Our communications world is driven by content. It’s at the heart of all connections and it’s the driving force for new ones. Connections are what build a social network and help it reach more people. When you have the right content, the right connections and the right timing? That’s when content goes viral. Viral content is a force all on its own, and content producers are always in search of that magic formula that will make something go viral. Since it involves having all of the right elements present, and it’s not the same for each group or brand, there is no one right formula…there are many. Yet, smart content producers all have a few things in common.
1) Their content is relevant and timely: Smart content producers pay attention to what’s going on in the world and connect themselves and their group’s purpose to that in whatever way they can. The other day I saw an animal adoption facility on Twitter that had a cat named Pope up for adoption. They used the announcement of the new Pope and connected it to their purpose. That’s one example of how this is done. This concept also involves looking at trending hashtags on Twitter and thinking about events that are coming up. Chances are that if you’re thinking about it coming up soon, others are too (especially if it’s a significant holiday or season). My point is that there are always connections to be made and ways to integrate what you’re about into relevant and timely content. It’s how you make people pay attention and it’s part of what will help your content spread.
2) They know their audience and they have great connections: Knowing your audience is almost as key as producing the right content, and can help your content take off. Do you know who your audience is? Do you know what your audience cares about? Learning this can help you connect to influential people who have a lot of clout amongst their peers. If they are the trendsetters, or the ones everyone looks to, connecting with them will open your content up to a lot more people. Spreading your content to more people means that your message is getting out there and you are earning new followers. It all comes full circle, and it all starts with knowing your audience and building great connections. Once you do that, it’s about keeping the lines of communication open.
3) They generate conversations: Whether it’s through people retweeting your content, you retweeting theirs in return (on Twitter) or you liking their comment and fueling new ones with your responses (on Facebook), generating conversations is essential. If you can get people talking, and keep people talking, your content will continually be in front of other people’s eyes. Fresh eyes lead to more people joining the conversation, and that’s what you want to see happen. Conversations are the glue that holds it all together, if you’re not running the conversation then other people are running it for you. If other people are running it for you, it’s probably not the conversation you want happening. The best method is to get involved and stay involved. This will fuel conversations that can ultimately see your content going viral.
Putting these methods to work, by applying them to your content, your audience and its conversations are what will help give your content the best chance for going viral. Your content going viral means that your message is getting out there and reaching more people. Your message reaching more people will bring more attention to you and your purpose, and that is the overall goal.