The rapid growth of social media platforms over the past several years has led to significant changes in the way influencers communicate with their respective audiences. Politicians, businesses, athletes, and artists use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share new ideas, sell new products, and promote their brand. These applications have also made it substantially easier to develop a following by going viral AKA the holy grail for brands the world over.
Take, for instance, the app HQ Trivia. HQ is a trivia quiz show that comes on at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET everyday and offers contestants a chance to win cash prizes for answering 12 questions correctly. Over the course of several months, HQ was able to attract hundreds of thousands players everyday, with very little traditional marketing. Going viral on social media is a great way to boost your brand presence and attract new customers quickly, but it’s not easy.
I spoke to Joseph Ayoub, the founder and CEO of the digital marketing firm Creaze, about the best ways to take your brand viral in 2018. Ayoub has experience scaling brands and working with some of the largest influencers in this space. Here are his 7 tips for going viral on social media.
1. Focus On High Quality Content Before Investing In Advertising
One mistake many brands make when marketing on social media is focusing on advertising campaigns rather than high quality content creation. While successful brands certainly have great marketing strategies, they also regularly put out quality content to keep customers engaged.
Ayoub tells me that “content is and always will be the key to a brand’s success.” He added further that “I’d definitely say before investing into advertising, make sure your content is on point otherwise you’ll end up wasting money advertising something that doesn’t work.” So If you’re not able to keep customers engaged once they’ve visited your page with content, advertising is useless.
2. Know Your Audience
NOTE: The following text can easily be classified under Blatantly Obvious. An important step in going viral is knowing the audience that your content will resonate with. When you produce new content and share it across different social media platforms, it’s important to know the type of user that is most likely to share the content with their friends or engage with your brand in the comments. And in the world of never ending shortage of data we live in there is no reason NOT to know your audience. Period.
3. Partnering With Influencers
Once you’ve clearly defined the interests and social media behavior of your target audience, you can use that information to partner with other brands and influencers to increase your chances of virality.
Partnership is a key part of a successful marketing strategy, as it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reach a large enough audience only using your own social media channels. Reach out to the brands and influencers that are popular with your target audience, and arrange a partnership to cross-promote products and new content. This strategy will quickly grow your user base and increase your chances of going viral.
4. Get Your Content Reposted On Popular Accounts
Ayoub worked with Alex from Target, a teenage Target employee that went viral on Twitter after a picture of him was posted online. After the picture was posted, thousands of users retweeted it, and it went viral overnight. He was eventually featured on The Ellen Show after becoming an internet sensation.
While the post spread relatively quickly organically, Joseph said that it was really “the distribution that these relatable meme accounts that repost popular tweets that made it really stand out and be shown across the world.” By cross-posting the content on account pages that already have large audiences, Alex from Target was exposed to a much larger audience extremely quickly.
5. Tell A Relatable Story Through Your Content
One of the things that resonates most with modern social media users is a relatable story. Users are much more likely to share posts with their friends and engage in the comments if they connect to the story you’re telling on a personal level. One way to do this is to create a fictional character that is similar to the people in your target audience.
You can create a video series where they use your product or feature your brand throughout their life. If your audience resonates with the character, they’ll be more likely to want to associate with your brand.
6. Keep It Short And To The Point
There are more people today than ever before that suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, better known as ADD. We all have way too many things to distract us in the real world let along the social media one. And then are those devices we cannot live without. Or as one very telling headline in The Telegraph put it a few years ago: Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.
Modern social media users have very short attention spans. Make sure the content you produce is easy to read, and can be digested by a user in 10 seconds or less. Posts with too much text or videos that are too long will quickly be ignored by users, and your chances of going viral will be much lower.
7. Utilize Interactive Content
One way to get users engaged is to make your content interactive. For instance, post a quiz on Facebook or make a poll on your Instagram story. Users are much more likely to engage with your content if you ask a question that they want to voice their opinion on.
Give them the opportunity to comment and share their own ideas. This is a great way to get users involved and increase viewership in as many feeds as possible.