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Viral Posting to Extend Your Reach

What does it mean when a post “goes viral?” For promoters of any brand, having a post go viral is the “Holy Grail” of marketing. Viral posting is a phenomena where a message, image or meme reaches thousands, even millions of viewers because social media users share the link for that post on their profiles and/or groups that they follow or belong to. A potentially viral post will be shared by growing numbers of users to multiple groups or pages and eventually on multiple platforms, which cycle again and again. These posts usually appeal to a variety of age groups, ethnicities and interests due to its uplifting, humorous, fascinating or unusually insightful nature. Going viral can be a good thing or a bad thing for the original poster or those who forward the post. Some viral posts circulate because of an incendiary or political content. Divisive or shocking content might not be that helpful for a business. Take a look at this useful article which discusses The Risks and Benefits of Going Viral.

Going Viral Intentionally

There’s no guarantee of going viral, but many market professionals have identified patterns and characteristics of viral postings that may give you the edge in creating viral content. There are a few different approaches to it, and some may surprise you. Here are a few observations and insights and questions that may help in going viral intentionally.

  • Engage your followers – Start a campaign that encourages or rewards followers to create content for you. Allow them to post selfies taken at your event. Ask for design suggestions for your new logo. Posting polls for trending social or product questions often encourages reposting.
  • Memes – Pay attention to popular phrases, news bites, slogans or existing memes. Adjust them to insinuate your brand or catchphrase into your own version of a recognizable meme.
  • Wow factor – Use little known facts related to your industry that could blow the public’s mind. Posting with an image more than doubles your chance of being shared.
  • Timing is crucial – A well-timed post regarding a widespread news story or current event, posted when your followers are most likely to see it could be gold. Those windows are short, so watch for them.
  • Announce your cool post –  Don’t be shy and wait for followers to trip over your new post. Link your own content on many places, referring to it multiple times on your regular feed. Ask others to share.
  • Don’t be clickbait; Short posts – Match short attention spans with short posts that either inform or entertain which is immediately understood. Again, include an image.
  • Repost a viral post – A guaranteed way to benefit from the luck or timing of another. Make sure the post relates to your industry.

In all things viral, be careful what you wish for. Your goal should be to promote your brand as credible, trustworthy and desirable. Sometimes, well-meaning viral posts produce notoriety. Your judgement and wisdom should secure the differentiation.

photo credit: Scorius

Posted on May 15th, 2019 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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