Whether you are a small business owner or a CEO of a large conglomerate, viral content is something you should be aware of. Viral content can be anything from a social media post you create to a news report or an interview you give to an outlet. When we say “viral”, we mean “widespread, popular, and talked-about”.

Making a piece of your content go viral and spread through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter isn’t easy, and a lot of factors come into play once a story goes online. Let’s take a look at the inner workings of viral content and how you can make your own content go viral.

Going viral isn’t easy

There are thousands of social media statuses, news articles and pages being created on the web every single day. Creating a piece of content that people will love instantly and start sharing with their friends isn’t easy.

This means you shouldn’t necessarily blame your marketing department if a cool new campaign slogan or a project simply doesn’t get the traction you expected it to. Becoming viral is much more about following the market trends and making sure you have a large enough audience to receive the initial news as soon as it becomes available.

Be creative but trendy

Telling your marketing employees to be creative but still stick to a set of rules might seem contradictory – that is not the case however. Viral content usually follows certain criteria and research has shown that the majority of social media users employ them.

For example, using hashtags is one of the most important things you should do if you want to make your content go viral – this goes double if your niche has a set of hashtags that all businesses use. Being creative inside a strictly set playground may seem counterintuitive, but people rarely react positively to new and unknown content that no one has seen before. Content should usually follow some of these formats should you want to make it viral:

  • Giving to others – through giveaway, prizes and competitions
  • Advising the readers – through list articles or bullet points
  • Warning the public – of potential dangers or substances
  • Amusing the readers – through funny or humorous content
  • Inspiring the audience – through handcrafted inspirational content
  • Amazing the customers – through company mission presentations or new product showcasing

Individualization over generalization

The way in which your content addresses the readers will often determine whether or not it becomes viral. People like to be treated as individuals with their own thoughts, dreams and daily routines. Using personalized forms such as “we”, “you” or “us” in your content will carry far more weight and increase your chances of going viral.

Sometimes you might have to look for professional translations experts if you want to localize the content for other markets. Corporate content that aims to address company men and those inside your niche (B2B marketing to be precise) should still retain the sense of professionalism, albeit in an individualized form.

You can use concrete examples, names, and data to make your statements instead of using generalized corporate lingo that everyone is tired of. Instruct your marketing employees to focus on your individual traits and strengths as a company and tailor the content based on the audience you are catering to at the moment.

Research and facts are essential

What makes viral content unique on the web is its longevity – facts often don’t change over time. This means that any statements or opinions you present in your content should always be backed by facts and research, as studies have shown. Ask your marketing staff to always do a background check on any content you might be presenting as fresh and not seen on the market before.

This will increase your chances of going viral with your content. Making any content based on rumors or false data might make your content viral for a few hours – until the public recognizes that content as false. By the time this happens, your business’ reputation will be irrevocably tarnished.

Listen to audience feedback

Sometimes the right answer is under our nose all along. Your audience, customers and clients often know more about your content than you do – they are the ones consuming it after all. Giving those readers a voice and listening to their feedback is a great way to improve your content creation methods little by little.

By the time you have perfected a formula that works, you will be able to create content that goes viral as soon as it hits the web. The secret to success often lies with the audience and our willingness to cater to their wants and needs – be smart and open your doors to them.

Never stop developing

Your social media content should reflect your company’s willingness to progress and develop. Use every channel at your disposal to create and distribute content to your customers and partners, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you. Having a dedicated team of marketing employees working on your public image will ensure that you are recognized for the professional corporate entity that you are.

Viral content will come with the territory once you have an established audience that will be willing to consume your content no matter how new it may seem to them at first. Everything else is a matter of their wanting to share that content to friends and family, thus making it viral and widespread.

Margaret Reid is a freelance writer at who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently she`s working in the company The Word Point and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Margaret is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing. You can find her on Twitter @margaretreid987.