Ways to go Viral may make your head Spiral!

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viral-marketingOne of the great gains we have gotten through social media is the ability for every single person to be heard. Unfortunately finding people through all the noise and chatter is something that is hard to do. So how do you make sure that your content is seen?

While some people differ on their arguments on how to go viral, there does seem to be a lot people agree upon. For example, emotions. Kelsey Libert & Derek Halpern agree that virality is heavily linked to emotions and here are some of the reasons why:

– Emotions trigger responses, whether they are good responses of warm, cuddly feelings, or anger and angst about the topic people react.

– When people share content it is a reflection on them and how they feel and what they are thinking. This is something that helps with things going viral since it is a great way to share information and share a little bit about themselves.

– Another key point that is made is that while anger incites a lot of sharing, it is a good rule of thumb to not try and push too much content with the intent to anger too often. While controversial topics are always a good idea in order to push through barriers and create thought provoking content, making people angry towards you will quickly decline any growth that was sustained.

A great part Dorie Clark makes is how to not forget that word-of-mouth is still a very powerful tool in making something viral. Not all companies can create content that naturally leads to a viral trend. Some content is just not as interesting as others, however, by consistently reaching out to people and remembering that most of word-of-mouth still happens through face-to-face communication you can eventually get your word out. This is such an important detail to remember when it comes to social media. Networking in person is constantly a key part of any business. Not just waiting for people to find your content online, but meeting with people, handing out business cards and getting to know people. If people meet you and like what you have to say, they have more of an inclination to go online and find out what you are saying in other forums.

Lastly, Larry Kim spoke about staying in front of the news cycle. This is something I had not  yet thought of and it makes a lot of sense. When you have a story that may not really make a big splash, if you can time it to get it in front of a news story that is about to break, it may be a great way to get in and get seen. While this doesn’t work for every story, this is a good idea for when you can have it work for you.

I think all of these are great tips, if you can figure out a way to implement them. Can you be emotional about a story or add an emotional element to a story? For some people that is harder than you would think, but if you are able to do so, it would be a great help to you. Another big plus would be a visual element since that also helps in going viral, but sometimes you can’t find or create good visuals. It is important to remember that just because you work hard and want your content to go viral, doesn’t mean it will, and sometimes you just have to keep adding in various elements in order to get your own “special sauce”.

What do you think of adding an emotional element to your stories?

Do you think you could work on timing a story to get in front of a big news break?

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2 responses »

  1. Whether a company is trying to create viral content or not, having emotional elements to a story are key. Emotion hooks people and keeps them invested. We’ve learned this week it is also one of the key elements to going viral.

    The article we read that had great timing with Facebook’s IPO was crazy. They really planned it well. I think so companies could have success with that. I think it takes a really specific niche for it to work. I can’t think of any ways in which the company I work for could work with timing but I’m sure there’s breaking news all the time that content can play off of.

    • Hi Stacy,

      Thanks for chiming in! I really appreciate your comments and I agree, that article was crazy! The way they impacted so much and were seen so publicly so quickly was pretty amazing! I think people would have to work really hard to figure out timing for most companies, but if they could figure something out, maybe they could have the same incredible effect.

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