Today, every content creator and influencer dreams of ‘going viral’ overnight and taking that shortcut to success, but just how realistic is it? For example, is it even possible to manufacture a viral post on social media with intention? Or is it all down to dumb luck? Read on and we’ll explore the phenomenon in greater depth…
It is indeed. Although interestingly, the vast majority of posts that do go viral were not created and shared with ‘going viral’ in mind.
Most posts blow up purely because they were in ‘the right place at the right time’, or because something truly unlikely and remarkable was caught on camera.
In any case, it is technically possible to manufacture a viral post on social media. However, the problem with this approach is that you can easily end up going viral for the wrong reasons…
Not only that, but a great deal of these ‘manufactured viral posts’ tend to be exploitative in nature.
With all that in mind, despite how rare it is to create a viral post (the exact statistics for going viral vary, so let’s say: one-in-a-million for the sake of argument), it is still possible to create non-viral content that brings immense value to your business by exposing your brand to a wider audience.
- Know your audience: In order to resonate with your audience and have any chance of creating a post that will be rapidly shared throughout a certain community, you need to know the demographic you are speaking to, inside and out.
- It’s all about timing: If you want the best chance at your post being picked up then you need to time it right. Look at peak times for posting on the various social platforms and schedule accordingly.
- Emotional storytelling: Tell a story and use emotion. Depending on your brand voice, you could indeed try polarising content that sparks debate, however, everyone loves a good story packed with emotion.
- Quality first: You can throw a bunch of spaghetti at a wall and hope that something eventually sticks, but until you take the time to actually cook it thoroughly, you’ll be wasting your time. That’s a fancy way of saying “quality over quantity”.
- Be authentic: Anyone who claims to be authentic, isn’t. Find your unique brand voice and highlight your USP. How can you differentiate yourself from the multitude of creators out there?
- Leverage your audience: Don’t just try and resonate with your audience; leverage them as well. Create content that they can engage with. The classic #IceBucketChallenge from way back in 2014 is the perfect example of this.
- Make the content useful: How can your content help people? In order for something to be worth sharing it really needs to be useful. So, rather than worry about going ‘viral’, focus on being helpful instead.
- Explore influencer marketing: Another great idea is to try and find a relevant influencer to help you with your content creation. If there’s a specific content creator who resonates with your audience and seems like the perfect spokesperson for your brand, reach out and try and strike a deal.
- Pay attention to trends: Finally, keep an eye on what is currently trending at the moment. If you can monitor trends you may even be able to predict the direction in which public attention is moving. This can be crucial in developing ‘viral-worthy’ content.
Again, as long as you are consistently creating awesome content, you don’t need to worry about going viral because your brand and business will already be benefiting from it.
Sure, going viral certainly can’t hurt – especially if you do so organically and for the right reasons – however, getting too wrapped up in it is a waste of time. Instead, focus your time and attention on being genuinely helpful and offering your audience immense value.
If that sounds like a whole lot of work (which it is), you may want to consider hiring a social media marketing agency to help you with your strategy. Just be mindful of anyone who guarantees you viral posts. Because nothing in digital marketing is guaranteed…