July 26th, 2018

So, You Want to “Go Viral?”

by Katelynn Watkins

It’s a phrase that any digital marketer hears on a regular basis from clients and coworkers alike: “going viral.”

It’s considered a positive aspiration, a desirable result of publishing content and sharing it with the rest of the internet-user population.

But what does it mean to “go viral,” and how does that affect your overall strategy? Literal definitions tell us that something is viral when it has the ability to infiltrate and spread to many entities at a fast rate. If you want your content to go viral, then, it means that it needs to be crafted in such a way that your followers feel compelled to share it with others, to republish it on your behalf. So what is the key to creating and endorsing this super shareable content, and how can you incorporate it into your regular editorial calendar? There may not be a foolproof, infallible answer, but we do have a few ways you can get on the right track.

Create a plan

The first step in gaining notoriety within your target audiences is in carefully planning your content in order to publish relevant and engaging messages, no matter which platform you choose to use. Part of what makes some organizations easier to ignore in the digital landscape than others is what they choose to communicate and how they go about doing so. If your social media pages, for example, contain posts that aren’t related to your industry, or if you constantly publish unengaging content, you’re less likely to have any of your messaging “go viral.”

If, however, your posts are created with your followers and a clear goal in mind, and then published at optimal times and on the best platforms, they’re less likely to get passed over as general noise, making them far more shareable. It boils down to accurately telling your brand’s story, and building upon that with each post, no matter how long or short.

Return the favor

The whole point behind social media management is in creating an entity with which others can interact; it’s about cultivating positive conversations that link businesses and individuals to promote collaboration. A significant part of that is in making sure your followers see you (or your brand as a whole) regularly react to their posts just as you want them to engage with yours. When you like and share content published by your fans, they’re more likely to take note of your posts and return the favor.

Stay consistent

With any content marketing strategy, significant growth and results can take some time to track and analyze, so it’s important that you remain constant in your brand’s tone as well as in your posts themselves. When you unfailingly disseminate quality content to your social media followers, and they learn to expect your input on their newsfeeds, they also begin to recognize you as an industry authority and look forward to seeing what you’ll publish next. When this happens, it’s more likely that your content will get the attention it deserves, which means that your followers might be more inclined to share it with their friends and start the chain reaction that is “going viral.”

While we all want our efforts to garner instantaneous recognition and results, the reality is that it often takes time to build that kind of reputation both on and off the screen. If you’re ready for some additional help from our marketing experts, contact Sage Island today!

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