What is a viral social media post?
A viral social media post is a piece of content that gets shared quickly across various social media platforms, amassing thousands of views, shares, likes, and comments due to social media users sharing it with their friends and followers. A viral social media post can take on many formats, such as video, meme, image, or post.
On some social media platforms, like TikTok or Instagram, going viral can significantly impact the growth of your brand or business, leading to increased visibility, engagement, and sometimes even customers.
What does "going viral" mean?
When someone says "going viral," they are referring to the online phenomenon that happens when a social media post exponentially grows in popularity, being viewed, shared, liked, or commented on by thousands or even millions of social media users in a very short period.
"Going viral" is the holy grail for most social media marketers, using a series of tactics and strategies to achieve virality for all their social media posts.
What makes a social media post go viral?
There is no one way to make a social media post go viral. So many different variables go into a viral post—timing, emotion, engagement—and so many others that you cannot control. Although there is no viral blueprint, there are a few common factors that contribute to a social media post going viral:
- Create emotional content: There is a significant correlation between the number of social media post views and the number of positive feelings (such as joy, interest, anticipation, and trust) reported by study participants. Creating social media content that elicits positive emotions is a key step in garnering initial views, which can help you reach virality.
- Use trending topics, keywords, and hashtags: By tapping into current trending topics, hashtags, or keywords, social media users can take advantage of the extra boost of engagement due to the overwhelming interest that specific trend generates.
- Use popular audio: On TikTok and Instagram, trending audio can be an easier way to participate in popular content on those platforms.
- Develop your niche: Once you know which social media content receives the most engagement, we recommend playing to your strengths and producing more of what fits into that niche.
- Know what's working for you: The greatest chance you have to understand viral content is to study the posts that have worked for you in the past. With Buffer, you can get a detailed breakdown of all your past social media posts and learn which ones have resonated with your audience and which have spread far and wide.
- Make your content easy to share: Ensure it is easily shareable, with engaging captions or strong visuals to encourage more users to share it.
- Partner up with an influencer: Partnering up with influencers or celebrities can help increase the visibility of your social media post and help it go viral.
How can I create viral videos or posts?
Making a post go viral isn't all up to luck; it also takes a blend of creativity, relevancy, and creating an emotional connection with your audience. Here's a step-by-step guide to giving your social media videos and posts the best chance of going viral:
- Get to know your audience: Understanding your audience is crucial to growing an engaged audience. The more you know about your audience, the better you'll be able to deliver the kind of social media content they're interested in.
- Pick a niche: By focusing on a specific topic, you can provide more value to your audience and establish yourself as a go-to resource. This can make it easier to create engaging content. When you have a clear focus, you know exactly what topics to cover, what content to create, and what resonates with your audience.
- Balance original content with trending content: Leveraging popular trends, like TikTok audios or a Twitter trending hashtag, can amplify your reach, while creating original social media content ensures that you can stand out from the crowd and stay true to your brand.
- Make an emotional connection: Crafting content that connects emotionally with your audience is key to connecting on a deeper level with your audience. We'd recommend focusing on emotions of joy, trust, surprise, or interest when crafting your next post.
- Collaborate with influencers: Collaborate with people with slightly larger audiences than you to broaden your reach. This collaboration benefits both parties, as they get high-quality content to share with their audience, and you gain exposure to a new audience.
- Analyze and optimize: Track performance, keep track of what's working and not, and adjust your strategy as needed.
What tools can help me track viral social media content?
As you work to make each social media post go viral, keeping track of your engagement is key to understanding what resonates with your audience. Here are a few tools that can help you out:
- Google Analytics: This tool can help you understand where your traffic is coming from.
- BuzzSumo: With this tool, you can find the most shared and trending content across social media platforms.
- Buffer: Offers analytics to monitor engagement, reach, and more, making it easy to spot when a post has a higher engagement rate than usual.
- Mention: Monitor your brand across various social media platforms and spot trending content.
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