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Teacher's Facebook experiment on how to go viral... goes viral

What's the secret to going viral on the Internet? If you take a tip from an Australian teacher, it is to ask people nicely to share a handwritten note on Facebook.

Paula Beare, a mathematics teacher from Toowoomba, Queensland, posted a letter on Facebook Friday. She needed to talk to her students about cyber safety, and wanted help from the millions of people on the social media platform.

"Next week I need to present to the Year 9 students about cyber safety and I wish to see how far this message will go based on my account's security settings," she wrote. "Please help me by sharing this message as far as you can."

Beare planned to track the number of likes and shares, with the aim of creating a mathematical model based on the results, to demonstrate "how far something can go from a small Facebook account."

Fast forward to almost one week later, and Beare's post has acquired more than 73,000 shares while also making its way around the world. 

Beare wrote Wednesday that she had received more than 500 friend requests, with only three requests from people she knew. Mashable Australia reached out to Beare for comment but has not received a response. 

"I have a great hook for my lesson today, thank you everyone for your assistance. When marking dies down I will pull the results into a paper," she said.

It's proof that Internet fame is only a few clicks of the share button away.

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