The Worst Content Marketing Is What Everybody Else Is Doing: How to Get Ahead and Stay ThereContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
"Make That Go Viral, Please"
Posted on October 31st 2012
These words are enough to make any honest reputable social media marketer laugh. Then cringe. And then sigh. In the world of social media marketing, whether you’re a big business or small, going viral is the Holy Grail. But the fact of the matter is that you can’t make anything go viral.
For those who live under a rock, going viral refers to the fact that your content, whether it’s a video, blog, tweet, post or image, resonates so profoundly with the audience that they feel the need to share it with their contacts, who in turn share it with their contacts and so on. The content then becomes extremely popular in a very short amount of time. Going viral is the ultimate goal of any social media campaign. It’s equivalent to those proverbial “15 minutes of fame.”
What Makes Content Go Viral?
While many social media “gurus” will tell you the recipe for virility is easy, when you’re dealing with factors that include sentiment, personal preference and emotional response, the outcome is often unpredictable and unrepeatable. The frustrating truth of the matter is that most content will not go viral; no matter how hard you try. In order to create an effective marketing strategy, you need hard work, dedication and a clear vision of what you’re working toward. It’s also important to take the time and effort to build your online audience since, in the end; it will be that audience that determines whether or not your content goes viral.
For those who deal in absolutes, I do have a few suggestions to increase the odds that your content will go viral:
- Keep it Simple – Some people don’t like to think so hard
- Keep it Relevant – Find out what people are talking about and what they are interested in
- Be Absurd – Think outside the box and give your content a surprise twist
- Don’t Sell – Since most people don’t like to be sold to, take your company (mostly) out of it.
- Make it Relatable – Make your audience laugh or cry or gag or want to hit something
- Make a List – People love lists. Think David Letterman
- Create a Catch Phrase – Do you still remember “Where’s the beef?”
- Make Sharing Easy – Allow video to be embedded, put share buttons on your web or blog page
- Use a Cat – Cuz people just love cats
So, to all you small (and big) business owners out there, please remember that despite your best efforts, you cannot make your content go viral. You can hope for it, you can wish for it, you can create the best and most engaging content you can with the desire that will it seize your audience and provoke a contagious attack of sharing but you cannot make it go viral. So go ahead, create your content and try to accept the fact that, at the end of the day, it’s your audience that will make the ultimate decision about whether it goes viral or not. Well, that and a little pixie dust!