Friday, April 17, 2009

The Facebook ToS Group: A Lesson in Going Viral





When Facebook released their new Terms of Service, there was quite a backlash. A bunch of groups were created that were completely against them. One of these groups really went viral, and grew to be much larger than the other ones.

Why? What made one group succeed over the others?

Thankfully, the guy who made the group blogs on yojibee.com, and he has some answers to that question.

The main answer seems to be initial reach.

He didn't just use Facebook. He blogged about it. He tweeted. One idea that was really good was searching Twitter for anyone who had mentioned the new ToS. He then sent them a tweet telling them about the group. This is a good idea for two obvious reasons: 1) chances are that people on Twitter are also on Facebook and 2) people who mentioned the keyword would be very likely interested in the group.

Now, this wouldn't always work. The ToS issue was conducive to this because anyone who tweeted about it had to know about it, and in order to know about it you had to be pretty up-to-date on Facebook happenings. In short, people who tweeted about the Facebook ToS actually cared, and would respond to a tweet that mentioned something related to it. This wouldn't always work. For many things, you'd have to do multiple searches of more long tail keywords... which is still a good strategy.

Speaking of the Facebook ToS, you the vote page is up. Go vote now.