One useful feature on CNN.com is the “Recommend” button. This basically gives users an easy method of referring their Facebook friends to interesting articles. These articles could be good news, bad news, or something unusual.
This article features the unusual story of a young man who recently turned up in Germany. He seems to be a native English speaker, and he claims to have lived in the woods for the last five years.
I thought my friends might be interested in this story, so I clicked the “Recommend” button.
Notably, 190 other users thought their friends might be interested in this story too. This is not a particularly high number, but the small amount of traffic could be due to the fact that this story was not front page news in the US version of CNN.com .
When I clicked this button, a little text box popped up that allowed me to write my own text to go along with my Facebook referral. Here’s what my referral looked like when I posted it.
Although I certainly think that this story is very interesting, people will make up their own minds about how interested they are in any given story. If one of my Facebook friends take interest in this story, he might click the “Share” button. At this time, no one has. This is the nature of viral media, because no matter how interesting a news story is to me, there are other factors involved with whether others repost.
Time of day is relevant, for one thing, because it has an impact on how many people are online. The time must not be too problematic, because other things I have posted in the time since this article went into my feed have been reposted.
CNN.com also has a facebook, with articles from CNN.com posted and a convenient share button available. I have reposted many articles from CNN.com through my feed.
CNN.com is very effective in its use of the “Recommend” and “Share” buttons to help content spread through Facebook.