TweetOn Saturday, I was browsing my Facebook news feed when I noticed a post that stopped me in my tracks.
The post (click here to see it) displayed a photo of a boy saluting a coffin, with the post copy reading:
“How many likes can we get for this brave lil Marine saying goodbye to his father?”
The image showed a young boy, dressed in military gear, saluting his father’s casket. Heavy stuff.
One of my friends was one of the 400,000+ people to “like” the post (I believe it’s fast approaching 500,000 at this point), causing it to show up in my news feed.
As a percentage of the direct audience, this is one of the more viral posts I’ve ever seen on Facebook. We see this type of thing on Twitter and YouTube consistently – but this is quite an incredible instance considering the user who posted it has about 1,200 friends.
So why did this happen and what can we take away from it?
1. The very best content will be found. Or in this case, the most meaningful. You don’t need a massive audience to spread a message like wildfire – content that stikes a cord with people will often fall into the right hands for distribution. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be strategic, but images that tell a powerful story can often stand by themselves.
2. Content that evokes emotion wins. This post creates extreme emotion in most anyone who has lost someone special, especially those who have lost a loved one in war. It brings out sadness, anger, mourning, inspiration, pride, and other emotions based on our frame of reference. It’s hard not to like, share, and comment when we feel this strongly about something.
3. Elaborate tactics aren’t always necessary. Here, we have a photo with one line of simple copy. The photo tells a story and does the talking. No complexity required – just an amazing photo.
Did anyone else see this photo in your news feed? More importantly, don’t you just love this kid?!