How To Go Viral: 5 Steps To Become the Next Big Thing

You know what? We get it.

Success on social is all about numbers; namely reach and engagement. With social platforms updating their algorithms to show us content that match our browsing and engagement habits – not always to everyone’s delight – is it becoming easier to go viral?

So, how do you go about getting your content seen by millions?

Who is Your Audience?

As with creating anything, understanding who your audience is and what makes them tick is the first step to going viral.

While many people think going viral just means having your content plonked in front of anyone and everyone, that’s not the best way to go about it. Yes, you’ll get the views, but not everyone will be interested in what your content is about, meaning the views are pretty much worthless and chances of engagement are low.

Instead, it’s time to get your research head on and really look at what your audience love. Target their pain points, give them what they need in a creative way and you should start seeing organic traction start to increase.

Get Emotional and Visual

People love a bit of emotion, whether they remember it or not. Just think about cats on the internet; they’re cute, fluffy and do silly stuff – no wonder they’re so popular. All those things play on our emotions and get us more invested in whatever we’re looking at.

It’s also what makes us more likely to engage or take action. No one is going to want to click on a boring article headline which gives away the whole story in a bland manner, but put a bit of emotion in it which entices a user to click through? BINGO! You have engagement.

You should choose an emotion that you think will work best and is the most appropriate for your campaign. That could be outrage, happiness, sadness… There’s a whole spectrum of emotions out there for you to choose from.

Visuals are also a huge hit. Humans are super visual beings and if you manage to extend the emotion of the content into visual form, you can be sure that more people will click and engage. Think about it, when you’re scrolling down your news feed, are you really taking notice of those posts with small or non-existent images?

Exactly.

Apps on Phone | Soap Media

Sharing is Caring

To achieve that coveted viral status, you’re going to need to broaden your reach significantly, and the most obvious way to do this is to encourage people to get sharing.

This could be a blatant “share to get access to x” like Dropbox did when they launched to entice more people. They offered more storage to those users who referred friends to their service and quickly racked up users signing up for their services.

Without a reason to share, you can bet that your content will stay hidden away from the masses, so think of a call to action that will make people want to click that button.

Don’t Be Useless

Your content needs a purpose. Yes, we’ve all shared videos of dogs surfing and thought it was mega cool, but does it really have a purpose?

Actually, it does. These videos will be targeted to audiences who love dogs, and the aim of the campaign would be to get people sharing because they relate to the video or – as previously mentioned – they feel emotionally attached to it.

The same applies to other content. Guides are especially good for going viral, especially when coupled with a strong emotion. For example, “50 ways to go viral in five days” would be more attractive and more likely to get people clicking and sharing than “The history of our sewage system”.

Well, unless there’s a massive audience out there dying to know about the history of sewage systems…

Phone with YouTube | Soap Media

Make Use of Influencers

This might feel like cheating, but think of it like this – there’s no better way to quickly boost your content’s reach than to get those with a decent follower base to share your post.

Rather than sit around and wait for these influencers to find your content, a more proactive approach is sure to get you more results if you go about it the right way. Simply sending them an email with “hey, could you share this, thx” is a sure fire way to get ignored.

Instead, using polite outreach tactics could prove to be more fruitful. Tag them in your posts, make sure you follow them, reach out to them and communicate with them before your content goes live to try and build up some kind of relationship.

The main thing to note is that influencers will be looking for some personal value in your content – for them, they won’t want to share something that they don’t believe in.

While there’s no absolutely guarantee that your content will go viral, you can do everything within your power to get the ball rolling.

For more helpful hints and tips, be sure to check out the rest of our blog

Written by
Karen Martin
Karen Martin

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