5 Sharing Tactics That Made My Viral Post Even More Infectious

Earlier this summer, I wrote a post that people really seemed to enjoy. They enjoyed it enough to share it with their friends, who in turn shared it with their friends. And, as we say, it effectively went viral. Perhaps not as viral as a Buzzfeed hit, but it saw its fair share of shares.

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A piece of content goes viral because it holds uncanny appeal for the masses, and for the most part its subsequent success is out of our control. But through my own experience, I’ve learned a few tactics to make those rare viral blog posts go a little bit further.

Below are 5 ways I’ve learned to catalyze the spread of viral content across social media.

Track its influence

Once a post goes viral, it can become overwhelming to keep up with who’s sharing it and where it’s showing up. But before you can have a hand in supplementing your content’s success, you need to know the who-what-when-where-why-how of its virality.

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So how do we do this? Well, you should already be acquainted with some of the simpler (and free) tools for tracking content activity. The share buttons at the top of posts track the number of likes, tweets, shares, and more (and they’re easily added with the installation of a plugin). This can tune you in to which social networks your content is best performing on. From there, TweetDeck allows the user to search and track particular URLs as they’re shared across Twitter. Facebook has insights for business pages (but unfortunately not for personal profiles) that can show you the reach and magnitude of your post’s virality.

Neither tool is without its quirks, but they’ll both give you valuable insights on where and how your content is being shared. And now that you know, it’s time to take action.

Have conversations with those sharing and liking it

Get involved with the people who’ve expressed their sincere interest in your content. When someone tweets, shares or comments with a worthwhile remark, then initiate a conversation to keep their feedback coming.

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The more thoroughly you engage someone, the longer they’ll talk about your content. And the more they talk about your content, the more your name comes up on their feed. This makes their followers curious and more apt to eavesdrop on the conversation, increasing the chances of additional shares from second-degree connections.

Even just conversing in the post comments will show readers that you’re receptive to their thoughts. People are also more likely to add their opinions if there are already conversations happening.

Share it with applicable people and brands

If you’ve written about certain people or brands, share it with them and their biggest fans. Target interest groups and relevant fan bases on social media for whatever subject the post is dealing with.

In my own viral post, I talked about several brand names, organizations, events and establishments that make Buffalo, NY as great as it is. Several of the brands I mentioned and shared with were the #billsmafia, Thirsty Buffalo and GO Bike Buffalo. They each reciprocated with a retweet or tweet of their own.

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This got more eyes on my post; it was broadcasted to 20,000 more potential viewers as a result (the sum of each of these brands’ followers). And these were only three of the many brands I reached out to.

And this isn’t soulless promotion – it’s a win-win situation when you inform brands that you’ve used them in your viral content. When thousands of people are reading and sharing a post that mentions a brand name, it’s free publicity to the aforementioned brand that they’ll want to know about.

Keep sharing in gradual intervals

Don’t just share it once and be done with it. If your video, photo or post is starting to spread like wildfire, help it along by posting it intermittently to your own channels. After all, this isn’t a mundane update that you’re beating like a dead horse. You know people are becoming captivated, so make the most of it!

Just be sure to keep it tasteful – don’t overload your followers with the exact same tweets. Change the wording up to keep it interesting and relevant if you’re sharing the same content multiple times.

Schedule tweets at various times of day to maximize the chance of your followers seeing it. This is also a good way to spread out several variations of the same share.

Reach out to your biggest advocates

Ask your most loyal followers to share and promote your post. The people who have proven to share and give positive feedback in the past will likely do the same if you reach out to them.

At one point I started a list of folks who I’ve had positive, one-on-one interactions with in the past. I categorized the followers by their known interests (and by what they listed on their profiles) so I knew who to contact when I had content they’d be interested in.

This really kills three birds with one magic bullet: you’re spreading your content to receptive, reliable sources, giving those sources something they’ll enjoy, and keeping in touch with valuable connections.

If you think my advice needs amending or have anything else to add, please let us know in the comments below! Happy sharing.

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