What Makes a Post Go Viral?

October 28, 2013 Social Media Marketing

The objective of any online marketing campaign is to ‘go viral’ and be passed on from consumer to prospective consumer. Viral content is a great way to spread the word about customer-focused, innovative brands the world over. While it is difficult to predict what content will go viral, there are certain features and parameters that every type of viral content follows. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can adapt the exact methodology to ensure your post goes viral, far from it actually. While all viral content do seem to have common facets, it is up to your brand or business to ensure that your content incorporates them. Ask yourself these questions.

Does your content address real-world problems?

Your viral content must have a real-world connect with users. It needs to be something they identify with. Cat hair on the furniture, missing socks, shopping for groceries, these are all issues almost all of us can relate to at a basic human level. The more relatable your content is to your user and how you depict these issues is what denotes whether or not you have managed to appease your audience.

Does you content make users ‘feel’ something?

It is critical to elicit emotion in your user. Studies have shown that content inducing emotions such as anger, awe, or anxiety are shared more often than others. Anger is said to be the most ‘viral’ emotion of them all. Having said that many brand try and stay away from eliciting anger in potential customers, so awe is a pretty safe second option.

Is your content worth a chuckle?

Most viral posts are shared a lot when they make people laugh. While many big brands don’t not like to laugh at themselves or find it politically incorrect to laugh at other, the truth is that most unbranded content that may be offensive to some, is eventually what gets shared the most.

Are you delivering your content appropriately and on time?

When and how you deliver your content are two vital factors in how viral it will be. These are also factors that are often ignored in the larger scheme of things. Find days of the week when your content will be in demand the most. It is also important to deliver your content in a manner that has the most impact on consumers and your brand and allows it to be shared with as less effort as possible. Most often, content is released via social media platforms such as YouTube, Pintrest and Facebook. Almost all the time, this content is visual in nature like video, images etc. which engages users more and heightens its ‘shareability’.

Does your content have the element of surprise?

A brand that is the very first to adopt a novel idea is often the one that will reap the majority of its benefits when the attention is focussed on them. Even though a second brand adopts that same strategy in a better, more engaging manner, it will still lose out to the first as it lacks the element of surprise. Therefore, try to find novel, original ideas to instil in your content, and more importantly, be original.

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