By Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner
Viral content on social media helps promote your business in a huge way. Consider this: Based on the United States population alone, 68 percent of adults have a Facebook account. If you can create content that reaches a huge number of people in this rapidly changing atmosphere, you're putting out a giant net toward potential customers.
Of course, creating viral marketing content isn't easy. It's hard to predict when something will blow up overnight, but in my experience, there are some things you can do to edge the odds in your favor. Let's look at some of the best ways to increase the odds that your social media posts spread like a wildfire.
1. Put quality above everything else.
Many marketers and business owners make the mistake of focusing more time on advertising over creating the actual copy going out to their followers. This shift in focus causes a disconnect between the business owner and end user, and the result can be a loss in sales/interested customers.
When you want your content to go viral, focus on making sure the thoughts, ideas and content you're delivering to your followers accomplish a goal. Perhaps you want to share your knowledge with your audience, or maybe you are creating a poll for feedback for a case study; either way, the goal is to focus on the value you are providing.
If you want an easy example of value, look at some of the most popular memes floating around Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You may be wondering, what is the value of a meme? How can a silly or satirical image invoke tens of thousands of shares? The answer is simple. The value is humor. Of course, viral content and humor are not mutually exclusive, but that's just an example of how something seemingly silly can impact the internet and reach a wide audience rapidly.
2. Leverage influencer marketing.
Influencers are popular names in the social media space -- specifically Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook -- and they have a serious impact on the buying decisions of customers.
Once you have your website up and running and your social media page is gaining traction, it's time to start looking at influencers. Basically, you're going to want to look at people who tend to sponsor similar content to yours and have a general interest in the niche. Offer them a deal to promote your content on their channel to increase your chances of going viral thanks to their thousands (or even millions) of followers.
3. Make your content relatable.
One of the best ways to build rapport with your base and create shareable content is by making it relatable to the end user. Marketing research has shown that people tend to respond positively to a good story that they can relate to.
When you're developing your content, think about the audience you hope to reach. What kind of struggles might they face, and how can your product or service have a positive impact on their journey? You have to put yourself in the shoes of your customers if you want to find out what kind of content they are more likely to share with their friends.
4. Get people engaged.
If you want content to spread, you have to ensure that people can properly engage with it through sharing or comments. Establish an open channel of communication so people can respond and add their input on your posts.
You can use this thought process to your advantage. Since people love being able to get hands-on with businesses, you can get valuable information about your audience and build up engagement -- and your chances of spawning viral content -- by adding a quiz or survey to your website or profile. This will encourage your base to sound off and do wonders for your reach.
There are plenty of instances of content "accidentally" going viral on social media. If you're willing to look at some of the ways this has happened in the past, you'll be able to make informed choices about the type of content you promote to your audience. Besides the type of content you're sharing, you should spend just as much time thinking about the influencers you're associating with and how you can make the things you're sharing relatable to your audience.
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site that helps small businesses start their website.