The Do's and Don'ts of Viral Content Promotion

By Drew Hendricks July 27, 2015

Viral content promotion is the word we use to describe content that just simply takes off on its own. It creates a brand out of nothing and can quickly boost the visibility and customer response for the lucky company that manages to tap into it as a resource. Although we do know the ingredients for "virality" in social media, we still lack a solid idea of what makes something viral. The best we can do is follow what we know and hope that it takes off. When it comes to viral media promotion there are a few things that you should do and far more that you should avoid. Here's a look at the most common do's and don’ts of viral content promotion.

The Do’s of Viral Content Promotion

1. Use Trending Events to your Advantage: Developing a piece of viral content is a lot easier if you know what people are talking about. Following the trending data on social media sites and utilizing tools such as Followerwonk and Google Trends, you can easily figure out what everyone's talking about and tap into that idea to build your viral content. Keeping up to date with trending hashtags can help you create content that is more likely to go viral since it deals with a current issue in social media. All it needs is the right catalyst to set it off.

2. Leverage your Audience's Emotions: Probably the most powerful thing that a content producer can do is to tap into the emotional response of their audience. An emotional response is a unique way to convince a user that they identify with what they're seeing. Utilizing things like humor and empathy you can connect with your audience and encourage them to share this content, because they identify with what they see. This motivator is the most important driving factor in making a piece of content go viral.

3. Your Storytelling Can Shape your Response: One thing the most popular viral marketing techniques have had in common is the ideal of great storytelling. Most content marketers agree that storytelling has an extremely important place in modern social media and building your story around your viral marketing ensures that users have something else they can identify with. It's even better when you make them part of the story themselves, they feel included and are more inclined to share it as something they see themselves a part of.

via Shutterstock

The Don'ts of Viral Content Promotion

1. Being Boring: We know that content marketing is about marketing, but it's been more about the content than the marketing for a while now, at least a couple years. What you need to do is engage your audience and have a rapport with them. Get them to respond to your posts. Even something as simple as asking the question of "what are you guys having for dinner tonight?" is an impressive way to get your audience to comment and to say something about your page and to engage you directly. Constantly harping on about your new product or statistics that don't mean anything to the layman is definitely not the way you're going to get your content to go viral.

2. Being a Bully to get a Buzz: The aim of content marketing is to promote your business in a positive light. Not you might think that there's no such thing as bad publicity. As a business this is one truism that's dead wrong. Bad publicity can negatively affect your business and word can get all the way back to your sponsors who would then pull funding from your site and leave you in the lurch. Taking advantage of your users or anyone else for that matter in order to create a buzz will give you publicity, but not the kind that will ensure you will get more business.

3. Being Annoying: Does your social media strategy call for posting rapidly in a short space of time or bombarding your followers with new posts in a short time frame? If it does then you should probably get a brand new social media strategy. People use social media to interact with other people and it annoys them when a page they follow has updates every quarter of an hour, usually with trivial things that they're not even interested in. Being annoying is a sure way to get someone who actually likes your brand to unfollow you on social media in order to maintain their sanity.

Quality Matters Most

Viral content promotion is about quality not about quantity. It doesn't matter how many posts you churn out in a day's time or even a week's time. It doesn't matter if you cover sixty topics in the space of a day if your content quality is low. Low quality content doesn't spread virally. Following the Do's might not get you a guaranteed viral post, but it gets you far closer to one than trying to follow the Don'ts. It’s in your own best interest that you stick with the Do's.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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