Going viral with your content on social media is a goal of every great marketer. And being able to take advantage of someone else’s story going viral is the mark of a savvy marketing strategist.
These opportunities on social media are few and far between, but when done right they provide amazing content reach. This can open the door to an entirely new fanbase to capitalize on and, with some luck, increase your revenue as a result.
Below, 13 entrepreneurs from YEC share the different ways that you can take advantage of a viral story on social media to boost the reach of your own online content. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Repurpose and Cross Promote
Taking good content and repurposing and repackaging it for different platforms is a great way to boost reach. Say you launch a video on YouTube and it goes viral. You can shorten the clip and repackage it for Instagram and Facebook, then turn the video into a blog post or pitch it to media outlets that could easily embed the video for thousands more views. Cross promotion is key.
2. Newsjack With Facebook Ads
Newsjacking is an established way of getting media attention through broadcast media. You can use the same strategy to gain attention via social media as well. One trick is to create a set of Facebook ads for your target demographic that relates to viral content circulating the web. Since people are already interested in the viral story, it’s an easy sell for them to click on your content.
3. Tie It to Your Brand
Find a way to tie it into your brand. We work in the events industry, so a viral video from a wedding or event makes sense for us to send out to our followers on social platforms. Before pressing send, just make sure it makes sense and isn’t just grasping at straws to use a viral story to get more likes.
4. Leave a Comment
Viral stories often get a ton of comments that others faithfully read through. Be sure to leave your own comment and note your similar belief, company name and even a link, if possible, to your own content.
5. Include a Link in Your Content
I have used a viral story to kick off one of my own posts or articles, and then linked to it. The story is then shared on my blog and other social media platforms. This way, the story is connected to my own thought leadership and encourages people who liked the viral story to visit and read more of my content.
6. Create a New Resource
Especially around fast-paced stories, we create resources to help ourselves and our audiences keep up. That might mean curating a Twitter thread, publishing a blog post full of links, or even running a survey of our own. Curating this sort of information can be quick and unpolished, making it a fast way to make use of any relevant expertise or resources you may have on a topic.
7. Play Devil’s Advocate
Provide a contrary viewpoint. Try to challenge the mainstream viewpoint of the viral story by providing contrarian arguments. All the voices that praise the same viewpoint will eventually blend into the digital wallpaper. The ones that stand out need to add something new to the conversation to spark interest, in turn generating engagement with your brand.
8. Build Your Email List Through a Website Pop-Up
Activate an email pop-up on your website to collect email addresses when a story goes viral on social media. By installing the pop-up, you’ll collect email addresses that can be used to follow up long after the virality of the story subsides. Make sure the pop-up speaks to the viral nature of the story. Create a relevant call to action and you’ll have a much higher conversion rate.
9. Newsjack With More Information
For smaller brands, a blog post that captures the viral keyword of the day can help it rank organically as a supplementary piece that people may read for more information. For newsworthy content, you can add a detailed history that better explains an event. For viral content, you can insert some future predictions or your own commentary on a piece. Aim for authority to create greater relevance.
10. Broadcast the Viral Story
I like doing my own video content wrap-ups and reporting through live stream, so I use many viral stories as the basis for these and then tie them to my own thought leadership. Sharing them in a video broadcast breathes new life into the viral stories and connects them to what I’m doing.
11. Read the Comments for Ideas
Create a story in response to a popular comment on an article. If others are thinking along the same lines and the story is going viral, those who agree with the comment will be more likely to share the article. Use similar keywords and hashtags when sharing the article so it’s easier to find.
12. Stir Up an Emotional Response
If it’s a subject you know a lot about, one of the best ways to cut through the noise is to put together a short response, preferably in podcast or video form, in which you offer commentary. Share what you know about the industry, and be a contrarian if it makes sense to do so. Stir up an emotional response with your audience, especially if you feel like a key side of the issue is being ignored.
13. Add Context to the Story
Anybody can take a story and rehash it. Not many people can bring new insights and context to it. Make it your goal to take the story and bring your own perspective to it. Talk about what it means to your industry or your audience. Be willing to shoot it down if it’s not going to change a thing. Be willing to agree with the story if it’s true and share from your perspective why that is the case.
How to Create the Best Content for Social Media and Going Viral
When creating any type of content on the internet these days, it needs to be about user engagement and providing your audience with the value they are looking for. With more than a billion active websites on the internet today, there is no longer a need to push content out there just to simply to ‘put something out there’. Follow this advice and all of the actionable tips above to find more ROI with your content creation and marketing efforts.