Ecommerce website owners dream of going viral. There is no advertising better (or cheaper) than having your tweets, blog posts, videos, and other material shared on the internet in massive quantities. However, many people view this as a matter of luck, something that you can’t control or even influence. There is certainly a lot of luck involved, but a wise man once noted that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Here are a few ways of raising your odds of going viral.
Offer a range of content. Most people in social media prefer to share links over other types of posts. In fact, a recent study found that retweets are three times as likely to contain a link. People are even more likely to retweet links sharing information about Twitter, which may seem redundant. Use your social media as a business tool, but spice it liberally with other information.
Pay attention to headlines and titles. Not only do these have higher search engine value, they also are the determining factor in whether people read the rest of your message—an essential step in getting shared.
Post during busy hours. Just like every other business, social networks and blogs have more active times and dead zones. You also have to consider time zones as well. Generally, posting in the late afternoon for your target audience is the best strategy.
Use the right language. There is wording you can use that increases your chances of being shared. First, use personal language like ‘you’ and ‘your’—studies have found that this engages readers, which is the first step to going viral. Second, ask for people to share your info by adding ‘Please share’ or similar text to your posts. Many users actually worry that an original poster will be angered by their sharing a link, so this makes it clear that you want to be talked about. Third, include a classic call to action, such as ‘click here’ or similar text.
Be humorous. Many of the most commonly shared items on the internet are in some way funny, whether it is dealing with an innately humorously topic or simply speaking humorously about a more serious one.
Follow trends. What are people on the internet talking about today? You may want to weigh in, especially if you can do this in a funny but not controversial way. Make sure you add tags or hashtags that make it easy for people searching for posts or tweets on the subject to find you. You can develop an entirely new audience this way.
Post regularly—but not constantly. Regular posting is the only way to build a following. However, posting too often can inspire people to ignore you or even to block you. Decide on what a good social media posting schedule for your business looks like and then stick to it.
Ask for feedback. A simple ‘what do you guys think?’ or other text at the end of your posts will make people reading it automatically begin to form an opinion, which they may share with others.