Guest Post: What Kinds of Social Media Go Viral? by Jenny Hansen

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Guest Post: What Kinds of Social Media Go Viral? by Jenny Hansen

Thank you to Jenny Hansen and to Writers in the Storm for strategies you can use to promote your work.

In last month’s post, I shared social media strategies that support your brand and let you have a life. I don’t know about you, but I like having social media be something I fit into MY life, rather than the other way around. The big question everyone wants to know is: “How do I get my post to go viral?”

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First, we need to understand what kinds of posts get shared extensively and why.

There are many many schools of thought on what gets others to share your content, but I decided to go with science because we want results that can be duplicated. Scientific American published a fascinating article that concluded the following:

“..content that elicits an emotional reaction tends to be more widely shared. In addition, stories stimulating positive emotions are more widely shared than those eliciting negative feelings, and content that produces greater emotional arousal (making your heart race) is more likely to go viral. This means that content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”


For max impact, I’d recommend focusing on the following types of content:

1. Lots of photos and branded graphics.

Whether it’s photo platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, or more chat-based media like Twitter and Facebook, photos are more likely to grab attention and get shared. In fact, Facebook algorithms always show a photo before a link. That means, even if you’re going to include a link, be sure to put your photo in first. Better yet, add the link in the comments so the Facebook status update is all about your gorgeous photo.

Make your photos awesome! I recommend Laura Drake’s Canva post for help with this. Also, here’s a good social media rule set to live by from Sendible.

2. Short videos provide traction.

This can be achieved by a Facebook Live, a quick Snapchat video, or just some vid you shoot on your phone. The key word here is short. NO more than five minutes. Preferably, no more than three minutes. Get in, say what you want to say, and get out.

Don’t be afraid to edit your video! You don’t have to learn a program like Camtasia to do this. YouTube has tons of editing tools that are free with your YouTube account. Plus, it’s owned by Google, which means your videos here will show up higher in the search rankings. Score!

To continue reading this article, click here.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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