Okay, we all know there are no guidelines for this and that it’s mostly out of your control. But you can still do something to increase the chances of it happening. 

First, stop thinking about making “viral” posts. Your focus should be on providing relevant content to your audience. As “viral” posts don’t happen when you want them to, they mainly depend on your audience. Thus, if the audience finds your posts relevant, the boom might happen. 

We all know the importance of building brand personas and adapting our content to them. Personas have to experience the same highs and lows your audience does. They require constant updates and regular check-ups, as they embody everything your audience goes through. But do we always remember to check up on them? The content can be a bomb, but if it fits the personas created a few months ago, the chances to reach its peak are low.

“Content is king, but context is God”.

Niklas Göke mentioned this in his article on content and context. By context he means the chosen communication platform. He explains why the type of content should differ depending on whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. And that’s true. You can’t post the same thing on LinkedIn and Pinterest and expect them to have amazing results. 

But your content should also adapt to your audience’s external context. I’ll further explain this with an example encountered recently.

A few weeks ago, we had a post on evozon’s Facebook page that was pretty successful in both reach and engagement. I’m talking about this one. 741 shares might not mean a lot to you, but for a software company’s Facebook page with approx 5k likes, it’s a lot. I added a screenshot of the post I’m referring to and of another one from a month ago. What did we do?

The Facebook post that had a big boom:

Example of a regular post from our Facebook page:

At first, we noticed its increased relatability.

We know that being relatable to your audience is key to everything. That’s why we’ve always used audience insights. But this post was gathering likes, shares, and comments from lots of people who were not in our target. How did we get them to engage with us?

We analyzed deeper and noticed the post fits with the current global context

Even though we’ve always been relatable to our audiences, my senses tell me this time we managed to adapt our content to the context.

From “Can you see my screen” to “We can’t hear you, you’re on mute”, everybody who’s been working from home since the pandemic started has heard these phrases. So, we were not only relatable to the IT people in our target. We were relatable mostly to anyone who experienced wfh. 

And last, but definitely not least, our team mates deserve a big “kudos” on this one

This post started in our private Facebook group as a way to share how working from home has been for us. We challenged our team mates to share the most heard quotes during video calls. Then, we shared the results in our group. We noticed everybody was engaging with the post and as the feedback was so positive, we decided to post it on our Facebook page too.

We had no idea it will have such an impact. 

But this reminded us how important relatability is. And that personas should be updated frequently according to outside factors as well. In the rush of creating content, we sometimes forget to check if it fits in the current context of our audiences’ lives. 

As I see it now, the formula to “going viral” looks like this:

  • Check if you can incorporate your amazing team’s input;
  • Empathize with your audience;
  • See if there are common pain points between your audience and the rest of the world;
  • Create a post that is relatable to that common pain point;
  • Pray the right people will see it, relate to it, and share it with their audiences;
  • Accidently add the ingredient X, like Professor Utonium did when he created the PowerPuff Girls.

On a more serious note, I want to stress out that there are no guidelines for this. But, if you want to boost your chances, start by creating valuable content for your audience. It might or it might not “go viral”. In the end, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your audience feels like you are resonating with it. Being in the trends comes and goes, but your audience will always stay by your side. If you cherish them, of course.

Article written by: Ruxandra Mazilu