Question: Why Did this Post Go Viral (internally)?

UPDATED 2013-08-30 @ 2:45PM :: So… I’ve received some push back on the social media highway that this post “isn’t viral.” It’s true, it isn’t viral. I should have titled the post “Why Did this Post Get An Abnormally Large Amount of Comments?” So, for clarification, I still couldn’t figure out why this picture brought out a commenting base that had not engaged before… hope that clarifies my intentions. Thx for Reading! ~ Dave

At my church, Mountain Park, we recently renovated our copy room. Some of the team was in the newly constructed room deciding on paint colors. I snapped a quick picture with our iPod Touch and sent it to Facebook.

What followed was the single most commented on post we’ve had in our 5 year existence on Facebook. I’ve tried so hard in the past to begin dialogue with zero success. Suddenly, a simple picture facilitated massive amounts of engagement.

I need your help determining why this post was successful. Please take a moment to look and comment below. SERIOUSLY, I really value your feedback.

4 replies
  1. JennyRain
    JennyRain says:

    I’ve had similar experiences when I’ve been voting on a logo and post a bunch of them on IG or FB. It feels like whenever we give our readers the opportunity to offer their opinion in something they can relate to (color, image, design, aesthetics, wording) – and its something that they are getting to participate in “in the moment” – it provides a great forum for engagement because they are getting to determine the eventual outcome of something 🙂 It’s “participatory-transformation” vs just “driving engagement”

    • Dave Shrein
      Dave Shrein says:

      @JennyRain:disqus I love your last sentence “participatory-transformation” vs “driving engagement” Brilliant. I am very grateful you took the time to share. Thank you!

  2. MPCC Churchgoer!
    MPCC Churchgoer! says:

    I think that it depends on your definition of what a post going “viral” is. Considering the fact that MPCC has a large Facebook “like” base, it should garner basal participation. Keep in mind that with 1,702 people currently liking the page (as of 1:11pm), a reaction of 40 or so people shouldn’t come as surprising. This is still an engagement rate of less then 3%, so is it really viral (especially in a relatively small population)? By that same rationale, MPCC’s photo post concerning the 200 people eating together should be a focal point for going viral, as it received 40 likes and 9 comments.

    For something to go viral, it should go beyond its typical fan base, which this post did not. It asked a question, and people answered. It helped that the answers needed to only be one word, not even whole sentences. This made it easier for people thumbing through Facebook on the smartphones to interact, as they only had to press one button and type one word. Perhaps to increase engagement even more, a poll could be use in the future! This would also make it easier for you to tally peoples’ votes. 🙂 You could do something silly like asking what shirt to wear next time you give a sermon, which could resultantly drive people to the MPCC page and get them to attend more regularly and/or download more podcasts of sermons given at MPCC.

    One last note: PSY’s “Gangnam Style” music video on YouTube is a textbook example of media going viral, yes it is an example ad absurdum, but a great example nonetheless. In a mere matter of months, it garnered over a billion views, more than any other YouTube video. Theoretically, and ideally, this means that the video reached more than 42% of the internet population (as according to several reports, the 33% of the world population of ~7 billion had access to the internet in 2012). This went far beyond PSY’s original fanbase in South Korea. It would be so cool if you could get some sort of church material to do something on a relative local scale!

    • Dave Shrein
      Dave Shrein says:

      MPCC Churchgoer! Thx for sharing.

      My definition of viral for this particular post was it brought comments from those outside our normal commenting base. We can regularly get 30-50 likes for something a couple times a month, but never before have we had such a high engagement when it comes to commenting. That said, you’re correct that true viral content has a much wider reach.

      I love the assessment that it required a one word answer. I think you hit a very key point.

      Thanks for taking the time to share. Means a lot 🙂

Comments are closed.