How to make your post VIRAL? 3 lessons I learnt in social media

On Oct 13, I wrote a blog post on the Se7en Deadly Social Media Sins. A week later, I was mystified with the spike in hits I noticed on the WordPress dashboard stat counter. Have a look!

dash Now I don’t think I write for an audience as the most traffic that my blog ever gets is from colleagues, friends and a few others who find the mundane and esoteric that I write worthy of a read, with a rare comment.

Last week, that changed. One post, on my blog, took the average 25-50 views a month to a 10X path in the span of a day. This post, is my attempt to de-mystify what happened, how I believe this got triggered and WHY it did. there in is the learning.

What happened? I discovered this while posting the tag for sharing the link with a fellow blogger on a similar topic. I found the shortened link already exists and it was first created by @tweetsmarter. According to their twitter page, @tweetsmarter follows over 170K folks and is followed by over 212k! that gives a 0.001% conversion rate for the 245 views and counting from that one source.

Here’s a look, at the way the RT- retweets spread the word, which in turn sent a spike running through a very sedentary, semi- management and marketing insights blog.

twitter1 So, what does this mean?

and why do I learn just 3 things.

Thing 1: Write your own post- Content is still what defines you, irrespective of what your desired ‘call to action’ is- in this case attracting views, or footfalls in your business site, or group page, irrespective of what your ‘target audience’ is, or even what others are doing- DO YOUR OWN THING! remember your content is your trademark, in the days of social media. Invent new words, graphs, iconography

Thing 2: Remember the Context- I used a Biblical concept of seven deadly sins, which is cultural to an audience familiar with the Old testament. And then, I pulled in the poster and spelling of a very iconic dark Hollywood movie – Se7en- featuring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey. No surprises then that the audience came in from the English reading countries- see this!location1

Thing 3: Timing is everything! Connecting with the audience requires you to be discovered with relevant content which is contextual. And at the right time! The blog post I wrote critiquing the use of 7 tools ( Ning, facebook, twitter, youtube, myspace, linkedin and flickr) which should be used only after the strategy and the tactics have been thought through, was written mid-week, it was discovered by @tweetsmarter the following Saturday, and then it spread rapidly.

To sum: for Virality to work for you, you need RT’s and for that to happen, use contemporary and traditional idioms, and then watch the audience build up. Now for you to get your audience to do something for you, like buy your stuff, vote for you, like your page- that’s the stuff for another post! in the meanwhile, thanks for all the RT’s!!

Remember everybody loves to get stuff, no one likes to pay!


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