Jul 06 2012

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Infernius Norman, Destroyer of Worlds

Another trick title?

No, this time I want to talk about something that I did for fun that generated a whole lot of likes, comments and shares on my Facebook profile.

If you are using the timeline view of your Facebook profile and business pages, you can’t help but have noticed that photos and pithy sayings rendered as images get a lot of likes, comments, and shares.

Photos of amazing natural wonders, very cute animals, funny signs, and inspirational sayings have been very well received on my Facebook profile. Let me give you an example.

I saw a photo on Facebook that I just loved. Someone photoshopped some wings onto the back of a cute little lizard someone was holding in their hand, and created an image that read, “If you can’t take the heat, don’t tickle the dragon.”  You can also see a little wisp of smoke around the nostrils. Of course, if you look closely, you will see that the wings are actually both on the front of the dragon instead of on either shoulder, but it is well done, at least enough so that your first impression is that  you have a real baby dragon in someone’s hand.

facebook profile

What’s not to love about a pocket sized dragon?  Probably a lot of things, if you actually had a live one. But I fell in love with it immediately, and decided to repost this picture to my Facebook profile asking the question, “If you had one of these, what would you call it?”

This turned into a contest called, “Name the Dragon,” which generated around 50 comments on my Facebook profile with name suggestions, 44 likes, and 15 shares.

Some of the reasons people chose names were quite funny, like “Rita, after my ex- mother in law.” There were exotic names, and names of well known dragon characters, and names that were funny because they were so unlike the name of a dragon.  After I had all the name suggestions, I picked out the five I liked best and created a poll allowing people to vote.  The winner was “Infernius,” contributed by Paul Steinbrueck.  My son insisted that if he were to be named Infernius, he would also have to be called “Destroyer of Worlds.”

The second place name was “Norman,” contributed by “Mr. Bill.” David Walker had the idea to use both names, and “Infernius Norman” was born.

The point is that during all this liking, commenting and voting on my Facebook profile, this little photo was being shared and reshared, and seen by my friends, and their friends, and their friends’ friends, and even the public, since that is the default setting on my posts. A lot of people who didn’t know me from Infernius Norman stopped by my Facebook profile to vote, or comment, or reply to a comment their friend made, and quite a few of these clicked through and liked my business fan page.

Best of all, I have seen many of these same names returning to both my Facebook profile and my business page, to like and comment on other content, and some have even visited my blog.  The point is that the engagement flowed from having posted something that attracted people’s attention. Spend some time observing your followers and the things THEY like, and find those places where your interests and theirs intersect. I’m sure you will find a number of things you can post that will generate more engagement on your own Facebook profile.

Incidentally, after I complete this article, I plan to post this picture of Infernius Norman on Pinterest with a link to this article, just to see how much traffic it receives from that source. I will let you know about that in a future post.

I would love to know what ways you have used to get people talking and engaging with you on your Facebook profile!  Please leave your story in the comments area below.


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  1. Bethanny Parker

    Somehow I missed the “name the dragon” contest, but it’s really cool that it drew so much attention for you. It will be interesting to see how well it does on Pinterest.
    Bethanny Parker recently posted..Link Building Following the Penguin UpdateMy Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Bethany, I am looking forward to seeing if it generates any traffic. I know that a lot of pins and repins never actually result in a visit to the original property, but it was worth the experiment!

  2. Jason Grant-Henriques

    For my fan page I tried to create a contest where the user with the most comments on the web-series would get their very own cartoon character for the season finale. It kind of worked!

    1. SusanCritelli

      Jason, that’s great! Who won? I guess it wasn’t me! :-) I’m sure I saw the resulting character, but I don’t remember now. That sounds like something worth trying again.

  3. Alexandra McAllister

    I missed it as well. Must go to you page and take a look. I know people like such photos. A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of a baby chimp and got over 2,000 likes in a week! I was amazed! It is still getting likes. LOL! I am sure you will also get a great response on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing!
    Alexandra McAllister recently posted..JavaFit Coffee – 100% Pure Gourmet ArabicaMy Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Alexandra, I bet I liked your chimp photo! Infernius Norman actually didn’t do as well as other things I have posted recently, some of which have gotten 300-400 shares! But the point of the article is that you can actually use these kinds of items as a way to increase the visibility of your REAL content on Facebook. I saw a stat recently that said only about 15% of your fans or friends ever see what you post. The increased engagement alerts Facebook that your content is important to your friends or fans, which results in even more likes and comments as more of your friends actually see your content.

  4. Carolyn Hughes

    What a brilliant idea to create a contest out of a post! As I say on FB ~”Am sharing on The Hurt Healer. Thank you! :)
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..Why me? Why not me?My Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Carolyn, I hope you have a great contest idea! It is a lot of fun, and really helps you get to know your fans and Facebook “friends,” many of whom you may not know in real life. I will definitely do another one.

  5. Maria Stefanopolous

    What a great name. That’s worthy of another Harry Potter book.
    Maria Stefanopolous recently posted..How much should I tip when traveling?My Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Maria, one of the more amusing comments generated made a reference to “Game of Thrones” – so yes, I thought of Harry Potter, and Merlin and all those when I was deciding on the best name. I was really torn between this sort of exotic dragonesque name and “Norman,” “Kevin,” “Percival,” and all the decidedly non-dragonesque names that were submitted, and that fueled my decision to make the poll and have people vote.

  6. Karen Presecan

    What a fantastic idea! I love that cute little dragon!! I will definitely borrow this idea!!!!

  7. SusanCritelli

    Karen, just remember that any “contest” on Facebook can’t be a real contest with a prize or anything. They have a lot of rules and regs about that. But no stopping us from having a little fun, right?

  8. Sherry Nouraini

    What a great story! Way to blast off engagement off the roof on your page!
    Sherry Nouraini recently posted..What does it take for ROI purists to stop messing up social media? Here’s the answerMy Profile

  9. Sherie

    That is such a cute picture! No wonder you got such a great response. It was quite brilliant having a “name the dragon” contest, quite clever. Now, that is engagement, Susan, way to go!
    Sherie recently posted..7 Warning Signs That You Are Being Taken For Granted In Your RelationshipMy Profile

  10. CD

    Contests are a great way to stir up engagement in Facebook fanpages. I am glad it work out for you. cheers!
    CD recently posted..How to Use BO.LTMy Profile

  11. michelle gilstrap

    Wonderful post and engagement, thank you for sharing.

  12. DES Daughter

    Very funny. I think one key is to find something which motivates your audience/contacts/friends to interact… I created a live group (via chat box) for EAv new entries… should I send you an invite ? cheers Susan :)
    DES Daughter recently posted..Stilboestrol 5 mg [Flickr]My Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Absolutely! I would love an invite!

  13. Candace Mountain

    It really is true that creating something fun to look at or a fun engagement is the way to go if you are looking for shares. Inspirational also tends to be very popular. As for the dragon, I would have named her ‘Ember.’

    1. SusanCritelli

      Inspirational quotes are hugely popular. I have had a couple of those generate as many as 400 shares! So, yes, you have to observe your audience’s preferences and go with that. “Ember” would have been good, too. As you can tell, there were more men voting that day for whatever reason, so we ended up with a man’s choice of names. There was one feminine name on the list, “Fiona.” I really liked that, but it got no votes.

  14. Craig Daniels

    I find that questions are always good to grab peoples attention and start a conversation but as you talk about contests seem to have a never ending fascination. Good Post… Thanks

    1. SusanCritelli

      Craig, I think it depends on the question. I have posted some questions that got amazing numbers of comments, and other questions that got nothing. Nada. Zip. Not even a “like.” Again, what works for my audience might not work for yours – watch them carefully and then make your selection.

  15. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com

    I’ve found that postings and re-posts of photos and sayings generates a lot of likes and interest as well. I love your naming the dragon contest – very clever idea!
    Lisa Frederiksen – BreakingTheCycles.com recently posted..Hang On…My Profile

  16. Barbara Peters

    oh this is a very cute idea! I am going to try something like this!
    Barbara Peters recently posted..Gals: Here are 7 Ways to Love your Guy without Breaking the Bank.My Profile

  17. Karla Campos

    Great idea Susan, that dragon will always be Puff in my mind even though I joined the dragon naming contest late I know that name would have won lol would you consider naming him Norman Puff??? Great idea about pinning the post with Norman Puff’s pic =)
    Karla Campos recently posted..Facebook for WordPress Plugin FeaturesMy Profile

    1. SusanCritelli

      Karla, you added Puff after we had gotten a whole lot of names and I had already selected the top five. “Puff, the Magic Dragon” would have been a great name for him, but it was already too late!

  18. Lisa Birnesser

    I love the dragon-great contest idea! It seems pictures hold a certain magic on Facebook. I love looking at the insights to to see the impact of certain posts and at what time of day. Thanks for this great article!
    Lisa Birnesser recently posted..Best Natural Sleep AidsMy Profile

  19. Anita

    Awesome photo and awesome idea:) I love how you ares so creative Susan. I have shared your wisdom!
    Anita recently posted..Inspirational Sayings to Get You Through the DayMy Profile

  20. Sally K Witt

    Excellent successful experiment! Good for you, Susan.

  21. Susan Preston

    Amazing idea, Susan! I too love the little dragon. I agree with Anita, you are very creative. Thanks for sharing :)
    Susan Preston recently posted..Got Negative People In Your Life?My Profile

  22. Mandy Edwards

    Cute photo! I find asking random questions and posting pictures get the best response.
    Mandy Edwards recently posted..New Series – Social Media Q&AMy Profile

  23. Sharon O'Day

    I find “head-scratchers” work well. I had some real weird things way up in my banyan tree, looked like black bats. I took pictures and posted them … and was amazed at what people thought they might be. (I had to contact University of Florida Ag extension to get the things identified, but only after lots of conjecture! Turned out to be a strange vine with pods that is not found in this area at all.)
    Sharon O’Day recently posted..Finding Financial Independence in the New WorldMy Profile

  24. Natalie

    This was an excellent post…I like the photo you shared here…I really love your creative wisdom…Hope you will continue to share beautiful blogs..
    Natalie recently posted..Language LearningMy Profile

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