Costco continues to achieve viral success with memes featuring a giant teddy bear returning to some of the superstore giant's locations this fall. Rather than being a mere spectator of this phenomenon, the brand has embraced the memes, fueling their visibility and engagement across social media platforms.

While most modern brands use social media as a basic means of marketing to and communicating with the public, it's often the quirkiest of stories and images, like an eight-foot stuffed bear, that create a whirlwind on social media. With that said, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what will create a buzz or earn wide visibility.

There's no guarantee that any one piece of content created, conversation had, or social media post will go viral. But to best position your efforts for success, it's important to learn from others, factoring in a variety of nuances in an effort to earn your brand's day in the sun.

Be different.

One key to creating buzz about your brand is to go against the grain. If your competitors are operating text-heavy social campaigns, try incorporating graphics and video. If they're overly serious, have some fun.

Identify what others aren't doing, and come up with creative ways to highlight what makes your brand unique. Sometimes the content you market can be a bit random, but if it's an exciting enough idea, it can lead to viral success.

Think back several years ago to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

With one simple, random idea, the Ice Bucket Challenge became a national sensation. The ALS association used keen marketing and strategy to bring mainstream attention to their cause, raising over $115 million according to The New York Times.

Be edgy.

When seeking attention online, sometimes it's good to stir the pot. The key is to keep it light, good humored and tasteful. Otherwise, your post can quickly gain attention for all the wrong reasons.

The key when being edgy is knowing how to toe the line. And if your tongue-in-cheek content has a target, it's good to find one who can take a joke.

The fast food restaurant Wendy's, for example, does an incredible job of engaging customers and competition alike. They've established a likeable tone to their wit and humor, all while bolstering engagement with their brand.

Be awesome.

Content that appeals to audiences' highest aspirations can go a long way. Despite the trolling and negativity that is commonplace online, most people go to social media for positivity - they want to laugh, smile, learn and feel better than they did before logging in.

Examples of awesome, viral content can include heroic acts, comeback stories, acts of kindness, rags to riches stories and overcoming the odds. These are the types of posts that can inspire massive clicks, shares and comments.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to going viral. Many worthy attempts may only see moderate attention, making it hard to pinpoint what the general public is going to latch onto and push to the Costco bear's level.

The most important key is to remain consistent in your efforts. You won't find any level of viral success through inactivity. To give your brand a chance, make generating creative content and taking risks a part of your social media routine.

Published on: Apr 19, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.