In last month's post, I shared social media strategies that support your brand and let you have a life. I don't know about you, but I like having social media be something I fit into MY life, rather than the other way around. The big question everyone wants to know is: "How do I get my post to go viral?"
First, we need to understand what kinds of posts get shared extensively and why.
There are many many schools of thought on what gets others to share your content, but I decided to go with science because we want results that can be duplicated. Scientific American published a fascinating article that concluded the following:
"..content that elicits an emotional reaction tends to be more widely shared. In addition, stories stimulating positive emotions are more widely shared than those eliciting negative feelings, and content that produces greater emotional arousal (making your heart race) is more likely to go viral. This means that content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all."
For max impact, I'd recommend focusing on the following types of content:
1. Lots of photos and branded graphics.
Whether it's photo platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, or more chat-based media like Twitter and Facebook, photos are more likely to grab attention and get shared. In fact, Facebook algorithms always show a photo before a link. That means, even if you're going to include a link, be sure to put your photo in first. Better yet, add the link in the comments so the Facebook status update is all about your gorgeous photo.
2. Short videos provide traction.
This can be achieved by a Facebook Live, a quick Snapchat video, or just some vid you shoot on your phone. The key word here is short. NO more than five minutes. Preferably, no more than three minutes. Get in, say what you want to say, and get out.
Don't be afraid to edit your video! You don't have to learn a program like Camtasia to do this. YouTube has tons of editing tools that are free with your YouTube account. Plus, it's owned by Google, which means your videos here will show up higher in the search rankings. Score!
Mary Castillo, an author and marketing specialist, offers this sage input about videos:
If you're using a scheduling tool like HootSuite, that's great. It is a huge time saver. But Facebook is choosy. I schedule my Facebook uploads directly in Facebook. Those posts are more likely to show up in your followers' news feeds.
Live Facebook videos with live Instagram videos are very popular and again, make Facebook like you. When you go live, your followers on both platforms receive a push notification to their device.
3. GIFs can be cool.
But...GIFs can get old quickly if that's all you do. The key to "giving good GIF" is eye-catching graphics or snippets paired with easy language. You are graphically trying to enhance the mood of a concept and get across a message.
Here are GIF tips from actual designers who say, "Don't be afraid of Photoshop." But if that is way too high tech for you, GIPHY has a GIF Maker you can use to share your own GIFs. (Here's how you share them to Instagram.)
4. Other resources for creating shareable social updates.
Creating "quote graphics" is a great way to get your content shared. This can be a quote from a recognizable historical figure or a quote from one of your characters. You decide!
- Social Engine Journal published a great post on sharing quotes to build engagement.
- Another article on finding free quotes and graphics from GrowingSocialBiz.com.
As I said in my last post, you want your time online to be fun and productive. How much MORE fun will it be if all your hard work pays off with content that gets shared widely?
It won't happen overnight. It might not even happen the first several months. Social media is a tool requiring perseverance and a steady drip-drip-drip of content. If you build that content, share it and interact with the people who share it further, at some point you will have your content take off, which builds name recognition and sells books.
Now it's your turn! What are your thoughts on great online content? Do you mix things up with video, photos and GIFs? What do you do to maintain your work/life balance?
By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18+ years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.