication (time) but it can build your trust, visibility, and reputation along with links to your blog.

5 Ways to Make your Blog Posts Viral with Social Media.

1. Contribute, don’t Spam.
Warning sign: if you’re pushing your story or product rather than sharing it then you’re stepping over the line. Also, send the post to your network (or friends), not to everyone everywhere (that’s spam). I liked how I heard this explained.

Avoid thinking that because there is a crowd gathered it’s a good time to promote yourself. This is applicable in the offline world too. Once I heard someone announce their store’s grand opening at a church meeting, which was in very poor taste. We can probably all think of our favorite network marketer who manages to weave information about their products into every conversation. Keep it relevant.

Remember this, from Rand Fiskin of SEOmoz:

“…People are more likely to be your friend [when] they believe you are offering them good, trusted content from which they can benefit.”

2. Create your own Facebook Application.
I haven’t heard of this but there is a new Facebook App Creator for Bloggers from BlogFuse. It walks you through the process of creating an app that feeds your blog posts onto your profile. It’s not free though – prices start at $5/month, but it has a free trial.

3. Join Related Networks & Groups.
If your product or blog is regional, make sure your Facebook network is set to the city you want to target.

For example, I know someone who owns a web site for tourists in Wisconsin. Even though he doesn’t live in Wisconsin, his Facebook page could be targeted to Door County. He also found a group of people from Door County so he introduced himself on the group’s wall with a link to his site. This way you can leverage an existing network of like-minded people and it will help expand yours. MySpace also has groups.

4. Create a Profile Page for your Blog.
Then promote the page on your blog or web site. Here’s yours truly – Marketing Pilgrim’s MySpace profile.

5. Create Quality Blog Posts.

Brent Csutoras suggests these ideas for creating posts that everyone loves to share:

  • Top 10 lists
  • How-To tips
  • Current events
  • Offbeat or Extreme content (make it edgy)
  • Humor
  • Tools

Here are more ideas for creating quality posts. If you want even more, download Brent’s slides about creating great blog posts, from the SMX Social Media conference this past November.

  • If the content you are publishing is worth it, people will gladly spread the word, word-of-mouth works online just as it does offline. You have to always put yourself in the position of the people you are suggesting the story to. Answering the “why a person recommend my story?” question is the name of the game.

    Alan Johnson

  • Good post. As for point two, why pay for something which you can have for free? I use the Facebook rssblog reader feed and it works fine. You can get it from here

    I’m not in any way linked to this app, but it works well for me so I figured I’d share it.

  • Janet Meiners

    @Daan, that’s exactly what I was looking for, thanks for the link.
    @Alan, yes, they will spread the word if the content is good, they know about it, and you make it easy for them.


  • Top 10 lists have been very effective in social site like Digg, articles with those “Top 10…” topics can easily get to the first page easily

  • Good post, but it seems, that humour is a unessential item.
    With all by rest agree.

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  • Janet, I agree 100% that letting them know that you’d appreciate it if they were to spread the word is always recommended, and such calls to action are definitely effective if the visitor appreciates the content you are publishing.

    Alan Johnson

  • ZzzZzzzZzZzzzZzzZZzZzzz!!! You can find this anywhere. I’d have been more impressed if you put it in a book and sold it.

  • I think it is a great idea of yours to create an association between a blog and viral marketing. I dont agree with Sam who seems to think it unoriginal. That was a good article.

  • The facebook application idea is so cool. I am definitely going to try it.

  • Nice tips, anyone know of any futon groups? 🙂

  • I have almost gotten to the point where I skip over “Top 10 lists” b/c they are so over done and cliche these days.

    “Offbeat or Extreme content (make it edgy)”

    Is what really gets my attention. This is where its at.

  • Brian, it depends on the article: if you just write a “top 10 list” for the sake of having one on your website then sure, you are just wasting time. On the other hand, I come across more than a few great lists each month and I enjoy going through them every time.

    Alan Johnson

  • Great post. Widgets, as well as Facebook apps, are a great untapped resource right now.

  • Nothing new here that has not been said elsewhere!

  • Brian I’m with you on skipping over the top 10 lists at this point. There are some good ones, though and list type content is going to do well for many years to come. Lists were popular long before ideas like viral marketing and linkbait were around.

    But sometimes I see the title and all I want to do is move on to the next post.

  • Zen

    Great post! Don’t forget “linkbait titles” in the ideas for creating content. 🙂

  • Fabulous article with very useful information for those who want to know more about the evolving field of social network marketing. A well written and factual overview of the topic.

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  • It definitely works as I have tried and have seen remarkable increase in viewers.

  • I think the best piece of advice from this post has to be number 1. Contribute, don’t Spam.

    It drives me crazy that people still continually spam. As far as I know spamming doesn’t work, and it gives those of us earning a legitimate living online a bad reputation. I am a huge advocate of doing things the “natural”

    Stay in School, Don’t do Drugs, and stay away from Spam

  • great post… its better give true commenets on blog some peoples are do commenet to increase there backlinks it is place where we can get good knowledge and share what we have with others….


  • Good but with these many posts being flooded with an intention of marketing would ultimately result in Span even if not intended

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  • I don’t know that this article delivered on the promise of the headline. If you do all those things, you can still find yourself shouting into the wind.

    Perhaps a part II with a deeper level of insight? It’s an important topic…


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  • Nice unique thoughts… Nowadays there are very less source of creating backlinks… nice suggestions….

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