Viral social media content is the holy grail for the marketers of the digital era. Every marketer dreams of creating social media content that can go viral on a consistent basis. But struggle to get it right all the time.
The reach of viral content is vastly superior to any advertising strategy. The best part is that the reach you get from viral content is entirely organic.
Marketers know very well that organic reach holds more value compared to advertisements and promoted posts. Citizens of the internet mostly scroll past advertisements but when a post reaches their feed organically, they pay attention!
If you are a young entrepreneur trying to make it big in the digital era, creating and publishing content that has a high potential to go viral quickly is the fastest way to build a successful business in a short time.
Keep reading to understand why content goes viral on Social Media to up your chances of creating potent Social Media Content that goes viral consistently.
Understanding Viral Content on Social Media?
There aren’t any clear answers as to why and how some posts go viral on social media, but Millennials and Gen Z have a unique flair for creating relatable and emotive content with viral potential. Creating content that is potent enough to go viral is more of an art than science and this is why it is hard to consistently replicate it.
The difficulty associated with consistently creating potent viral content is one of the main reasons why it does not find a place in the social media and social commerce marketing strategies of many businesses. That, however, is not a reason why you should completely avoid trying it.
There are plenty of brands out there who have run social media campaigns wherein the majority of the posts went viral and earned them a lot of publicity, sales, and brand value in return. If you are an influencer you might want to read how these 2 fitness professionals used Instagram to build their empire to get some ideas. But if you are a brand let us at some examples.
#OreoSnackHacks by Oreo –
Oreo has long been marketing itself as a product that brings out people’s playful and youthful side. They’re aware that their customers eat their products in various ways so they came up with a campaign where they asked the users for their Snack Hacks using Oreos and the campaign went viral.
Image Courtesy – Devrix
The result? 2.9 million impressions within a month with engagement peaking at 10.8%. To put this in context, the Facebook Engagement Rate benchmark averages 0.47%.
#Shotoniphone by Apple –
No one does a better job at marketing when compared to apple. Their # ShotoniPhone campaign was another example of their marketing prowess. Having customers participate by posting their photos on social media using the hashtag and promoting the best photos on their handle worked wonders.
Image Courtesy – HayleyCarter
The result? 10000 billboards across the world showcasing photos by users shot using iPhones. 6.5 billion impressions across all social media platforms, 95% of those were positive mentions.
You must be wondering as to how these brands have been getting it right consistently. Well, there are a few practices that when followed, significantly raise the chances of your content going viral on social media. There are no guarantees, however!
Qualities that make Content more likely to go Viral on Social Media
Your content needs to be simple and relatable. It needs to resonate with your audience. Knowing that others out there have the same experience as you through a social media post makes people react positively. They will most likely share a relatable post on their accounts.
Image Courtesy – Twitter
Who doesn’t love a funny post? Funny and relatable posts are a hit with the audience. Humour acts as a form of entertainment in promoting your product or service. People are more likely to share and promote a post onto their account if it’s funny, so pay attention.
Image Courtesy – Bluesodapromo
Short, Simple, and Catchy –
There are millions of social media posts published across platforms every hour. Users are constantly scrolling through social media and will scroll past your post if they see a long, bland, and complex post. Starting with a catchy title or keeping the post caption outright short and simple is your best hope of getting it noticed by users. You can brainstorm multiple titles on your own or use an AI content generator that can produce simple but catchy content.
Image Courtesy – Devrix
Numbers in the Title –
Numbers induce interest and curiosity in the readers’ minds. Beginning your post title with numbers guarantees that viewers will pay attention to it. It could be a fact, listicle, or any other use of numbers but having them in your title significantly raises the chances of it going viral.
Image Courtesy – Moz
Be it images, designs, cool-looking infographics, or videos, visual content gets the most attention. You can combine all the above-mentioned qualities and visualize them in various ways to increase the effectiveness of communication. Visual content is attractive, easy to understand and share.
Videos that communicate the essence of your brand are a great addition to your content marketing strategy. Working with a video production agency will allow you to clearly communicate your brand to your audience through engaging visual content.
Image Courtesy – Buffer
By now you have a good idea about what qualities your content needs in order for it to go viral but how do you accomplish it? Are there more ways to create social media content that is most likely to go Viral?
Let us answer that!
5 Secrets for Creating Viral Social Media Content
#1 Understand your Target Audience properly –
Marketers and entrepreneurs alike, do not give the time and effort it takes to completely understand their target audience. They rather focus on representing their products in the best and most attractive way possible.
Knowing the likes and dislikes of your target audience goes a long way in determining the success of a marketing campaign. Being up to date with cultural trends and what’s considered “cool” by your target audience is necessary.
When you know which jokes they enjoy, what makes them curious, or what evokes strong emotions in them, you can create powerful social media content. This significantly raises the chances of your content being rapidly shared and going viral all across the internet.
#2 Ensuring content is compatible with all social media platforms –
You may as well hit the jackpot and your content may go viral on a single platform. Though you’ve won, you could’ve won bigger if your content was compatible and easy to share over to other social media platforms.
Small things such as using an aspect ratio that looks good on all social media platforms, using a format or codec that is light and supported universally, using strong CTAs to get people to share your content on other platforms can skyrocket your reach.
#3 Create a Shareable identity –
The message or the idea you’re putting out through your social media posts needs to be such that it resonates with what your target audience is or what they aspire to be. Creating a sense of familiarity with your audiences creates a beneficial relationship.
Giving them an opportunity to relate more to your brand or feel good after sharing your content over to their accounts raises your reach and engagement organically. Moreover, audiences who relate and feel good because of your content turn into brand advocates.
Having your content go viral becomes easy thereon as you have a pool of audiences who will actively share and engage with your posts as a part of their identity is tied to your brand.
#4 Timing your content –
At what time you post your content is a vital factor that determines its potential at going viral. You cannot post on social media early on a Monday and expect it to go viral when most of your target audience is starting work after an eventful weekend.
Image Courtesy – Web Marketing Therapy
Social media algorithms do not limit the reach of posts that exhibit high engagement. So to maximize reach you need to maximize engagement and for that, you need to time your posts carefully.
The best time to post varies from platform to platform but using social media monitoring tools you can formulate a plan to set off a chain reaction that starts with a post going viral at the peak time on one platform and spilling over to another platform at its peak.
#5 Make your posts interactive –
Giving your audience a chance to participate or contribute to a social media post works wonders when it comes to boosting engagement and the likelihood of users sharing your post. People have a tendency to showcase things they’re a part of.
Image Courtesy – Content Marketing Institute
This can be done in several ways, by asking opinions, hosting polls, quizzes, surveys, etc which you can build with a tool like this. We all have heard about or taken some quiz that tells you what kind of a personality you have. So here’s your answer to how effective interactive social media posts are.
5 Ways of boosting your chances of going viral further
#1 Using Memes for Marketing –
You can say that this is an extension of understanding your target audience. Millennials and Gen Zers at present dominate the consumer market in terms of proportion and spending power – and they love Memes!
Image Courtesy – Innovation Cloud
You can literally have a whole conversation with two prominent generations using only memes and this fact should be enough to convince you of the potency of memes in terms of marketing.
#2 Partner with Social Media Influencers –
Influencer marketing has been trending in recent years with a significant rise being observed especially during and after the covid pandemic. Influencers have a big list of followers who are already invested in them.
Image Courtesy – Ainfluencer
Getting an influencer on board for your social media campaign can give you that extra boost for making your social media posts go viral. Influencers can not only serve as your brand advocates but amplify a brand’s ideas and messages.
#3 Getting News Media to notice you –
It’s not uncommon for news and media outlets to report on social media posts that go viral. Reporting on such incidents of a social media post going viral benefits them with a rise in viewership so this can be used for the benefit of both.
All you have to do is reach out to media outlets once your social media post has gained enough momentum and if the timing is right, you can make it to the prime time news just like how the Florida Man has countless times.
#4 Using trendy, in focus topics –
There’s always one or the other topic trending among your target audiences and you can vastly benefit from it. The key here is to create such content that organically becomes a part of the conversation about the trending topic.
You can raise your voice in support of a cause, register your opinion about some incident or react to something that happened. All this can be done by using your products and services as the face.
#5 Clever use of advertisement –
Advertisement is still a powerful tool to reach the right people at the right time and you can use this to your advantage. Paid advertisements get preferential treatment by algorithms of social media platforms because, of course, you paid for it.
When a social media post is doing way better than usual, you can use ads to provide that necessary boost in terms of reach and engagement to already good content for it to go viral all over the internet.
Our Final Word
The possibilities of creating content that regularly goes viral are similar to that of you winning regularly at Blackjack. But hey, there are hacks such as card counting right?
Well, yes. You might get in trouble for card counting but you won’t get in trouble for following the tips and tricks mentioned in this article.
Success is never guaranteed but if you’re consistent enough with your efforts and creativity, your social media content will go viral regularly.
So mix and match the strategies above and post away!
About Yash Chawlani
Yash Chawlani is the Founder of Marveta, a result-oriented digital marketing agency. He specializes in SEO, and Content Marketing, and helps various B2B & SaaS companies out there with his top-notch marketing strategies. You can get in touch with him via LinkedIn.