GOING VIRAL: MAKING IT IN THE MASSES

going-viral007.jpg

By: Taylor Lewis, Public Relations Coordinator

The Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the “Straight Outta” meme, and how could we forget the black and blue vs. gold and white dress debate of 2015. Each one of these viral sensations captivated the masses of the social media realm, but you have to wonder why and how they gained so much popularity? Was it the content, the visuals, a lot of luck, or a combination of everything?

Having a social media campaign go viral is dream come true for a social media content creator, but there are rarely any prior indications of what will go viral and when. So, one could argue that there is really no way to predict that something will reach such a level of popularity. However, there are several elements that are not mutually exclusive and proven to increase the chances of your content going viral when use in the right ways.

Audience over everything.

Have you ever heard the saying “quality over quantity”? Well, when it comes to going viral, those words have never been truer. Just because you put amazing content in front of tons of people, doesn’t mean they will care or engage with it. You can get to know what your audience likes through gathering insights on their demographics, what content they like the most, or just asking them questions through an Instagram story. However you gather this information, It is important to know your audience and develop content that they will be drawn to, thus increasing the likelihood that they will interact with it enough to go viral. 

Let others do the work for you.

Going viral is definitely a blessing and a curse. It increases engagement, followers, website views, but it is also a lot of work on the social media manager’s part. When developing something to go viral, you should aim for your audience to do some of the work for you. Encouraging people to “share” or create user-generated content is a great way to ensure that your reaching a larger audience and people are engaging with your content. Influencers can be extremely influential as well. So, find some key influencers among your audience and encourage them to engage as well.

Timeliness is the name of the game. 

Although there is no perfect time for something to go viral, it helps to follow a few simple tips. 

-      Stay up to date on the latest events and trending topics. 

-      Know when your audience engages the most.

-      Use trending hashtags when possible.

Timeliness is all about knowing the perfect time to interact with your audience. Finding the right time will make a huge difference on the amount of momentum the content will acquire and propel it to go viral. 

Keep up the momentum.

Your content goes viral, great! But now what? It is vital that the social media manager continues to engage with their audience through reposts, liking comments, replying to comments, etc. Keeping up this interaction will keep your content “alive” in the social media world, which will only serve to further benefit your social media pages. 

Utilizing these tips will be extremely beneficial in the quest to go viral, but a little luck won’t hurt either. So, good luck!