How to make your content go viral

Cheryl Luzet - 28 August 2015

We’ve all heard about that amazing piece of content that went viral online – getting mentions, shares and likes all over the social media world. Sometimes all it takes is a topical tweet, a funny Facebook image or some on-trend content that manages to capture the zeitgeist, and within minutes a post is being seen on a global scale! Often these posts can be picked up by the media, re-tweeted by a popular celebrity or even shared by newsfeed sites such as Buzzfeed. They often lead to copycat posts too which get the original post even more publicity…the Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of a social media idea that really took off.

So how can your business create that elusive content that goes viral? Unfortunately there is no magic formula. However there are a number of things that you can focus on when you are writing your content which could help you to find that special ingredient to make the online community send your post viral.

Use a catchy title

A great title will really encourage people to click on your link. Social media experts know that a title needs to get people excited so use emotive language that shows you are passionate about your subject. Instead of calling your post ‘10 St Albans restaurant reviews’ you could try calling it ‘10 of the funniest St Albans restaurant reviews around – these will make you cry with laughter!’

You should also pique the customer’s interest by using as much detail as possible in your title so they know exactly what they are going to get when they click. For example a hairdresser could call their post ‘10 secrets for amazing hair for any occasion’ rather than just ‘hairdressing top tips’.

Get the format and length just right

Different formats and lengths work for different topics so take the time to think about what works best for the type of content you are writing. Top Tips and To Do Lists should be short and snappy whereas essay style pieces should be longer because people will be expecting a more in-depth article.

Chose a timely topic

A high interest topic is obviously really important to get the maximum exposure possible for your article. This means that you need to make sure your content is timely and relevant. Writing about how to design a Mother’s Day bouquet in December is not going to get many clicks but a Christmas cake recipe could do really well.

To help you with this it can be a good idea to create a content calendar and put in key dates and events throughout the year so that you can link your content in with topical subjects. You should also always keep an eye on the latest news and events so that you can capitalise on these.

Get your key influencers on-board

As a small business it is always a good idea to have a team of online influencers who support your work and will share your content online. A great way to get your content to go viral is to use quotes or information from these influencers in your article. If you include their name and a link to their blog they will often share the article amongst their followers which can quickly lead to the content being shared and liked by a large number of people.

So you can see that although there is no guarantee that an article will go viral, there are a number of factors which can really help. Make sure that you have a catchy title, a subject that captures people’s imaginations and a great team of influencers to share and promote it -and you could find you have created the next big viral post!

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