Ways To Make Content Go Viral
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
The following is an article “Ways To Make Content Go Viral” by Marc Primo.
For digital marketers, going viral is the holy grail of social media and content marketing. After all, a successful online campaign is measured by how many people you reach through engagement, and knowing you’ve gone viral is instant gratification of a job well done.
Two kinds of viral
Before anything else, it is important to understand the difference between going viral “organically” and “non-organically”. The former is what we referred to earlier as the “holy grail”, wherein content spreads like wildfire through unsolicited shares that are unpaid for. This would be a testament to the nature of the content being truly compelling material worthy of being shared on its own merit, without the need for paid assistance.
On the flip side, going viral “non-organically” refers to content marketing that is supported by a third party, be it an influencer with an existing following or through ad spend such as Facebook ads that ensure your post stays on top of people’s feeds for s specified time proportionate to your budget. Naturally, these types of “viral” posts are not as effective as the former, because they are essentially online ads disguised as content which netizens can see right through.
Three steps to going viral
While there is no guaranteed formula to ensure a post goes viral organically, these three steps can help improve your chances that they do:
Establish a human connection — Think about the posts you make on your personal social media accounts. Which of those tend to get the most engagement? More often than not, posts about life achievements and personal milestones tend to attract the most attention. Whether it is news of an engagement to get married, the arrival of a firstborn, or simply losing weight by following and adhering to a special diet, these are the types of posts many people identify with and are inclined to share, like, and comment on. It’s the same principle with your business posts; highlighting your company’s milestones and achievements is a direct reflection of your capabilities as a digital marketer, manager, or entrepreneur. Identify those victories, big or small, and share them in a succinct, well-captioned post with a powerful photo to boot to get the message across loud and clear.
Get by with a little help from your friends — It’s one thing to pay third party specialists to give your post a boost, but another to simply ask your family and friends to help jumpstart your post by sharing it on their walls. They need not be influencers with massive numbers of followers. Facebook uses algorithms to determine the visibility of a post on people’s news feeds, and inactivity for more than a day is all it takes for it to get buried under a never ending stream of posts. Through well-timed nudges from family and friends, you can help ensure that somebody is engaging with your post every couple of hours, thereby “tricking” FB’s algorithms into keeping the post at the top of your followers’ news feeds as long as possible.
Timing is everything — This might sounds like a cliche, but only because it is a tried and proven fact. Success in virtually everything in life is highly dependent on proper timing. Several things need to be taken into consideration when mastering this art, such as relevance, competition, socio-economic climate, etcetera etcetera. Also, remember that the devil is in the details wherein simplistic considerations such as which day of the week and what time of the day your followers are most active are crucial to ensuring your post gets the most number of views and potential engagement. Facebook has a feature called “Insights” which displays analytics that you could, and should, use to your advantage. Follow these three simple steps and your content just might find itself on the yellow brick road to going viral.