How I got to 1,000 facebook likes

Here is a quick look at some strategies I employed last week to help get a slightly popular jobs ad on (btw. if you have a job to advertise in Ireland, check it out, it’s free, and the applications go directly to you) more popular and shared more. The background of the story is that last week the Pope decided to resign, and I thought it could be a bit of fun to put together a job description for the pope and to see if it could become popular.

1 – Seeding on social networks


sharing buttons on

In most cases it helps if you have your own social presence, which will help share your new content and to get the ball rolling. With content like this, which has a particular time sensitivity, you want to get it seen as fast as possible, by as many people as possible, and using your own twitter, linkedin, facebook profiles will help. You simply don’t have the time for people to ‘organically discover’ your content.

Your followers on these networks are likely to be the first people to share this content to their networks. Having an existing and good relationship with your network will encourage people share your content with their networks. People are inherently lazy and want a one click solution to share things quickly, so the inclusion widgets from these social networks on the page is highly important. If it’s too difficult to share they will just click the back button, and go on with their day.#

I also found that posting about the attention it got also helped more and more people to see the post. So don’t just tweet or post once. I posted about the running numbers of likes and tweets, rather than repeating my self about the jobs post itself. If you are going to re-share the URL you should think of new ways to share it again, so people who haven’t checked it out yet may be pushed into visiting, e.g.

2- Advanced seeding steps with twitter

The main differences between discovery on Facebook and twitter, is the public nature of the timeline on twitter. You are not limited to finding things to read just by your friends if you use the twitter discover tool (or the search tool on hashtages). This serendipity along with #hashtags and @replies can help you get your content seen by more people. I found some of the more popular tweets (ones with the most favorites and re-tweets) about the topic, like this one from the former ABC news journalist Ryan Sheales @RyanSheales , and I replied to it directly

This was in an effort to jump on the number of people who would see this tweet, and possible check out the replies to it. Of course tracking the ROI for this type of action is a little bit difficult, but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. Here is some more examples

3- Contact blogs

Another way to get traffic, and new viewers is to see if you can get some coverage from popular news blogs. I contacted a few Irish ones that I thought would be interested in the post like,,, to see if they could be intrigued enough to write about it. Of the 6 emails I sent, 1 site picked up on it, thanks, and was the also the reason for the 2nd surge in stats over the weekend (see next section).

4- Improve & revise the content

Over the course of the day I received a few comments and ideas about the job description. There was some imagery flying around facebook & twitter, which I added the best ones of these to the post to make it easier on the eyes. Tweaking your content, and expanding on it to give more value, once you know it’s working, can help increase the number of shares. Again this is hard to measure, but by increasing the value of the post, people are more likely to share it.

The stats

Over all the job has received around 4,000 unique views in the space of a week. I found that :

  • twitter
    • had the potential to quickly deliver large numbers of readers (at one stage we had over 100 concurrent readers)
    • only a few readers re-tweeted or wrote their own tweets to share the story
    • 800 visitors came via (twitter URL shortener) links
    • URL has been tweeted 84 times
  • facebook 
    • delivered a steady stream of users
    • the average facebook user was much more likely to share or like the post
    • 712 visitors came via, 531 came via (facebook on mobile platform)
    • URL has been liked or shared 972 times
  • google plus
    • wasn’t great for driving traffic with only 5 attributed visitors from that source
  • blogs (
    • 470 visitors came via
    • a great way to get extra traffic from an audience that is open to this type of news#
    • resulted in 7 more tweets & 24 more likes
  • direct (?)
    • in google analytics if there isn’t a referring URL present then it will group these together under  (direct) as source.
    • one theory on this could be people using 3rd party twitter clients.
    • 802 people visited directly
  • email
    • a number of the referral URLs contains hints that the users may have visited via email
    • this is something that probably wasn’t used to it’s potential seeing as we didn’t have an easy way to share via the page email.
  • other
    • other sources included various forums, which were achieved organically

Checking social metrics

Here are three quick tools for checking the social stats of URLS

Basic Facebook stats

Checks : number of shares (cumulative likes, comments, shares)


Advanced Facebook stats

Checks : number of shares (individual likes, comments, shares)


Basic Twitter stats

Checks : number of tweets (cumulative tweets and retweets)


Other observations

As I was checking the facebook shares over the course of the day, I did see that the number sometimes would fluctuate down. I’m not entirely sure as to why this number would decrease over time, it could be attributed to people deleting the shared article from their wall, or removing their comments.

Visit & Share !

If you’ve found this article helpful, maybe you can visit the pope job description, and possibly share with your network.