facebook group iconWhy Not All Facebook Group Posts
Are Created Equal!

Recently, a Just-Ask-Kim.com reader asked a great question about Facebook Group post virality:

On Facebook there is a photo group called XYZ Camera Club. I’ve submitted photos and I get like 6 or 12 ‘Likes.’

Other people submit photos and get like 4,724 ‘Likes.’

If I were submitting silly little snapshots I’d understand, but I’ve been a professional photographer for 20+ years and I submit quality stuff.

Am I saying that my images are better and I should win based on my resume? Not at all.

But, are those other photos 4,000 times better than mine? No way.

So, I have a feeling something’s going on that I don’t know about. Somehow these people are promoting their photos. I wrote and asked XYZ Camera Club directly and they replied, ‘No tricks.’

YOU seem to have a certain amount of web/FB savvy, so I thought I’d ask you: how does one image get 4,000+ votes and another get 6?

Have any ideas?

I’m going to answer this question over 2 different blog posts.

First, here, answering the question as it is asked. Then in another blog post, introducing an important piece of missing information that changes the answer.

Hey John, great question!

If the Facebook group is set to “typical” security permissions (open), then that means that the image image, when shared in the group ALSO simultaneously gets shared to the Facebook news feed of the friends of the person posting.

If the person posting has heavily networked their personal profile with other photographers, that then means that each image posted is getting a LOT more exposure than an image posted by someone that has few “Facebook friends” in photography.

And often that time of exposure is enough to trigger something to gain the necessary initial virality (viral sharing) that leads to big numbers like that.

I can’t advise you to use your profile to network – as it’s strictly up to YOU as to whether you are comfortable having a bunch of other photographers as friends – but that’s where viral media and viral likes have their origin.

Each comment, that is gained by the image, even if it comes from friends of the person, that are not members of the group, causes the group posting to travel back to the TOP of the group, and thus to get yet another chance to pick up likes and comments.

Because comments play a critical key in Facebook Group visibility for a post, be sure that in the text you put with the image, you prompt the viewer to take an action (like, comment, etc) or encourage engagement (“I’d love to hear your thoughts” or encourage feedback (“Any advice on how I could have improved this shot?)

Whereas if your image does not pick up a lot, particularly in comments, then it’s going to quickly travel down the group feed, and rapidly vanish into the depths of the Group, never to be seen again (as I suspect you’ve noticed).

Hope that helps!