For any brand that’s on social media, going viral—or at least getting lots of followers—is a big goal. Fortunately, it’s one that’s achievable, as long as you’re willing to put some time into your social media strategy. Whether you’re looking for ways to reach more of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users or want to get more followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc., the following tips will help you get started. And perhaps best of all, implementing these tips doesn’t cost much money. All it takes to go viral is some thought and planning, and your business will have the followers it deserves!
You want people to like and share your content as much as possible. That means you have to post content that’s worthy of the attention of your followers. Make posts that will grab the attention of your audience, not encourage them to simply scroll past. Basically, you want to post content that will make your followers feel something, whether it results in a laugh or inspires them.
This is why the type of content that goes viral tends to be funny, sentimental or astonishing in some way. It might be a cute animal image, a witty joke or a video of someone doing an amazing feat. Either way, that kind of viral content almost always features an eye-catching image or interesting video.
The kind of content that does not tend to do well is promotional in nature. That means you can’t just post links to all your products or services and expect people to like them. Sure, you can publish such posts sparingly on your social media pages, mixed in with more interesting posts. Just keep in mind that these aren’t the posts that are likely to go viral. Text-only posts also don’t do well on social media, so make sure you include an image or video with every update.
So many people use hashtags ironically these days that some people forget how useful they really are for brands. Yeah, maybe your friend goes overboard with absurdly specific hashtags on his private Instagram page, a situation in which hashtags are a waste of time. However, when you have a public page with strategic hashtags for every post, you’ll find them useful, since they help people find your content.
For example, if you own a car wash, there are several related hashtags you can use that make it easy for people to find your posts if they’re interested in car wash content. You can start with #carwash and #washingcars, and then continue with location-specific hashtags, like #Chicagocarwash. This way, if someone is looking for a car wash in Chicago, he or she can type in those words on Instagram or Twitter and find your posts.
As you’re deciding on the hashtags to use, don’t forget to consider trending hashtags. These are the popular hashtags that people seem to like most at the time. Twitter tells you what the trending hashtags are on the left side of the screen, so those are easy to find. On Instagram, you’ll notice there are some old standbys that seem to be popular all the time, such as #tbt (“throwbackthursday”) and #instagood. So mix trending hashtags like these in with the rest of your tags, and you should be able to catch more attention for your posts. You should also read our guide on Creating the Perfect Instagram Hashtag Strategy to find out more about this way of increasing followers.
If you want to go viral on Instagram and other social networks, you can’t just post your content and run. You have to give back to your followers. One way to do that is to follow other pages. In fact, that’s how you can start building followers fast if your page is new and doesn’t have much content yet. Many people follow the pages that follow them, so it’s worth a shot to click that follow button on the pages you hope start following you.
Once you’re following several accounts, be sure to like and comment on their posts. This will get their attention, making them more likely to start following you if they haven’t already. It will also encourage them to like and comment on your posts, too. And more engagement is always a good thing!
Finally, don’t ignore the people who are already commenting on your posts. Be sure to comment back or at least like their comments. This creates the feeling of a connection to your brand, and the more people who feel this way, the better! The more people feel valued for their engagement, the more they’ll keep engaging on your page.
Organic social media posts are great, but they just don’t reach the same number of people they used to. That’s why most brands that are successful on social media use paid ads at least once in a while. In fact, there are 2 million monthly advertisers on this social network.
In particular, Instagram has a few ways to advertise, from promoted Instagram Stories ads to images and videos that will appear on the news feed of your selected audience. You can also make carousel ads with several images or videos that readers can swipe through, or collection ads that show off multiple products at once for your audience to view.
You can carefully select who is in that audience, since you can choose for people to see your ads based on their age range, gender, location, interests, etc. Whichever audience you choose, just make sure you create ads that will resonate with them if you want the best chance of campaign success.
So feel free to implement any or all of these tips on taking your brand viral, and let us know how it goes!