If You Want to Go Viral, Do This

Imagine it’s the year 2005 again. Virtually anything you post on the internet has a chance to go viral. No one really knows when the internet is going to be hot again, or if there’s going to be another dot-com crash like there was in 2001, so the big companies are staying clear. The world is the content producer’s oyster, and there are ample opportunities.

Today, not so much. You’re competing on search with companies paying millions for SEO, and competing on social media with companies paying millions for appearances.

But there is still one way to go viral:

To go live.

On Facebook.
On Instagram.
On LinkedIn.

There’s a limited, but very real, window of opportunity here. But here is a place where the Davids can conquer the Goliaths. After all, the corporate giants have a lot to lose by letting their marketers and guests hang loose and talk freely “live” — at least for now, until they figure it out. (I give it 6-24 months, before this idea is completely bombarded by the big guys).

For now, here are some best practices to go live. 

1.) Plan to go live consistent days and times.

2.) Announce, in advance, before you go live.

If you expect people to show up, you need to let them know it’s happening in advance. This is not the time to be shy. Be sure you broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok — any social media network you’re on, and don’t be afraid to do an email blast about it, either.

3.) For maximal effects, stay online for at least 10 minutes.

You know embarrassment? Shame? That feeling you get when you have a party and not many people show up (or no one shows up)?

Yeah, now’s not the time for that feeling.

The first few times you go live, expect low numbers. Sometimes, embarrassingly low numbers. That’s OK. 

The absolute worst thing you can do is give up. Stay online. Give your planned talk. Facebook and Instagram prioritize longer videos (at least 3 minutes) over shorter videos right now, and in months to come, it’s likely they’re going to prioritize the longest and most popular videos. We honestly recommend giving it a chance and staying online for 10+ minutes.

4.) Use your website and social media posts as guides for topics.

Like all great digital content, you need to have a plan. By studying which topics people engage with the most on your website and social media channels, you can determine which topics to cover during your Live session.

5.) Actively engage with your audience.

Call out people by name. Be friendly. Say hello. 

If people comment, be sure that you respond. 

6.) Give people a call-to-action.

Every Live video is an opportunity to do something. What is it that your brand needs — more followers? Ask them to follow, with links. More engagement? Ask them to comment on a recent post, with a clickable link. To buy something? Tread carefully, unless you’re an influencer known for giving such curated recommendations, but give links to that too.

Try to make each Live have only one objective. Keep track and measure the results. 

Bottom Line

There aren’t as many opportunities for small brands to compete with large brands as, say, 10-15 years ago, but there is a huge opportunity available with going Live on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Follow our tips, dare to try, and stick with it. Or contact us for a no-obligation, risk-free strategy, and Q&A session!

If You Want to Go Viral, Do This

Imagine it’s the year 2005 again. Virtually anything you post on the internet has a chance to go viral. No one really knows when the internet is going to be hot again, or if there’s going to be another dot-com crash like there was in 2001, so the big companies are staying clear. The world is the content producer’s oyster, and there are ample opportunities.

Today, not so much. You’re competing on search with companies paying millions for SEO, and competing on social media with companies paying millions for appearances.

But there is still one way to go viral:

To go live.

On Facebook.
On Instagram.
On LinkedIn.

There’s a limited, but very real, window of opportunity here. But here is a place where the Davids can conquer the Goliaths. After all, the corporate giants have a lot to lose by letting their marketers and guests hang loose and talk freely “live” — at least for now, until they figure it out. (I give it 6-24 months, before this idea is completely bombarded by the big guys).

For now, here are some best practices to go live. 

1.) Plan to go live consistent days and times.

2.) Announce, in advance, before you go live.

If you expect people to show up, you need to let them know it’s happening in advance. This is not the time to be shy. Be sure you broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok — any social media network you’re on, and don’t be afraid to do an email blast about it, either.

3.) For maximal effects, stay online for at least 10 minutes.

You know embarrassment? Shame? That feeling you get when you have a party and not many people show up (or no one shows up)?

Yeah, now’s not the time for that feeling.

The first few times you go live, expect low numbers. Sometimes, embarrassingly low numbers. That’s OK. 

The absolute worst thing you can do is give up. Stay online. Give your planned talk. Facebook and Instagram prioritize longer videos (at least 3 minutes) over shorter videos right now, and in months to come, it’s likely they’re going to prioritize the longest and most popular videos. We honestly recommend giving it a chance and staying online for 10+ minutes.

4.) Use your website and social media posts as guides for topics.

Like all great digital content, you need to have a plan. By studying which topics people engage with the most on your website and social media channels, you can determine which topics to cover during your Live session.

5.) Actively engage with your audience.

Call out people by name. Be friendly. Say hello. 

If people comment, be sure that you respond. 

6.) Give people a call-to-action.

Every Live video is an opportunity to do something. What is it that your brand needs — more followers? Ask them to follow, with links. More engagement? Ask them to comment on a recent post, with a clickable link. To buy something? Tread carefully, unless you’re an influencer known for giving such curated recommendations, but give links to that too.

Try to make each Live have only one objective. Keep track and measure the results. 

Bottom Line

There aren’t as many opportunities for small brands to compete with large brands as, say, 10-15 years ago, but there is a huge opportunity available with going Live on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Follow our tips, dare to try, and stick with it. Or contact us for a no-obligation, risk-free strategy, and Q&A session!