Entrepreneur Lifestyle & Business Management

3 Steps to Make a Social Media Post Go Viral

Below are three simple steps to help you get the most exposure you can for an image or video posted via social media.

Find an image or video that resonates with people

This is obviously a critical point—people will not share something they find boring, common, or uninteresting. You can do all the other steps right, however if you select the wrong image or video, not much will happen.

What you choose to post has to have a “wow” factor. It can be perceived as funny, snarky, unique, or unbelievable, etc., however it must provoke a strong emotional response on a topic people will love to share and talk about.

You boost the chances of your image or video going viral if the topic is associated with a current event—people love to talk about current events.

Draft posts for social media (include hashtags)

As you might have guessed, write up sample posts for Facebook and Twitter at a minimum. Tumbler is also a good bet for increasing your chances of going viral.

Obviously, as you create your posts you have to keep in mind the limitations for that app; e.g., Twitter limits to 140 characters, etc. No matter which social media apps you choose, remember to describe what is captured in the image or video in a few simple words, and use hashtags to tie the image to a specific event, person, or organisation.

The use of hashtags is critical to helping interested people find the topic of your post, and later, for others to track back through social media to find your original post—in other words, hashtags are the breadcrumbs that lead others back to you.

Be sure to put some thought into it and use the right one.

Post it

I’m sure you’d guess you would post to Facebook, however that is only half the story. You can’t just post your image to your personal or business page—you’ll also want to post it on other people’s pages.

In that way, getting a post to go viral is no different than a marketing campaign because you want to identify an ideal audience in order to properly share your product. So once you have an image or video you want to share, the next step is to figure out where to “market” it.

Search to find the most applicable pages for organisations or individuals on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media applications that you think would appreciate your pic or video.
Once you’ve found the best candidates, post it! Good choices include the Facebook walls of celebrities and news stations, and to the Twitter feed of celebrities or news stations that might appreciate your tweet—anywhere your image would make the most connection with the highest number of people.

Just don’t stop at one! Post the image or video on around 5 or 6 pages per social media app to gain interest. Why? Multiple posts allow you to gain momentum from multiple sources, however it’s more than just that. A person who sees an image or video once might dismiss it if it doesn’t immediately appeal to their interests. Once it shows up in more than one location, it will grab their attention and persuade additional readers to click.

When you post to celebrity pages, news stations, organisations, etc., it helps if the page or profile owner comments or shares the post, however your post may go viral just from the many people who follow them.

If you image is funny or snarky, some good pages or profiles to consider are:

  • Comedians
  • News sources
  • Pages associated with humour

Our image was associated with Australia, therefore Australian websites and Aussie personalities were a good bet for high interest. If your post has a element of humour, a comedian with a lot of followers who comments or shares your image or video can help you quickly gain a lot of interest.

After you post it in multiple locations, sit back and watch the results. The post will either take off within a few hours or dwindle to nothing, so you’ll know pretty quickly. If it doesn’t take off, head back to the drawing board!

Leggo My Logo…?

Should you include your logo on your image or video? Maybe. It depends on the topic. I don’t think that our image would have gone as far if we had appeared to be pushing it intentionally (which we were not). However there may be some circumstances where including your logo will naturally fit with the reason the image is being promoted, in which case, go for it.

The critical point to remember is that people don’t like being sold to. So if you want your image to go viral while associated with your business, you need to have a strong reason to include a mention of your business. If your media includes a capture of your logo on someone in your image or video (such as on a t-shirt or other item, etc.), it might be less obtrusive and an easier sell.

Otherwise, let the image circulate, and if you used hashtags on your original posts, you might get an interview or other media attention out of it—and a little business promotion as a bonus!

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