This is a guest post by Aljaz Fajmut.
But they’re not getting shared, and they’re certainly not going viral. What gives?!
Going viral is the holy grail of social media marketing. Your reach and brand exposure increases, your list of followers goes up rapidly, and your conversions and sales can increase.
All of that sounds ace, right? Fortunately, viral marketing isn’t all down to luck and timing. There’s a science behind it. In this article, we’re going to show you why you’re not going viral — and what you can do to fix it.
1. They lack a human connection
If you ever see content marketers posting on Facebook, you’ll see time and time again that they talk about how important it is to appear human.
Gary Vaynerchuck says he documents rather than creates.
Dan Meredith — author of How To Be F*cking Awesome — is constantly baring his soul on social media.
What this means is marketers like them are showing their audience that they are human just like them.
If people are to share your content, they need to feel an emotional connection to it. Your content must be relatable, and it must also empathize, engage, and resonate.
Make your posts personalized. Offer behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life, tell stories about how you got to where you have. Show people that you’re just like them.
2. Your content isn’t long enough
When we think about viral content, it’s easy to think of those cat pictures or those short and to-the-point Buzzfeed listicles.
The thing is that long-form content actually gets shared more than short-form content. The longer a piece of content is, the more it is likely to get shared.
This probably surprises most people because most people don’t produce much — if any — in-depth, long-form content.
But one of the reasons we share content on social media is to look smart, and long-form content certainly helps us look just that.
Instead of focusing on short, quick-to-write content, start focusing on longer, deeper, more detailed and informative content. For one thing, you’ll stand out from the crowd, and for another, you’ll offer more value to your audience. You also might teach them a few new things, which can also encourage social sharing.
Long-form content will take you longer to write, but instead of reeling off 5 short-form pieces per week, you could focus your energy on one weekly epic, valuable piece of content instead.
3. You don’t include images
Images get around 40% as much interaction as text. In other words, if a post has an image in it, it has a far better chance of being shared than a post that doesn’t have any.
“But I do include images,” you might be protesting.
The type of image matters, too. According to stats, human faces get shared 38% more times than anything else, while quotes, aspirational images, and infographics also get shared like crazy.
Pattern interrupt images (images that have no obvious relation to the post) can sometimes work, too.
Naturally, what works for you and what works for someone else might differ, which is why it’s so important that you start using social media analytics and perform split/tests to see which types of images have the potential to go viral. If you aren’t using analytics, you won’t have access to this information, and it could seriously harm your attempts to go viral.
4. Your headline isn’t compelling enough
According to research, almost 60% of us will share an article without even reading it.
Because the headline was so compelling that we just had to share it.
Imagine seeing a headline that affirmed your political views. You’d probably share it because here’s an authoritative piece that’s backing you up.
But then someone else actually reads the copy and points out that, actually, there are a few things in here that weaken your personal political argument. You didn’t know that because the headline was all you saw — and it’s probably all most other people saw.
This sort of thing happens a lot. We’re all of us drawn in by a powerful headline that resonates with us.
Here are some tips for writing a top headline:
Clearly, going viral isn’t a game of chance. It’s a case of knowing what you’re doing. Take the time to write in-depth, long-form content (even if people will just read the compelling headline anyway!), include bold images, and make that all-important human connection.
Share this article with your fellow bloggers and let us know if you have any tips of your own!