With the advent of social media, businesses large and small have jumped onto the bandwagon, with a single aim – to expose their content to as large an audience as possible. Writing blogs and publishing YouTube videos are a wonderful way to get started, but unless your content goes viral, the chances of attracting the right audience and building a fan following are slim.

It’s understandable when celebrities like Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutchner gather huge Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube followings. But if your brand is just being developed, how do you get your content out to millions? And how does the average Joe like Gary Brolsma (his Numa Numa video has gathered over 40 million hits on YouTube alone) do it?

Humour might help, but when you can’t be funny, here are some tactics which do work:

1. Tap into the viewer’s ‘me time’: Your audience will surf the web looking for specific content (which is when keywords and content rich articles come into play). But they will also engage in sites like twitter and facebook when they are bored and have some me-time to indulge in. Create content that is light, fun, and engages viewers, and if they enjoy it, they’ll be sure to pass it on.

2. Create content that is truly different: Why be the same when you can be different? Different can mean bold, controversial, funny, and if appropriate, even silly; but you must appeal to your audience. The Numa Numa video for example, is not the funniest video out there, but it taps into people’s desires to enjoy silliness in others.

3. Get interactive: People love to play games, do quizzes, scratch their heads over puzzles, and earn rewards. Give your readers something they can engage in, either individually or in groups, and they’ll be sure to share it with friends and colleagues. Our client, MyDealBag, discovered this when it offered subscribers a chance to win points and earn rewards. What better way to get subscribers to share their facebook page with others?

4. Keep it length appropriate: A long post works really well if you have plenty of valuable content to share, such as a how-to feature, or a Top 100 list. But if you don’t have much to say, a shorter post with a strong heading, or a bold image, can just as easily attract attention, get reacted to, and get passed along.

5. Publish at the correct time: Research the correct time to publish your content. A 5pm Friday blog post may catch a few people, but you would be missing out on those who have switched off their computers for the weekend. On the other hand, if you are targeting a younger crowd, your weekend tweets might just be the answer.

6. Make it easy to share the love: Don’t be afraid to explore various options in addition to twitter, facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and LinkedIn.  RSS feeds for example allow viewers to receive your content straight into their inbox or Google reader, getting them to read and share content this way. Similarly, appeal to people’s need for something different, by converting a boring article into a fun PowerPoint presentation, which you can share on slideshare.

Sharing content via social media

7. Include a strong call to action: All your efforts will go to waste if you don’t include a strong call to action in your piece. Your message must compel people to act now, whether it’s to buy your product, hire your services, or pass on your message. It can be a simple – please retweet (RT), please comment, or even, please share. By asking, you reinforce a person’s desire to spread your content, virally.

Even though your content gets shared, it might not receive the immediate reaction you predicted, or the kind of feedback you hoped for. Having said this, if you do plan your message, mode of delivery, and copy correctly, the chances of a huge positive response still stand very high.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create copy that gets shared, drop us a line or give us a call.

 

Written by Usha Sliva