Are Your Facebook Posts Getting Shared? 4 Words You Need to Know

You are posting on Facebook.  You are hoping for some results. But are your posts getting shared?  

In this post, I share with you 4 words that you need to know if you want to get more reach, referrals to your site, and results for your social media efforts. It's so simple……seriously simple.


Before I tell you my 4 words (and yes, I know you are reaching for the scroll button but if you can resist, this will help for the 4 words to make sense. Trust me) ….let's just do a quick whip- through about how and why posts are seen, engaged with and shared on Facebook.

  1. It's a sad truth but over 90% of people who “like” your page will never come back to your page. [insert sad face].  Most of your content is seen in the Newsfeed of fans….(not on your page) and on average most of your posts only reach about 16% of your fans.
  2. Facebook has an algorithm (commonly referred to as “edgerank”) that determines what will be seen or not seen on fan newsfeeds…I mean after all, with a billion people, do we really expect for everyone to see everything?
  3. Edgerank is based on a whole bunch of factors (including how recent your post is, whether people have engaged with your post, whether they have engaged with type of post before…. yada yada yada….). BUT one of these factors is how much “engagement” happens with your post – ie likes, comments, shares.
  4. As a general rule, SHARES are given more “weight” than likes or comments.

What does this mean? Likes and Comments are Awesome, but the Holy Grail of a Facebook Post is to get SHARES.  Click to Tweet This to your People!

Here is how it works:  

I share your post with my friends >> They share it with their friends >> One of their friends owns a business with a big following  >> they share it with their community >> their community shares it >> soon enough you have BIG reach and exposure and people checking out your Facebook Page and Website.

So, how can you ensure that YOUR content gets shared?

Here's two examples of how you can create posts (in particular “image” posts) that are likely to get shared:

Example 1:

The first is a simple image that came through my newsfeed today – posted by Eric Whitacre to support “school music” education.

Example of profile pointer image - Facebook Shares - Socially Sorted

This image was designed to be shared so that it “points” to the profile picture of the person sharing it.  It is particularly useful if the image conveys some sort of belief, support of a cause or something that the person is passionate about. This image has been shared 972 times…so far.

Example of profile pointer image - Facebook Shares - Socially Sorted

There is something else to note about his image.  It is new.  It is different. It is novel and it is engaging –  a change from content being shared out there already. It's nothing special. Just bold text on a bright background.  But it's a “new” idea….that got shared like wildfire.

Example 2

The second is an image I have referred to before. On the morning of International Midwives Day I posted up this image for my client Know Your Midwife.

Know Your Midwife - Midwife Day Image

Know Your Midwife image for International Midwives' Day

I posted this image for two reasons:

(a) I wanted to post something inspiring and meaningful (and fun) to celebrate midwives.  I am a big fan of  their profession.

(b) I knew that getting this image out early would guarantee some shares.


Because it was a ready made, “new” image.  New content. Not seen before.  It provided countless midwives, health professionals, mums, and  “pregnancy, birth, baby” businesses the opportunity to grab some content at the start of the day, and get the jump on sharing it.  They didn't have to “think” about what to share.  

It ticked all the boxes for being helpful or inspiring (inspiring +++), and I knew that there would be a whole bunch of people out there willing to share it given that they were celebrating something on the day, and they were keen to share something new and different.

From early morning this post was shared like wildfire. It continued throughout the day, and then by that evening, when America woke up, it travelled from the Australian to American Timezones and Newsfeeds …. racking up almost 1500 shares.

Not bad for a page with only 1000 fans at the time.

Oh and if you were wondering – this image was created using my favourite tool:  PicMonkey.

So, here are the 4 words:
We Love New Stuff

Yep.  Just 4 words.  We Love New Stuff. Or if you want to be more formal:

We Love New Content

Don't believe me? Take Pinterest for example.  80% of Pins (images) on Pinterest are “re-pins”.  That means that 80% of users are sharing 20% of the content.  So if you are one of the people sharing the “20%” of new, original content, then you are are providing content for 80% of Pinterest users are out there waiting to share it.

What does this mean for Facebook?  I say, it means the same thing.

I see no reason why our human nature would be any different on Facebook – we love to share new stuff.

I liken it to a social media form of gossip.  We see or hear something “new” and we want to share it.

Sharing “new” or original images on Facebook provides fuel for the social media equivalent of Gossip.    Click to Gossip errr I mean Tweet This!

Think about it.  When you see something new or different on Facebook…a new photo, a new image, a new article or a new video, are you often tempted to click on it? And if it is completely novel and interesting are you keen to share it?

Try to share some original content. Try to share “new stuff”.

Tell me – have you had success with sharing original content on Facebook? Tell me about it in the comments below….oh and if you liked this post, please share (especially on Facebook).  

Create Traffic Driving Images

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.