How to go Viral on Social Media 

These days, it seems like everyone’s goal is to go viral on social media. But how does one get there? What does it take to create viral content? If you’ve ever pondered these questions, then we are here to answer. Experts suggest that it takes just eight steps to go from nobody to the next Charli D’Amelio overnight. In this article, we will explain what viral marketing is and how to achieve viral social media content. 

viral post

What is Viral Marketing? 

Viral marketing is a strategy that you can use to get people to promote your app or any other product via social media. Building a viral marketing campaign is about creating viral content that is so engaging and relevant that people can’t help but share it with friends and family. Some advantages to viral marketing are: 

  • Low cost: You don’t have to spend much money creating viral posts that people will want to share. Sometimes it is the most simple ideas that resonate the most. 
  • Reach: Going viral means that you can spread your message and brand even further than you might expect.
  • Credibility: If your brand reaches everyone’s feed, then it becomes the topic that everyone brings up at a party. If this is executed well, then this is your ticket to instant (and hopefully lasting) brand awareness. 

But of course, with the advantages come disadvantages as well. Sometimes creating viral content can dilute your brand or even build negative buzz surrounding your brand and products. You might not necessarily bring about loyal customers who will be there for you in the long run. Be careful not to insult anyone with your posts, and try to keep everything light-hearted and easy-breezy. Regardless, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with creating viral content. 

viral marketer

8 Steps to Creating Viral Content

These are the eight steps that viral marketer experts believe will get you to go viral online in no time.

1 – Really Get to Know Your Audience 

Going viral is not about just getting your content in front of people, it is about getting it in front of the right people. An example of a brand that executed this perfectly is Dove and its Real Beauty campaign. The brand knew that they had a specific demographic that they wanted to reach. The Beauty Sketches video in particular featured real women, not models or actresses. A lot of what the campaign touches upon is body image issues. By knowing their exact target market, Dove was able to create a viral campaign that resonated with its target demographic. The video was shared by millions of people who related to feelings of body image issues. Telling a relatable story makes it much more likely that people will engage with it, and is the key to creating viral content. 

2 – Make a Strong Emotional Connection 

A lot of times, emotion is what really brings people to share your content. Creating viral content has a lot to do with emotion. The eight primary emotions that guide behavior are: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust.

Dove’s campaign was really important because of the emotional connection that was made between the audience and the company. Another great example of a successful emotional connection was by Chipotle. Their “scarecrow” video that they created for Halloween brought out fear in the audience. They tried to convince their audience that they should be careful of the hormones and additives that most fast food chains are known for. Seeing hormone-filled chickens can make you feel a variety of different emotions. Adding emotional visuals and words into your content can help increase the chance of it going viral around the world. 

viral on social media

3 – Create a Built-In Sharing Feature 

Make sure that sharing is a built-in feature in your campaigns. For example, when Google+ was initially created, not just anyone could get an account. It was done on an invite-only basis. In order to gain access, people took to Twitter and forums to get an invite from people who had access. This exclusivity made people want a profile even more, which increased the number of people talking about the new social network all across the web. Content doesn’t go viral unless people are sharing it. Ask for the share and people will be more likely to do it! 

4 – Encourage the Creation of User-Generated Content 

Engagement is the most crucial part of creating viral content on social media. User-generated content takes engagement beyond just sharing and makes it even more interactive. Instead of tweeting out a link to a graphic that your company made, users tweet content that they made while promoting your campaign at the same time. Once their friends and social media followers start seeing what they are sharing, they will want to participate as well. When the movie “Straight Outta Compton” came out, it had big box office numbers. But a lot of this was largely due to the viral “Straight Outta” meme generator that went absolutely viral. This was a great opportunity for users to share their memes all over every social media platform. The more that people share user-generated content, the wider your audience will be. 

creating viral content

5 – Create Useful Content to Share  

The best way to go make a viral post is by creating relevant and useful content. If you can create a piece of content that is practical, you’ll be far ahead of the game. A lot of the most viral blog posts related to weight loss, such as: “How one woman lost nearly 100 lbs” or “Wine as a snack can help with weight loss.” All of these headlines are clear and actionable. Because the viral posts have practical advice, it is more likely to be shared by other people.

6 – Share Your Content at the Perfect Moment 

Sending a tweet or creating a viral blog post at the perfect moment is a great way to use existing momentum to go viral. A lot of viral tweets come from people being up-to-date on all the latest events and topics that are trending. Being active on social media and seeing what is popular at the moment will give you the fuel you need to craft your next piece of viral content. Twitter is one of the best places to do this. If you find something that aligns with your brand, create a piece of content related to that topic.

7 – Use Powerful Visuals

Social media content that includes images is much more likely to be shared than other ones. One of the elements that stand out the most in successful blog posts is their visuals. Did you know that posts with one or more images get more than twice as many shares on Facebook and Twitter than those without any images? This is a great reason to include high-quality images in your content. When you share blog posts to social media, your audience will see an image that they can click on. 

social media viral

8 – Share Your Viral Content With Powerful Influencers 

Viral marketers know that getting influencers to share your content can give you just the boost you might need to go viral. The hard part is getting them to agree. The simple way to get influencers to notice your content is by hoping they stumble upon it or by directly telling them about it. A lot of people tend to take the first approach. If you want to be more proactive about your content, reach out to the influencers directly and share the content that you have created. Tell them that you think they would appreciate the content through Instagram DM or Twitter DM. Other ways to get their attention are: 

  • connecting with them through social media
  • sharing content
  • mentioning them in tweets
  • linking to their content within your posts
  • sending an email letting them know you find their content helpful
  • or including them in a large roundup post.

Showing influencers that you appreciate their content and that you genuinely want to connect with them is way more powerful than anything else you can do. Sponsored content by these influencers can also help you get more leads and a larger audience. 

Partnership is a key part of a successful marketing strategy. It is highly unlikely that you will reach a large enough audience only by using your own social media channels. Reach out to the brands and influencers that are popular with your target audience. You can even arrange a partnership to cross-promote products and new content. This strategy will quickly grow your audience and help you go viral. 

Become a Viral Marketer

Not every piece of content that you create has the potential to go viral. However, after reading this article, you’ll hopefully have a grasp on some strategies to use to create viral content and increase your chances of going viral on social media. If you need any more help on social media questions or concerns, reach out to SEO Design Chicago today and we can help you out. Good luck! 

FAQs about Creating Viral Content:

  • How do you make something go viral? 
  • What is viral marketing? 
  • Why are images important in going viral? 
  • Why are influencers important in going viral?
  • Does going viral cost a lot of money?

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