According to one recent study, there were roughly 4.33 billion people on social media as of the beginning of 2021 – a number that officially encompasses more than half of the planet’s population. If you needed a single statistic to help illustrate the importance of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for your business, let it be that one.
But at the same time, those users are creating an almost unprecedented level of content on a daily basis – meaning that it’s all too easy to get lost in the noise. Sure, everyone wants to go viral and find a way to capture a big part of that audience’s attention at the same time – but doing so is often a lot easier said than done.
Setting aside the fact that going viral is equal parts timing and luck, there are certain steps you can take to increase the odds that you’ll be able to have the right sets of eyes focused in your direction.
Success in terms of social media isn’t just about creating content – it’s about creating the right content for the right audience at exactly the right time. There are five key types of content in particular that can absolutely help you go viral and, by association, get paid. Leveraging them to their full potential simply requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
1. Conversation Content
By far, one of the most important types of content you need to create to further your social media efforts has to do with conversation pieces – that is, the types of subjects that begin conversations in a way that boosts your engagement across the board.
Infographics are a perfect example of this, as they aren’t necessarily “selling” anything at all. Instead, they’re presenting stats or other facts in a fun, interesting and inherently visual way that is also easy to share on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Not only are Infographics the fourth most-used type of content marketing according to this research, but they can also boost your website traffic by as much as 12% or more.
Other types of visual content like presentations or even slideshows work well to that end, too. Regardless, what you’re trying to do is create a conversation among your target audience that you can then actively participate in. Once you do that, you can steer it in whatever direction you need – which will typically work its way back to your business, your products and your services.
2. Community Content
Another effective type of content that often goes viral on social media has to do with community content – pieces that bring people together and ultimately closer to your brand.
You see this a lot on Instagram and other visual-based social media networks. They can be posts that are little more than an inspirational quote compared with a relevant image, for example. They can even be testimonials from some of your existing, satisfied clients quickly outlining how you helped them address a challenge or solve some other type of problem in their life.
Regardless, this type of community content is effective because it acts as social proof – truly, the currency of the digital era. Not only does social proof go a long way towards establishing your business as an authority, but it can also boost conversions by as much as 15% by most estimates.
3. Credibility Content
Speaking of establishing yourself as an authority, credibility content is equally important. These are the pieces that you use to showcase your expertise in whatever your niche happens to be, all while showing that yours is a voice that is worth paying attention to and trusting.
The direction you take with these pieces will obviously vary depending on the industry, but the over-arching theme is the same. You could give your unique take on a recent event happening in your field that your target audience members are interested in. You could write about certain misconceptions that people have on a topic, helping them to separate fact from fiction.
Regardless, the key to success here is that you’re again offering something of legitimate value without asking for anything in return. You’re answering questions and providing insight – no more, no less. But what you’re really doing is establishing a rapport with your target audience members that is built on trust.
Even if they aren’t ready to make a purchase today, this type of credibility content dramatically increases the chances that when that day does come, yours is the first business they go to.
4. Connection Content
Success in terms of marketing – especially on social media – is all about building relationships. You’re trying to take passive observers and turn them into not just one-time purchasers, but loyal repeat buyers. More than that, you want them to become brand advocates – people who are ready to talk about what a great experience they had with your business to whoever is willing to listen.
To get to that point – and to go viral while you do it – you need to create connection content. These are the pieces that create a heart-to-heart connection with not just your prospects, but your legitimate fans.
One effective approach to that end involves sharing lessons you’ve learned in the past, or instilling wisdom that you’ve learned through life experiences. If you were a marketer, for example, you might do a post about the expectations versus the reality of what it takes to get ahead in the modern era. You could even go deeper than that and outline the qualities of a successful entrepreneur versus an unsuccessful one, or those things in your life that you can control versus that which you can’t.
Regardless, the point is that you’re going beyond “sales” and are again beginning a deeper conversation with people. One they can relate to and see themselves in. You’re showing that you’re more than just a business or even a brand – there are actual caring human beings behind that logo. As they begin to identify with you on that level, it naturally works its way back to your products and services – which is how those sales begin to build up.
5. Conversion Content
Finally, you can begin to master the fine art of conversion content – arguably the most sales-driven format of any on this list.
As the name suggests, conversion content is that which you can use to share announcements that generate leads and, more importantly, sales. You could post your live stream schedule so that people know when to tune into your weekly YouTube show, for example. You could offer details of an upcoming product launch or pull back the curtain and give insight into how you run your business in some way.
Yes, you’re now asking people to think of you as a business and businesses exist to generate money – but if you’ve honed your relationship with them in the right way up to this point, they likely won’t have a problem with that.
In the end, you need to understand that it will take all of these content types to not just go viral on Facebook or Twitter – but to build your audience in a way that will sustain your business for years to come.
Create conversations. Build a community. Generate credibility. Make connections. Convert. Once you begin to get better at creating the type of social media content that moves people from one end of that chain to the other, there is truly no limit to what you’ll be able to accomplish.