Social media can be one of the fastest and most efficient tools for spreading information. While marketers would love to have complete control over social media and the spreading of content, the truth is social media is unpredictable. However there are some ways to help manipulate it in your favor. Here are four elements to help craft a viral social media post:
- Play on emotions: Emotions are a key component for viral content. If humans have a strong feeling for something, they tend to want to share what caused them to have those feelings. Content should have one of the three characteristics to help play on emotions, comedy, cause-relation, or tragedy. Look at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; it became an extremely viral cause. Emotions played a huge roll in the popularity of this cause; it made people feel sadness for the victims of the terrible disease, while at the same time made some laugh watching the videos of other being drenched with iced water.
- Create Triggers: The content should cause triggers for the audience that reminds them of the post. Take a video for instance; by placing a catchy song in the video, someone who watched that video will think of the video whenever he/she hears that song. Triggers are a great way to keep content in a person’s head without physically seeing the content.
- Timing is everything: A post is nothing if it doesn’t have good timing. First research the target audience and find out when they are most likely to be on social media. Second find out if there are any events, memes or popular topics that can be hooked by the content. The chance of a post becoming viral increases greatly when the timing is correct (Pozin).
- Try to gain back up: Try sharing content with social media influencers. This is the most difficult of all of the elements because the poster has little to no control with ensuring an influencer will share the content. However if a social media influencer sees and shares the content the odds of the post becoming viral can skyrocket.
Having content go viral is extremely difficult, and may take multiple attempts for a business to gain viral content. However incorporating these four elements can increase the odds, and hopefully have that content ‘catch on’ and create social media gold.