Ever wonder why some videos, photos or blog posts go viral and others don’t? It’s not like only the funniest, craziest or best things get shared over and over. Some really amazing things are happening online, but no one is seeing them outside small, private circles. You can’t control the end game 100%, but there are some things I can tell you about how to get shared, liked and go viral online.
People share things that trigger an emotion. That emotion can be light-hearted or heartbreaking, hilarious or serious, but it has to be felt and felt deeply on some level. Whether a post, video or photo elicited a chuckle or a tear, it’s that emotional connection that prompts social sharing.
There are things that tug at our collective heartstrings. Have you ever worked with a military veteran, and helped the vet and his/her family into their first home? Ask to use them as a case study. Film them moving in or signing their contract, ask them some questions about the significance of the home purchase on their lives and their family, get the video edited and post it on social media. Write a blog about them, take some photos, follow up in a year. These are ideas that spring to mind quickly, but the general idea is to follow things that tug at your own heart, and when possible, make those stories available to others. Share good fortune when you can.
What else can you do? Write. On your blog or website, take the time to create insightful, researched, long-form content (2,000 – 10,000) words. Not as many people do it, which means less competition, and research by the NY Times and BuzzSumo agree that long-form content is shared more often.
Remember that images, videos and infographics are all shared more readily than text alone. Images on Twitter get twice as many shares as text alone, and the same goes for Facebook. Lists and quizzes are also popular, the latter because they appeal to many people’s inherent self-involvement.
There are some great tools available online that you can use to create your own infographics, quizzes and more, without spending any money or needing graphic design skills. Have a look at Creative Bloq’s 10 Free Tools for Creating Infographics and Top 10 Social Media’s Ten Free Infographic Maker Tools for Social Media to get started.
Lastly, try not to focus your attention on going viral or the numbers of shares your posts will receive. Thinking too much about results can make your social media efforts stilted and forced. If something feels important to you, share it! You might find you’re not the only one.