“Going viral” refers to sharing something via social media or other online platform, and having it spread quickly to thousands (or sometimes millions) of people in a short amount of time. Getting your content to go viral can transform your business overnight by bringing in new prospects and elevating your brand to new levels.
The problem with going viral? It often comes down to luck. It’s like lightning – you can’t really control where it will strike. However, there are things you can do to raise your chances. Here are a few ideas.
Know Your Audience
What does your audience think is funny? What issues push their buttons? What’s the one thing that keeps them up at night?
The better you know the answers to those questions, the more likely you’ll be to produce content that gets exponential shares and attention. Often, the content that goes viral is highly relatable to its audience in some way – whether it makes them angry, makes them laugh, or sparks some other emotion.
It helps to know your audience inside out. Not just what issues bring about strong emotions, but how they talk and think and view the world. If you’re immersed in their perspective, you’re more likely to produce content that reaches them.
Bring Your Audience in on the Fun
Producing viral content isn’t just about sharing things you produce yourself. It’s also about creating an opportunity for others to take your idea and run with it. This is why campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge do so well – because they encourage others to participate in a fun and creative way.
If you create a piece of content and ask others to do their own version (or elaborate on what you did), you raise the chances that your idea will spread.
Make it Useful to Your Audience
Another strategy you can take is making your content highly useful. What questions do your customers regularly ask you? What problems do they face that you help them solve? What are some popular misconceptions about your topic of expertise?
Produce content that answers these questions (ideally in a funny or attention-grabbing way) and people will share it.
Get the Timing Right
Sometimes timing is everything. Consider what’s happening in the news, major high-profile events, and other happenings that your audience will be aware of – then create content around that. This will have the added benefit of using the high profile event or news to elevate your reach.
Social media has transformed the ability of everyone, individuals and small businesses alike, to reach large audiences. Going viral is largely up to luck, but you can do things to raise your chances. Take these steps with your content, and it’s likely you’ll expand your audience!
Kristen Nevins, CDMP, has over a decade of experience in marketing and communications. She joined Direct Connection in early 2018 and leads the team with her extensive digital marketing expertise.
For additional information, contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.410.7254