It’s every content manager’s dream and every webmaster’s nightmare. Going viral isn’t just about the hundreds of thousands of views that happen over a weekend, sometimes overnight. It takes a lot of work.
We can tell you from our experience that getting a video or an ad for your business or brand to go viral happens overnight. But the amount of work that ultimately leads to that massive snowball of views, likes and shares is just staggering.
This post doesn’t promise to be a silver bullet for your aggressive online marketing campaigns. Rather, it is an attempt to help small business owners to understand what it takes to be in front of a million eyeballs from sunset to sunup.
Understanding Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is always a function of the amount of work you put in towards getting people to become interested in your content. The process happens over time. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Sometimes it’s over six weeks; sometimes over a span of a few months.
The idea here is to generate enough interesting content AND engaging your ideal target market. If you’re after moms and dads of a particular age group in your area, tailor your content to fit their needs. Making pop culture references that piques their collective nostalgia helps.
Also, make sure your content is ripe for picking in the window of time your ideal target market consumes their social media. For students, we find the best time to post your content is around lunch. So when these kids head out of their classes and back to their dorms, you’ve already had a few clicks and likes up on your Timeline.
So How Do You Go Viral?
Short answer – you don’t.
Going viral is never about luck but from our experience; we can tell you upfront that a large part of pursuing your marketing on this route takes a lot of patience. The idea here is to generate enough shareable content until one of two things happen:
First, your content can be viewed by a large enough mass of followers that the bigger players in your industry (from our experience, these are the members of the print, radio and the local television networks) pick up your story and send it in front of even more people; hence the virality.
This in turn is likely to drive traffic back to your site, your blog or your Facebook page. If you’ve worked hard enough and long enough, your subsidiary social media profiles like your YouTube Channel or your Twitter account would get the same vicarious exposure.
Second form of virality we’ve seen doesn’t involve a large enough mass of followers. Rather, it involves a singular player or user within your industry with enough clout. If you’re a band looking for some good exposure, that player could be a more established artist within or without your genre (Christina Grimmie and Skrillex comes to mind).
If that player picks up your content and shares it to his or her players – you’re golden. Depending on the interest he or she is able to create, your chances of going viral are as good as given.
How has going viral figured in your social media marketing strategy? Let me know or ask your questions in the comment below.
About the Author: Between planning weddings and chasing pavements, Shandi Tan is a Community Manager for Pulyetos, LLC. the premiere hub for online reputation management and social media marketing in the Philippines. If you’re looking for more tip s on how to leverage the social media for your brand or business, you’ll want to take a look at this.