How to Create Viral Content in Social Media?
So, you have created a public group on social media. You are posting regularly and have already gained several hundreds or even thousands of subscribers. However, you can’t get rid of the impression that you are talking to yourself. Why do people keep silent? Why don’t they share your wonderful content or at least like it? Is it possible that your subscribers are all robots? Well, it can be, but most likely, you just don’t seem exciting enough for your audience to respond to your posts.
According to Igor Mann, one of the most popular Russian marketers, the key thing in marketing is "to know what to do, how to do it, and just do it”. We have already discussed the content for social media. Now it’s time to discuss how to shape it in order to make it viral.
Why do people share posts on social media?
You have certainly noticed how some content gets shared by many people at the same time. First one friend reposts it, then another one, then the next. The chain reaction is triggered, and the content goes all around the web. It may even return to you in a year’s time. Seems familiar, right? Once the content becomes viral, it can’t be stopped. Why does it happen?
In order to make people share you post, you need to:
- Grab their attention;
- Keep their attention;
- Convince them to click that share button.
It’s believed that most people share content when they want to:
- Educate others or learn themselves;
- Entertain others or get entertained;
- Express emotions and thoughts.
Secrets of creating viral content on social media
Here are ten simple rules for you to follow if you want to create viral content:
1. Think of a catchy headline.
In order to grab the attention of your readers while they are lazily or hastily scrolling through their newsfeed, you need to act fast. You have only few seconds. What will make your reader pause and pay attention? Not this headline, for sure: Services for Teamwork. Too unclear, too vague, too abstract. What kind of services? For whom? What team? Is it about football? Let’s make it better: 5 Efficient Tools for Remote Teams You Have Never Heard Of. Now both the topic and the audience are made clear.
2. Make your text readable
No one likes long articles. To prevent the reader from escaping, break the text into paragraphs to create space. Use subheadings and lists to make your articles easier to navigate. Avoid complex sentences. Get rid of empty words (use Hemingway App, or other helpful writing tools). Transform your text into an infographic, add images. In other words, it’s time for the left hemisphere of your brain to rest, let the right one do the work.
3. Be exciting and controversial
Strong emotions, such as excitement, fear, anger or surprise make people read and share content. Controversy attracts and motivates. You've probably heard about the recent tricks of Burger King. Their ads were widely discussed in the media and shared in popular entertainment groups.
Use this rule with caution. Controversy should attract customers rather than scare them away.
4. Keep track of the news
Rely on current events. What does your audience care about? What are these people talking and thinking about? Situational marketing will help you create a buzz. You don’t necessarily have to wait for the Dress or the Ice Bucket Challenge to happen. You can find what you need in everyday life. Even the weather never ceases to bother people. This May was totally unpredictable.
5. Tell stories
People love stories. Show them the human face of your business. If you have some good stories to tell, that’s great. If not, use somebody else’s stories that are in line with your topic. The story about donations of the bulgarian Grandpa Dobri was very well received in the Facebook group of the SIAB bank.
If you are a professional, you are likely to have valuable knowledge to share. Eager students will come in no time and help you spread the word. For example, my colleague Sasha Panin wrote a great guide how to make cheap ads on Facebook and received more than 400 shares in this social network.
Your readers can’t survive on bread, i.e. useful content, alone. Give them circuses as well. Entertain and be positive.
8. Become your own reader
People want to express themselves, but sometimes they are just too lazy to make the effort. Do all the work for them. Publish thoughts of your readers instead of them, and they will want to share them.
9. Choose the right time to post
Choose the best possible time to publish your content. It may be slightly different for each case. Experiment and study your statistics. Here is an example of data provided by Facebook:
Let me tell you one thing from experience: Friday evening is not the best time to post.
10. Promote your posts
Avalanches don’t happen out of the blue, you need to make efforts to cause them. Don’t just expect great things to happen all by themselves. Give it a boost by posting your content in appropriate communities and promoting it through targeting.
How to get results from viral content on social media?
My final advice here is very helpful and extremely important. Use branding. But keep in mind that your logo may be erased, and the viral effect will be lost.
For example, this is the card we made for the Coffee House cafe that was used by competitors. As it turned out, when those guys found it on the Internet a year after the release in our group, the logo had already been gone.
That’s why the logo is not enough. Include brand elements into the image itself as well. Look, here the logo has also been removed, but it is still there on the cup.
The list of rules can of course be expanded. I mentioned only those I tested myself. Try our methods, add your own and get greater reach and engagement.