4 Ways to Make Content Go Viral in Social Media

Posted By on Jul 19, 2010 | 7 comments

You’ve got you basics down when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Foursquare. So, what’s next? The next big thing to look into is going viral with video. This may either intimidate you or excite you either way there a few things you need to know. Before you dismiss this media channel know  some facts. For one, 180 million people in the U.S. watch online video for an average of 13 hours each month. Those numbers alone speak volume. There is a large market for online videos. This past May, American users watched nearly 34 billion videos, and 4.8 percent of the total American Internet audience watched videos online with 144.1 million viewers watching videos on YouTube, according to comScore’s Video Metrix service.

1.Quality versus Quantity. The average video is 5 minutes or less so in order to engage without boring your audience keep it short. Also keep in mind the quality of your video. I’m not saying you have to be Martin Scorsese but keep your production value in mind. This means checking your lighting, sound levels and your background. If you filming a 5 minute blog make sure we can hear you, see you and that your background is appropriate.

2. The Power of a Web Series. If your only goal is to post a video blog then what are you waiting for? A video blog will reach to wider audience and may even attract new followers. However, don’t disregard the value of a web series. This does require you to get those creative wheels spinning and some writing. Once you’ve established who your target audience is and what you want to convey write it down, map it out and get to filming. This may seem like a lot of work but it will expand your brand and it may be a lot of fun.

3. It’s Not a Commercial. The value of a web series or video blog is in it’s content. It’s not meant to be commercial for you company or other services. If you hoping to educate or inform others do it in a creative nonabrasive way. Your goal should not be to sell something. Instead think of it as a way to engaging with your audience in a new, fun way.

4.Keep Your Audience Tuning In. What happens when your series ends? While in between shoots or blogs keep your audience engaged by filming off topic things. For instance, you could have a guest host or you could have news updates. This also allows you to market without using the same message over and over again. That doesn’t mean spam viewers into watching your video(s) instead let them find it the series organically. Try a more grassroots approach plus the people who then decide to tune it will most likely become loyal fans. It will take time to gather a suitable following but in the end it’s worth it.

Hopefully, this gets your mind ticking and your cameras rolling. What other ideas do you have when it comes to online videos? Is this something you hope to explore?


  1. Thanks, your information is useful. I still find the whole idea of making a video of myself intimidating. Stage fright I guess. I can make screenshot videos ok though.

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  2. Research tells us the getting people to smile — eliciting happiness — is the second most effective emotion to target if one wants a message to go viral. Disgust is number one. I would argue that commercials are just as likely to go viral as non-commercial content. Have you seen the Old Spice commercials on YouTube? Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Old Spice, have posted over 100 such ditties with varying degrees of viral awesome(ness). Rodger @ http://www.getsocialpr.com

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    • I would agree with the thought that commercials are just as likely to go viral than other types of content. It is all dependent on the emotional context of the content being shared. THAT is what is important.

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  3. You can't MAKE a video go viral. It's not possible. You are missing the whole point.

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    • Very true… but you can invest money into advertising in order to push a video to more eyes… the concept of advertising a video is just as important as developing a viral communication strategy (grassroots)

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    • I agree with Dennis, but I think what Kyle's post hints at is that there are legitimate steps to take to manage viral content and more importantly, keep peoples' attention. Take a viral video for instance, chances are it became viral by dumb luck. That's usually how it goes. I'd bet that there's also a good chance that a viral video is one of a kind, meaning the creator has not come up with any relevant content since. That being considered, it's extremely important to manage viral content effectively to maintain interest.

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  1. Ten Social Media Reads, Vol 2 | Indianapolis, Indiana | Watershed Studio, LLC | 317-215-7078 - [...] 4 Ways to Make Content Go Viral in Social Media (Kyle Lacy) [...]
  2. Ten Social Media Reads, Vol 2 - [...] 4 Ways to Make Content Go Viral in Social Media (Kyle Lacy) [...]

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