Viral social media campaigns seem to be more popular than ever, with a new viral post or video emerging every week. It can really help to lift even the smallest of businesses into the next level. However, achieving virality is still a seemingly impossible challenge for many marketers and business owners.
Without social media, there would be no viral marketing. Without social media, there would be no vehicle for news or information to spread as rapidly as it does. However, many viral social media campaigns tend to be short-lived, as so many stories are constantly competing to grab consumers’ attention.
In this post, we will look at what makes a social media campaign go viral, and what you need to do to reach those dizzying heights and have your business stand out.
Piggyback on trends
Sometimes, planning and putting together a whole viral marketing campaign for social media is too much, or seems impossible. If this is how you feel, think about piggybacking on an existing trend.
Sometimes known as ‘trend jacking’ or ‘viral jacking’, this is literally what it sounds like – taking something that has gone crazy on social media, such as a meme, trend, dance move, or whatever else, and applying it to your business or brand.
You won’t necessarily go viral by doing this, but what you are doing is joining in with the big conversation and hype, and if done well, this can get you noticed and help you to be current and relevant.
Recognize the current social landscape
Social media has changed dramatically since it’s conception, and with that, the makeup of viral campaigns has to. When viral marketing became a thing, the majority of viral content was a video on YouTube. These days, it is much more likely to be a TikTok style clip or a meme.
Video certainly still has it’s place, which is why it it is worth looking at hiring a professional video production service if you want to reach fame, but don’t discount other forms of content such as memes, short and long-form content, news stories and so on.
The downside to this is that there is much more competition to fight against, so your content has to stand out in some way and that means having a grasp of the current social landscape. People will only share content or media that triggers them in some way, whether that is emotionally, behaviourally or represents their perceived self image. Understanding exactly what that is is essential to creating a successful and viral social media campaign.
Influencer marketing has become a huge thing in recent years, and that is because it works. However, it is important that you do not choose just any influencer, and go for one who aligns with your brand and business values and will appeal to your target audience. Choose the wrong influencer for your campaign and it could backfire.
Hashtags are a tried and tested way of getting your business and brand noticed, whether it is setting up your own hashtag and encouraging people to join in or joining in with an existing one. Hashtags are there to keep track of who is saying what about a particular topic and is a great way of seeing how successful your campaign is. They are also a good way to name your campaign and can be an identifier.
Before choosing a hashtag, however, it is essential that you do your research., First of all, this ensures that you are not using one that is already being used by or for someone else. It is also important to consider how it is read. For example, an infamous Ed Sheeran campaign with Iceland featured the hashtag #deeppanalbumparty. It probably does not come across quite how it was originally intended – although that helped to increase its notoriety, so perhaps it did work!
Make sure it is easy to share
Finally, make sure that whatever it is you are creating in the hope of going viral is easy to share. That’s how it works, so it is crucial to its success. You need to share the content first in as many places — and in as many ways — as possible. Then, you need to make it easy for your audience to share it as well. Make sure it can be shared across various social media platforms, embedded, downloaded, and tagged for maximum exposure.
There’s no guarantee or checklist for making content go viral. You can see how popular content has been in the past and strive to imitate it, but it is simply about creating great content, which connects with your audience and makes them want to share it with everyone.