Go viral on social media

Contributors

@paul-boag


Business Benefits

Improve your business’s online visibility.


Ask the Sales and Marketing team to identify clear objectives for going viral.

For example, is it for awareness or revenue generation?

Analyse the social campaigns of competitors.

  • Who are they aiming at?
  • How are they engaging their audience?
  • What makes their content sharable and appealing? For example are they relying on humor, controversy, or some other mechanism?
  • How successful or otherwise has their approach been? Look at the number of shares and comments, as well as whether comments are positive or negative.

Create an Action Plan by creating three spreadsheets named Target Audience Details, Keywords to be used, and Measurable Immediate Goals.

  • In Target Audience Details, list the kinds of content that your target audience favors when sharing and commenting on content.
  • In Keywords to be used, list the keyword topics that receive high search volume, reach and visibility.
  • In Measurable Immediate Goals, list your goals for your campaign. For example, a 15% to 20% increase in unique site visits or increased sales.

Create content based on the four elements of viral content - Emotional, Content, Topic, and Format.

  • Topic: Choose subjects that are in the news or soon to be trending conversations on social media. Write several titles and pick the one that elicits the most interest.
  • Emotional: Create rich content that evokes an emotional response in your audience, something that people will feel good about sharing with others.
  • Content: Focus on benefiting the readers. Keep a unique and humorous tone, and be succinct. Test it by sharing it with close friends and family.
  • Format: If the goal is to increase awareness, focus on enhancing the content’s click-worthiness and shareability. For revenue generation, create a sales funnel that redirects to your site and focus on increasing conversions.

Ask your IT team to ensure that your website can handle the increased traffic before the launch and have them on standby for further improvements if necessary.

Create a viral loop by offering incentives to recommend your product to others or share your content further.

For example:

  • Offer a discount to those buying from the viral content.
  • Enter people into a competition if they share the content with others.
  • Choose a topic that encourages conversation and sharing.

Use customer interviews to test the viability of the idea on a small audience.

Also consider a trial run with a subset of your audience.

Suit your content to the social media platform you’ll use.

For example:

  • Focus on attractive imagery or video with minimal text for Instagram.
  • On Facebook, create content that encourages comment and sharing.
  • When posting to Twitter, focus on content that allows people to express themselves by retweeting (like a quote or an opinion).
  • Also consider tone such as using humor more heavily on a platform like TikTok than LinkedIn.

It is worth looking at popular content in your topic area on these channels and look for reoccurring characteristics in style and format.

Record the lessons that you learned - good or bad - and apply actionable insights to the next campaign.