It’s every influencer and marketer’s dream: to have their campaign go viral. While viral posts and campaigns may seem like the impossible dream, they’re actually incredibly formulaic. They key to success? An easy three step formula that encourages shares and drives sales.
Posts tend to go viral for one of two reasons: they’re clickbait or they’re helpful. Clickbait posts and campaigns can drive traffic, but the shares will spike dramatically in a short period of time and then promptly fall off a cliff. Helpful posts are shared more frequently and for a longer period of time because they solve a common problem. If one reader has a problem and you’ve provided them a solution, they’re more likely to share it with their friends because chances are they also are on the hunt for the same solution. Helpful posts are helpful for much longer than clickbait posts are popular.
Rack your brain and think back through your last five Facebook shares. In between the quizzes on which Pokemon you most resemble, you likely have shared helpful articles, posts, and campaigns. When working with influencers, it’s important to develop a campaign that aims to be helpful rather than product reviews or straightforward plugs. For example, a watch company partnering with an influencer in hopes of a review and exposure will struggle to get shares with the title “Brand X Watch Review.” The average social media user is way more likely to share a post titled “Five Reasons You’re Always Late” which includes a product mention instead of a straightforward review because the post solves a common problem.
Humans are visual creatures and nothing makes or breaks a campaign more than the imagery. Amazing photos don’t always mean thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment – some influencers take amazing shots using only their iPhones! The most important factor in photography is to have crisp, clear images that help to tell the story of your campaign.
Partnering with your influencer to choose the perfect “hero shot” for your campaign is key. This image can be used as the main photo in not only their post, but also on all social media channels – driving clicks! Influencers will often pick their favorite photo as the “hero image,” but it’s more than acceptable when collaborating on a campaign to work with the influencer to choose which image works best for you. It’s also important to work with your influencer to tailor each “hero shot” to specific social media channels. For example, taller and thinner photos tend to drive more clicks on Pinterest, whereas wider photos perform better on Twitter. Imagery brings the story of a campaign to life, both driving traffic and driving sales!
While all social media platforms have their uses, the two platforms most conducive to viral posts are Pinterest and Facebook.
The key to virality on Pinterest is pinning your campaign’s “hero shot” on a high traffic Pinterest Board. For example, InfluenceHer Collective’s Pinterest board has 130 thousand followers. Pinning to a high traffic Pinterest board is a free and easy way to promote a campaign. Pins that follow the above two steps of the formula (helpful + high quality imagery) are the bread and butter of viral posts on Pinterest because readers will save them onto their own boards, many of which have hundreds of followers themselves.
Facebook is a world among friends, meaning if a reader finds a post helpful to themselves they’re more likely to want to share it with their friends. In addition to organic sharing, Facebook also allows for targeted ads, putting your campaign directly in front of your key demographic. Again, by following the first two steps of the formula readers are more likely to not only click through but also share your campaign, driving sales.
This flawless (and easy!) three step formula is the key to having your campaign go nuclear every time.
Kelsey is a pint-sized blonde living and blogging in San Francisco! In love with fashion, beauty, travel, and onion bagels, her signature tongue-in-cheek wit is the backbone of all her writing, including her own blog Blondes & Bagels.