As a content creator, you want to go viral on social media. But how exactly do you accomplish this? There’s no formula out there that guarantees those coveted hundreds of thousands of likes, comments, and shares. So is there really any rhyme or reason why the posts that go viral are so successful?
What it all comes down to is what viewers want to see and engage with. We have some insight on what it is people want in 2022 and how to incorporate these things into your social media content:
There’s just something about lists. People love clear, concise, easy-to-consume content. Lists make the sharer seem smarter, they’re countable, and they usually help to solve problems (source). What’s not to like?
Listicles (articles that are written in a list-based format – much like this post!) have great potential to become viral content. They can cover all kinds of topics, from the educational to the clickbaity, but high quality content performs best. Neil Patel suggests the following ways to leverage the power of listicles:
- Make a complex topic easy to understand by breaking it down into manageable parts.
- Create a step-by-step guide about a topic.
- Share a unique angle about a popular topic.
- Compare tools or suggestions.
2. Visual Content
Visual content creates an aesthetic feel for your audience as opposed to large blocks of text. Photos and videos are far more eye-catching than plain copy and are the key to stopping the scroll. Infographics help the reader more easily digest information. And infographics are gold when it comes to shareable content.
When it comes to infographics, consistent branding is important. If someone sees an infographic on a social platform, they should be able to tell that it came from your brand because of its unique design. Customize every aspect of your infographic, from colors to fonts to text placement to align with your branding. When done right, your target audience will be able to discern your brand’s infographics from others (source).
It is natural for humans to be emotional, and when a piece of content makes a viewer feel a certain way, they are more likely to share it on social media. And positivity wins out. A study conducted on over 500,000 Facebook users demonstrated that positive content is likely to receive more social shares than negative news. A viral marketing campaign should be able to tap into the emotions of the targeted audience, with positive ones like joy and awe being the most desirable.
Use positive emotions to build a strong connection with viewers. After all, your main goal, regardless of the strategy used, should be to develop a deep connection with your targeted audience (source).
4. Interactive and/or Shareable Content
At current, one of the surest ways to get your content shared widely is to make it engaging and interactive. Instagram, for example, factors in which accounts users have interacted with and how much they have interacted with said accounts to deduce what content is shown to them.
To take advantage of this algorithm, try seeking out conversations with your audience by asking questions. Verbiage such as, “What do you think about [insert topic]?” or, “What is your favorite [insert category]?” are bound to drive up comments. I mean, we all know people love expressing their opinions on social media!
Apart from asking direct questions, you can also use “comment if you like/want more,” or “tag a friend” prompts to drive engagement. Captions such as, “Send this to a friend who [insert behavior],” will drive up post shares (source).
5. Contests / Giveaways
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Contests and giveaways on social media do wonders for engagement because people want to stay on your content and take an action which could help them win something.
Running a contest asking users to comment or tag a friend in a post in order to be entered will skyrocket your engagement, but taking it a step further and asking users to share your post to be entered will increase your visibility exponentially. If you’re selling a product or service, you can use a giveaway as part of your marketing strategy to promote what you’re selling (source). It’s a win for everyone involved!
As stated above, there’s no magic formula for going viral, but discerning what viewers want and presenting it to them can set you on the right path. Lists, visual content, positivity, interactive and shareable content, and the opportunity to win something are all things that social media users want in 2022. Sharing this type of content on your social media platforms could very well send you on your way to becoming a viral sensation.
If you have questions about your own social media or digital marketing strategy, reach out to us at AEK Solutions for a free, no-obligation Q&A session. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable growth online by embracing a rapid-experimentation, funnel-based approach. We also utilize creative and technology, such as geotargeting, customer experience management, and moments of influence testing to develop solutions to specific digital marketing issues.