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How to go viral

Going viral – as they say – is the holy grail of internet marketing. It’s quite a mysterious thing this process – which made a Korean rapper the most watched YouTube video ever - who knows what will catch the world’s attention and get them sharing and retweeting?

For a small business, going viral is unlikely to ever reach Gangnam Style proportions, but a piece of content shared quickly among your fans, friends or followers can bring a lot of attention in a short time span with relatively little effort and cost.

Here are 10 tips to help you hit that motherlode.

1 – Be current

The things that people are typing into Google or which are trending on Twitter are those that are most likely to spread like the flu. Keep an eye on the news and react to it. Twitter is the most news-sensitive social network.

2 – Moving pictures

A post, an essay, a list, a graphic, can all go viral, but think of the things that are shared to you and you’ll find that videos are generally at the top of the list. If you use Toolkit’s social media service we’ll even help you upload your first film.

3 – The right words

Images and films are what get shared but we find them with words. Make sure you use simple and understandable keywords or descriptor tags on your content – if your video is about the budget, put that in the title.

4 – Star power

This is really down to luck and persistence, but if you can get your content picked up and shared by a big social media personality it’s only going to help. Don’t get yourself blocked, but if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

5 – Competition time

People love competitions. “Like this page and you could win…” is an established social media tactic, because it works.

6 – Make ‘em laugh

If you’re naturally funny you are on to a good thing. Do you think Psy became the world’s most famous rapper because Gangnam Style is a wonderful piece of music? Rebecca Black’s Friday got millions of views because her song was hilariously bad.

7 - Shock value

This strategy may be of limited use in business, although perhaps no publicity is bad publicity does apply. Do something outrageous and you’ll find it flies around networks.

8 – Show and tell

The web is a fast world. We look, we click, we move on. Reading something takes too long unless it’s really compelling. If you have something to say, it’s much more likely to spread if you say it visually. Blogger, Facebook and especially Pinterest are primarily visual media.

9 – Read it on Reddit

Reddit is a free shot at the big time. If you want to spread something you may as well submit it to the sharing site – there are others too. This is much more likely to work if you’re an active member of the community yourself.

10 – Show me something new

When you’re commenting on the news, make it original. The first is always the most shared, and then the parodies and mashups follow in their wake.

Social media is the primary means of going viral, talk to Toolkit on 02380 633 644 about our social media services and we’ll get you started with an effective and attractive presence on all the most important platforms.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, web design Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.