Getting a piece of content viral on social media is every marketer’s dream. The mere thought of thousands and millions of people viewing your content feels amazing. It can also take your marketing efforts to new heights. Just one viral post can bring a lot of potential customers to a brand.
There are many ways to increase the chances of your content going viral. These include Cross-Platform Promotions, determining the target audience, crafting engaging posts, increasing follower count, etc. While there’s no fixed formula for going viral on the Internet, you can follow basic tips practiced by most successful brands.
First of all, let’s see what cross-platform promotion can do for your brand.
Cross-Platform Promotion is your first step to get viral on social media
If you run multiple active social media platforms for your business, you may have thought about creating a more integrated social media marketing strategy. If you haven’t, then it’s high time you did. Cross Promotion doesn’t mean that you have to post the exact same thing on every platform. The aim is to promote the same brand message to every platform.
The first step to cross-platform promotion is deciding which social media platforms are the most valuable for your brand. You can do this by considering your demographic and main platform. For instance, if you create content directed at teenagers or millennials, Instagram would be your best option. If you create content aimed towards people of 40 to 45 years, Linked In or Facebook would be a great choice.
How to effectively cross-promote your social media profiles?
Always remember cross-promotion doesn’t mean cross-posting
Many people post the same content on all the social media platforms using social media management tools, but that’s not a cross-platform promotion. In fact, it’s best if you don’t post the same content out everywhere because Posts that are repeated across all of your social profiles can come across as insincere, or even worse, just copied or lazy.
While cross-posting may seem a quicker option, you may lose your credibility, which is far more important.
Whichever account you want to promote, include links to it on another social media platform
Suppose you want to promote your Instagram account to build more followers. In that case, attach links to your Instagram account to other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Be mindful about the images you post while cross-promoting
If you post the same image on every platform, make sure you do it after making the necessary adjustments. For instance, Twitter prefers a narrower format, so the same image you posted on Facebook might not suit Twitter. That’s why it’s best to crop the image before posting. Similarly, while posting images on Pinterest and promoting it on any other platform, make sure you remember that Pinterest has a vertical-oriented format, so make sure you adjust the picture according to it.
While all these things may require more effort, it’s all worth it because they will polish the content you’re serving to your audience.
If you want to promote a particular piece of content, make sure to create customized tracking URLs
While promoting a piece of content from your website to any other social media platform, make sure you post a dedicated URL so you can know where the clicks are coming from.
This way, you can know which social media platform offers the most engagement for your business. Also, you can know which areas are bringing low results so you can step up your strategy in those areas.
If you’re putting on a special event specific to one particular social network, promote it on other networks
If you decide to carry out any event like a Q&A session or any live session on a social media network, make sure you promote it on other social media platforms as well. It’s because some people tend to use one platform more than others, or some also use every platform simultaneously. That’s why promote the event where you’ve established a presence.
While doing this, make sure you craft meaningful posts giving all the necessary details about the event like date, timing, channel or account name, link of your profile, etc.
If we talk in simple words, pay more attention to quality than anything else. Delivering a consistent brand message on every social media platform should be your aim. But while cross-platform promotion makes sure you take out time and put effort to mend the post. Hence, it becomes compatible with every social media platform and its audience.
To save you from the hassle, here are a few examples stating how you can successfully cross-promote your content :
You can write as many words on Facebook as you want, as Facebook allows you to be descriptive in your posts. Though don’t keep your copy too long as most users prefer crisp and to-the-point descriptions. If you want to promote any content on Facebook, make sure the image speaks for itself and include a link to your blog, website, or Instagram post.
Facebook consists of users from every age group and occasion, so posts with a more general appeal tend to work well on Facebook. Also, you can ignite a conversation by leaving a question in your description. This way, the followers can answer you or can give their opinion in the comments section.
As you know, Instagram doesn’t allow you to include a link to your posts. But it does allow you to post a link in your bio. Being another hashtag-driven platform, Instagram allows you to reach a younger audience through the effective use of suitable hashtags and strong visual appeal.
While promoting any content on Instagram, make sure you keep the content short and use hashtags in the latter half of your caption. A perfect fit for travel bloggers, lifestyle blogs, or photographers, Instagram banks on aesthetics and can work wonders for your Cross-Platform Promotion strategy.
Linked In –
Just like Twitter, LinkedIn also restricts you with 600 characters for any text. Although any text longer than 150 characters would require any user to click see more. That’s why the text must be intriguing enough so that the user gets compelled to click See More. The best way is to put the catchy and main text first.
If you’re promoting business content, you can also repost your stories on SlideShare or on LinkedIn Pulse to reach more LinkedIn members.
That’s how you can successfully cross-promote your content on different social media platforms. But it’s only the first step to the way of getting viral. You have to consider a lot more things to make your content reach more users.
10 Ways to Get Viral on Social Media
Know your Audience
Going Viral doesn’t mean getting your content in front of people, but it is getting your content in front of the right people. Your post can go viral only if people are willing to share it further. Before you start any campaign or strategy, you should create a marketing persona. A persona represents the target customers, including demographic and psychographic information and information related to content preferences and social media behavior.
Consider the following things while determining your target customers :
- Age – Age is an important factor while determining your target audience. Consider who would use your products or services the most. Is it millennials you want to target Gen Z? While you don’t have to be specific here, a little precision always helps.
- Location – Is your brand International, or you own a local brand? Which area do you want to target, and where do most of the audience live? Also, consider what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be online.
- Occupation – If your brand is about selling some specific products relating to a particular occupation, determine your audience according to it.
Establish an emotional connection
Emotion is what makes a person take action. The feelings you get after seeing, hearing, or reading something that strikes an emotional chord influence your behavior. And it is also backed by science.
Psychologist Robert Plutchik gave a wheel of emotions concept which highlights eight primary emotions that guide our behavior. These are :
Besides knowing who you want to target, it’s important to establish an emotional connection with them. Including these different emotions in your brand message can help your message resonate more effectively with your audience.
A great example of this is the commercial from Chipotle. Chipotle’s Scarecrow campaign had a perfect portrayal of emotions, and the brand message was also intact.
The Scarecrow commercial was made to state the fact that the brand doesn’t use additive and hormone-filled products fast-food chains have been known for. Rather it uses natural and fresh ingredients. The video touched most of the emotions stated by Plutchick.
- After watching the ad, people became fearful and lost trust in what is being put into the food they are eating.
- Sad cows and hormone-filled chickens made people angry and filled them with sadness and disgust as well.
- At the end, when the scarecrows brought fresh ingredients to the market, there was joy everyone felt at the moment.
Through this example, you saw how many emotions were being incorporated into a single video. You have to see how many emotions you can add to your message while keeping the core message intact.
Build your follower growth
All your marketing strategies are successful only if there are actual people following your content. So, if you feel your Instagram followers count is stuck at a particular number, or you’re not getting enough conversion, this is high time you amend your strategies and follow new methods to get new, real, and organic followers who really are interested in what you have to offer.
Here are proven strategies using which you can increase your follower count :
Make more use of keywords –
It doesn’t mean you have to stuff keywords everywhere; you can use relevant keywords in your username, tags, captions, hashtags, etc. Now, why is using keywords necessary? It’s because not all the text you post on Instagram is easily found. Apart from this, only two things can make your handle appear – username and name.
Keyword stuffing is not suggested, but you can add the most relevant keyword to improve your searchability. For instance, if you’re a food blogger or a travel blogger, you can add key phrases, food blogger, or travel blogger, along with your name. This will up the chances of you getting discovered when anyone searches food content in general or food bloggers in particular.
Focus on Writing attractive captions –
Writing attractive captions helps a lot in increasing your reach and engagement. As you know, engagement and reach are crucial factors in gaining more followers.
Always share engaging content of high quality –
While this might look obvious, it is crucial to keep in mind while planning to get more followers on Instagram. Each post on your Instagram account matters. Hence, it has to be of high quality.
Every time a visitor visits your account, the content should encourage them to see more. This way, the visitors will get compelled to hit the follow button. Also, great content will encourage people to like and comment on your post. More comments increase engagement on your account, which also improves your rankings.
Use relevant hashtags –
As said earlier, your text on Instagram isn’t searchable. But hashtags appear in the search results, which is why it’s crucial to use them. Adding relevant hashtags does two jobs for you – it helps people find you in the search results, or they can find you after clicking on a hashtag from another relevant post.
Make the most out of your captions
Captions give you a chance to further enhance your content, and there are plenty of ways you can use them. Some brands share stories or do micro-blogging in captions. Whereas some keep it simple by sharing a short, snappy tagline. You can also use captions of your posts to ask questions and encourage comments on your posts.
Captions play a huge role in your content getting viral.
You can be very creative with your captions. If your picture speaks for itself, be simple with captions and go for a short headline. Whereas, if your post needs in-depth story-telling, go ahead and write as Instagram allows it up to 2,200 characters. Also, don’t forget to use some relevant and popular hashtags in your captions to increase the searchability of your posts.
Create Content that can go viral
Viral marketing is the technique of creating content that has the potential to go viral. Here are 5 types of post that can go viral :
Motivational Content –
In today’s hectic life, everyone needs a push that keeps them going with the routine and performs better every day. Hence the most common posts you’ll find on Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, and other social networking sites are motivational posts.
You can post videos that motivate people and state how your product or service helps with that. Or you can also post famous quotes as your caption.
This one is very practical, just open your Facebook and scroll and see how many times you’ve come across a post that start with “10 ways to” or “7 tips for.” Articles and videos that are in a list format have more chances of getting viral.
When people see content in the list, they feel it’s to the point and more easy to understand.
Tutorials or How-to content
Tutorials or how-to content become more popular as they provide useful information. Most tutorials provide useful information and problem-solving approach. In fact, if you look at the terms people use while surfing the Internet or find answers, you’ll find that many starts with ‘how to….’
Also, these content have more chances of ranking better on search results.
Increase your Content Production
There’s no limit to what you can publish on your account. From product images, customer photos, memes, to videos, you can fill up your Instagram feed with any of the following.
To find out what works best for your audience, you have to experiment a bit. That will require you to post different stuff and monitor which kind of posts get more engagement. Though, it doesn’t mean you have to post many times a day. The best practice is to post at least once and a maximum of 3 times a day. If you post more than 3 times a day, your audience may lose interest or find your spam.
The key here is to be visible to the audience. It’s because social media moves much faster than it used to and brands have to ramp up their content if they want to keep up. To post content that your audience will love, you have to form a comprehensive strategy.
Grow and engage with your audience
Just growing your audience won’t work; you’ll have to actively engage with them. Try the following tips to keep your followers engaged with your brand :
Reply to mentions and comments –
The best way to increase engagement on your account is by replying to the comments and mentions as much as possible. You don’t have to write 4 or 5 lines; just a little “thank you,” “we’re glad you liked it,” or “stay connected” would do the job for you.
Post consistently –
Consistency is the key to success on any social media platform. When you post at consistent times, you leave your audience with the information on when to expect new content from you. If you post at random times, most of your viewers won’t know about your latest update, and that’s a big No.
Select a theme for your posts
There are a lot of entrepreneurs who post about all the random stuff. Today they post about fitness, the next day’s marketing, and then about any popular trend. This might confuse your audience, and they will end up losing interest in your posts. To avoid this, you have to keep your main theme intact in every post. You can post different stuff online to bring freshness to your account but make sure you balance such posts.
Your branding should remain steady in all your marketing efforts so it doesn’t contradict the previous efforts you have made. The branding color, font, logo, and tag line should be the same in every post. Basically, you have to think about what will make your audience intrigued enough to follow you or buy your products
There isn’t a secret formula that will guarantee that your content will go viral, but these tried and tested practices can definitely up the chances for it. Even if your content doesn’t go viral on the first attempt, these tips will help you to make an effective marketing strategy.