We all remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, the fundraising campaign that caught on around the world. With the multiplication of social platforms based on popular trends, the notion of virality has never been as attractive for a brand. Who wouldn’t want more organic visibility? One thing is certain: having viral success can generate a great deal of traffic in your digital ecosystem. But is there a sure-fire recipe?
With 4.62 billion active users on social networks in 2021, it is critical for brands to have an active presence on these platforms. However, with the diversification of formats and the importance of video on the networks, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a brand to know what tactic is best suited to interact with its target. Certainly we can pay to increase the reach of what we publish, but what about organic publication? How can we get as much visibility without paying for it? The answer: virality.
What does virality mean?
Virality is based on the infection of the target who, in turn, shares the content with someone else who is likely to reshare. Viral objects can be images, videos, articles, but also societal phenomenons. Who hasn’t sent a video to a friend to make them laugh? To understand this reflex, we have to dwell for a moment on the psychology behind this action. Sharing content with a person or a group creates a link, and allows us to keep in touch with our network, as well as defining ourselves to them (the famous “I share, therefore I am”).
Virality is based on a notion of immediacy. A video can work well in one area and not in another. On the other hand, there exist some levers that we can use to optimize content and give it the boost it needs. Jonah Berger, the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, identifies 6 factors of virality in order to understand why one idea propagates itself better than another.
Your users follow you because of who you are. They share your ideas and they like your image. In return, share content that interests them to initiate an exchange. The urge to discuss a subject in public is at the origin of the phenomenon we call social media. A quick search on Google Trends will help you define hot topics of the moment.
Keep in the forefront of people’s minds by associating your message to an element that will trigger an association with another element. These little reminders help your clients to think of your brand or even to talk about it. Let’s take Kit Kat as an example. It has managed to associate the idea of “taking a break” with the idea of a chocolate bar. Thanks to Québec Vintage for resurrecting these petits bijoux de vieilles publicités.
Sharing is caring (the emotion)
The best way to capture attention is to generate an emotion in users. We tend to talk about things that have moved us emotionally, negatively as well as positively, and we share them.
We tend to imitate what people around us are doing. The more that an idea is observable, the more people are likely to imitate it or share it. The theory is that our contents speak for themselves and create their own publicity.
Producing useful and practical content has the potential to become viral.
Users love having a story told to them. In addition to being easier to remember (and therefore to share), storytelling allows users to recognize themselves in your stories. As a result, you become more relatable.