Everyone has forwarded a funny email, or a link to a hilarious YouTube video, to his or her friends. We also forward information we think is important or relevant to our friends. When content is forwarded numerous times, it’s considered viral content. So what makes content viral and better yet, how do we create viral content?
Its's Not As Hard As You Think
Wouldn’t you love to be able to create content that’s forwarded over and over again? Creating viral content isn’t as hard as you think.
Getting a million views on your YouTube video may be a little tricky, but getting your customers to forward or ReTweet your content isn’t that hard. Here are some ideas to help you create viral content.
Add a Call to Action
Remember when I talked about creating a strategy for every Tweet and promotion you do? Every Tweet should be done for a specific reason and should include a call to action. Every time you Tweet, you want your followers to ReTweet it so it spreads throughout the Twitterverse. This enables your message to reach more people than just your followers.
When someone ReTweets your Tweet, it’s seen by your followers and the followers of the person who ReTweeted it. Every time your message is ReTweeted, it expands into another network of Twitter users, accelerating faster and faster each time.
Using RT works significantly better than ReTweet, according to Dan Zarrella. Source: www.danzarrella.com. Some other words you can use in your Tweet that will encourage ReTweeting are:
- Check this out…
- You should really follow…
- Please vote
- What do you think of…” or “Where is the best place to…
- ”I need some help…
You need to experiment to see when you will get the best response from your followers. From my experience, a business-related Tweet receives the most traction on weekdays during working hours, which makes perfect sense.
If you are Tweeting something not business-related, you can get a good response just about any time. Again, this depends on your followers, where they are located, and their interests.
Track Your ReTweets
When you do get a ReTweet, track it in a spreadsheet and note the day, time, and the content of your Tweet. This will let you see patterns and determine the best time to Tweet to your followers. You can also use SocialBro to determine the best time to Tweet. In the Tools section of SocialBro, choose Best Time to Tweet and the program will assess your followers’ behavior and tell you what time they are likely to be online and Tweeting.
According to Dan Zarrella of HubSpot, his research shows that Tweets with links in them are ReTweeted almost 70 percent of the time.
When you see a great movie, what do you do? I bet you tell your friends about it. Then your friends go see it and tell their friends about it. Word spreads faster and faster as each friend tells their network of friends.
The momentum turns into frenzy and suddenly the movie turns into a blockbuster. This is called social proof, also known as social influence. We tend to think if something is okay for one person, then it’s okay for us because we assume they have more knowledge about the subject.
Because of the social proof phenomenon, the likelihood of a Tweet being ReTweeted increases dramatically each time it is ReTweeted. The momentum builds with each ReTweet and suddenly you have a blockbuster Tweet!
You build your reputation on social media by providing value to your network. The adage, “The more you give the more you receive” holds true in social media. Follow some big names in Twitter like @CarrieWilkerson, @ChrisBrogan and @BrianSolis and see how they add value to their networks.
They give way more than they receive. You never see them dominating a conversation on Twitter or speaking negatively about a person. They are constantly providing great resources and product reviews to their followers.
Notice how many ReTweets they receive after they Tweet a good resource or their opinion on a topic. Their Tweets are always ReTweeted hundreds of times by others. Take note of what the successful Twitter users Tweet about that gets ReTweeted. Follow their lead and use the same Twitter style as they do. Here are some ideas about what you can Tweet about that will receive a lot of ReTweets.
- How-to information and instructional content
- Breaking news
- Tech warnings such as viruses, Facebook scams, or product updates
- Contests and discount coupons for products or services you enjoy
As you see, it’s not hard to create viral Tweets when you think from the perspective of giving instead of receiving. Provide valuable information and support to your followers and your Tweets will be ReTweeted with regularity.