It’s the first goal most clients fess up to when asking for help managing their social media. “I just want to know how to go viral!” And it’s fair enough, what’s the point of putting yourself out there if you’re not going to get seen! So here’s 5 effective ways to go viral by upping your reach.
How to go Viral: The Prelude
I’m going to go all early 90’s on you and throw in a prelude. Before we begin breaking down how to go viral it’s good to first note, that although going viral (in a positive way) can be a great uplift for both your soul and traffic, it’s not the ultimate be all.
A single or even a handful of viral videos will not make you an instant celebrity sensation, your products sell out or make you a key opinion leader in your field. Neither is it likely to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams or define your happiness. Knowing how to create viral content is great, but you also need to be able to harness it and plough it into the right direction in accordance with your goals.
Defining your goals and what you’d like to get out of what you’re doing should always be your first priority and in truth is a hugely valuable source of knowledge for knowing how to go viral.
If you’ve not yet done this or still are not entirely sure what your ‘why’ is making working this out first your pre-read homework. Before you start creating and researching the ‘how’, go and think about what it is you want to first achieve as a blogger/content creator/key opinion leader/business owner. For example do you want to
- Grow a community
- Sell products
- Leverage your status
- Increase your influence
- Generate work
- Establish a career
You may want a combination of all, some or just to focus on one of the above, but before you start to think about how to go viral get your purpose and direction ironed out first. As this will help you understand where and with who you are likely to go viral.
Hook Them In
Ok, back to the job at hand: how to go viral! Even the most beautifully curated content will falter without a hook! A lot of creators do reasonably well within their follower pool, but even influencers with high follower figures struggle to work out how to go viral. Hooking in the audience is key not only to generating views and engagement but for keeping your post alive and able to feed the rest of your page!
Your hook needs to reel them in. We often think of baiting and click bait as something icky, an under hand tactic used by trashy publications and trolls. But you should think of your hook simply as a positive form of click bait, a fast way to grab someones attention and filter them into your content stream.
From the second you hit publish on your content, it begins to float up through the feed and eventually disappear into the ether. That is unless you can find a way to keep hooking in those views. Each view, a gentle tap back down into your ‘relevant’ main-stream or pool (if you will).
But, what you want to know is what hooks to use, right? So we’ve listed some examples below. However, if you’re struggling to replicate these I’d like to again redirect you up to the ‘prelude’ paragraph and suggest you work on really honing in on your ‘why’. Hook ideas come easily when you know what your potential audience wants and how best to present it to them.
Essentially your hook should compel the viewer to engage with your content by watching, liking, commenting or sharing. Often the best way to do this is to ask a question people will want to answer or to peak their interest by suggesting you have something they need to see or have to know. Some easy to implement hooks are:
- Sharing: A confession, top tip or hack. “Can I share a secret?” “Here’s how to…”
- Shocking: Make a juicy confession, divide polar opinions. “Can I confess…” “The only way to do x is…”
- Showing: Show how you did something. This works well if you’re known for doing something to a high standard or have been particularly successful at something. “Want to know how to..?” “Here’s how I make/did…”
Connect With the Viewer
It’s proven that viewers engage more with content they can connect with. The quickest way to connect with people is by filming yourself face to camera, or at the very least featuring yourself in the videos (reels and stories) you create. But knowing how to go viral continuously and consistently comes from knowing what topics other users in your feed are most likely to connect with as well as what platforms your topics/services/content are most suited to.
Use Trending Audio
According to TikTok content creators should always think music/sound first. With their stats claiming that 73% of its users stop to check out the sounds used in its ads. Most people know how to use a trending sound. However, for many knowing how to go viral with a trending sound often feels hit and miss. If you’re a business it can be increasingly difficult especially with limited access to trending sounds, restricted due to copyright laws. TikTok is a great platform for combating this, with the app physically sending out regular updates for business owners on trending sounds available for use in their ads and content.
The truth is there is more than one way to go viral with trending sound. If you’re finding that you’re constantly missing the boat on the sweet point of a trending sound’s leverage, you could instead create your own sound and make that trend! It’s how most up and coming music artists hit the spot light, with TikTok and Instagram sounds becoming the new ‘mixtape’ for show casing audio.
Put off because you’re tone deaf like us? Fear not if the closest you got to any level of musical talent was playing the recorder in second grade. You don’t need to be able to sing or play an instrument to create your own trending sound. Simply come up with audio that others might find suitable for their visual content. Past trends have included:
“Show me you’re… without showing me you’re…”
“Everybody is posting reels but I’m a rebel so here’s a photo as a reel..”
The motivation for creating a popular audio is that every time someone else uses it, your own views increase as the funnels leading in to your original content increase, user by user.
When creating an audio, it’s all about considering the same markers you would when creating visuals. The simplest way to check whether your audio has the possibility to go viral is to make it no longer than 7 seconds and to check whether it falls within the four main reasons people consume content, also known as the 4 E’s:
- Emotional connection
Alternatively, if its existing sounds you want to use, the key to knowing how to go viral is finding the perfect time to use that specific sound. Much like search engine optimisation you want to find a sound that is being searched and listened to regularly (ie is popular), but not over saturated. Over use of a sound is a good indicator that it is soon to fall out of favour as people become irritated with hearing the same over used audio.
Our top tip on how to go viral with trending sound is to look at the basic analytics for that sound. These are found by clicking on the sound and reviewing the existing videos using it. Ideally you want t videos using the sound to have views of between one to ten thousand views. And for the videos themselves to have been posted within the last one to three days. Sounds with videos that have been trending for plus two weeks and with more than tens of thousands of views are likely to begin their decline within the algorithm as use dies off.
Make it Loop
Check the average view time for your viewers, but generally across all platforms it tends to be no more than seven seconds. Creating a seven second loop where the end of a video transitions back in to the start is a great way to cash in to a viewers limited attention spam and likely will encourage multiple play views. Why not try using apps like Splice and iMovie or watching other creators ‘how to’ videos.
@managedbyskye such a fun one! Knowing how to loop videos is an AWESOME skill to have 🔁✨ practice it here! 🔥 #howtoloop #looptransition #looptrend #loopedvideo #trendtutorial2022 #newtrendontiktok #transitiontutorialforbeginners ♬ som original – LORD.xp
The best way to prevent a plateau in your content is to create something that has evergreen value. Making something that will always be useful to viewers might be last on our list of how to go viral however, it’s the most key factor taken into consideration by the algorithm. It’s also the most pure way for a piece of content to go viral and stay relevant. All other points on this list will help to heighten the impact of your content and determine the velocity of how it goes viral, but good content will always be searched for and sort after. It’s that continued search value that you want to tap into and master.
Hopefully now you feel more confident that you know how to go viral and that this how to go viral rundown has been useful. Make sure to book mark it for future reference and let us know if you have any suggestions for our next article posts.
For more articles like this one head back over to the blog and don’t forget to connect with other bloggas in our community over on Instagram. If you’ve gone viral already why not swap tips and share hacks on how to go viral on your favourite platforms in your own reels and toks.
Would you’d like some more guidance on how to go viral and other digital marketing topics? For one on one guidance email us: email@example.com to book your FREE consultation and discuss joining one of our personally tailored coaching sessions.
If you enjoyed this article on how to go viral why not also try reading ‘How to Get Views on TikTok’.