Going Viral: Steps to Making Your Content Share-able

In online sales and marketing, invisible content is useless. The more shares and engagement of a social media post or blog article, the higher the chance your post will be noticed by potential buyers. With enough engagement your posts will start to become viral, which gets eyeballs on your content and establishes your brand as an industry expert. Here are a few things you can do to help push your content toward virality.

Establish relationships

When starting out on any venture, you want to make sure your voice is heard. The same goes for social content, whether on a social media site or your company’s blog. The content itself if always important (more on that later) but to help a post go viral, you’ll need to carefully choose where to publicize your work. By establishing influential relationships, you’ll gather a following that can help spread your organization’s ideas. There are two main ways go about doing this.

Connect with the right people

Finding influencers in your business area is the best place to start building a viral network.

  • Search social sites for trending topics in your field. See who is sharing quality content that others are re-sharing and follow them.
  • Use a 3rd party website such as Followerwonk.com or Klout.com to find the top influencers online.
  • Join communities such as LinkedIn Groups or Google+ Communities.

Join in on the conversation

Once you’ve connected with influencers, it’s time for you to get involved. Whether you’re replying to their posts, sharing what they’ve said, or speaking with them directly, make sure your posts have value. Here are a few ways to stay active in the conversation:

  • Comment on articles or social media posts. Make sure your posts don’t sound robotic; people are more likely to engage in conversation with people they like.
  • As with posts on social media sites, your comments should include engaging content. This shows your interest and gives a feeling of reciprocity.
  • Your content should be respectful. Important influencers have done a lot to earn their status. If you treat them with a small bit of reverence, influencers will be more likely to reciprocate.
  • Be active in the communities you’ve joined. Provide helpful insight to build rapport and to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Your good deeds will be remembered when you’re ready to share your own content.

Good content is a requirement

In order for your content to have the chance to go viral, it must be relevant and compelling. If you want to be seen as an industry expert, you must create content that shows your audience you know what you’re talking about and you’re capable of framing it in an engaging way.

Make a statement

Anything that requires a title (such as a blog post) must have one that’s a hard hitter. It should be grabbing and have a touch of incentive in it. Why should someone read your post? It’s also important to write a title with the mind of your reader, not SEO. You’ll receive more traction from your article being read and shared than being read once by a web-crawling robot.

Be original

It’s simple: don’t write the same piece everyone else is writing. If the topic you you’re interested in is relevant to your business, consider finding an alternate angle to write about. For example: If you want to discuss a new ad platform at Facebook, consider writing about how it will affect your audience or how it would change advertising for a certain niche. Your content will more likely resonate with a specific crowd than a more boring, general topic would.

If you’re posting on social media, never use prepopulated text. Always take the time to brainstorm an eye-catching post to go along with a link or image.

Cut it into bite-sized pieces

As much as we want to believe people are going to read every word of a post, that’s far from the truth. Optimize your posts, blog article or otherwise, for both dedicated readers and skimmers.

  • Consider breaking down your post into multiple heading sections and use bullets effectively. With this type of formatting, anyone can easily glimpse over your article and find information easily.
  • Organize your content correctly. The most important, quick points should be featured at the top of your article to grab attention. In-depth, less relevant points should be further down in your post.
  • Write in the correct tone of voice for your brand. Readers can be quickly turned off by text they feel is condescending, immature, or overly jokey.

Make it stick

Once you have a concept and an outline, it’s time to ensure your content is engaging enough to make your audience pay attention.

  • Get to the point quickly. Most readers want to get the information they need and get out.
  • Your content should be intriguing. Entice your readers to consider possibilities they may not have thought of before. Intriguing content also invites readers to comment, share, and expand on your post.
  • Use visual content wherever you can. Visual content is easy to share and, on average, receives more impressions than other content. If you’re discussing a bunch of statistics or changing trends, try creating a graph or infographic to display data.
  • Ask yourself, “How can a reader benefit from this content?” If you can’t answer that question, your article probably won’t see a lot of traffic. Be sure to include a value proposition for your audience.
  • Create immediately actionable posts and include an easily recognizable call to action. What do you want your audience to do after they visit your post? If you want them to “share” it or “like” it, ask them to do so!

Reduce the friction

Cut down on the amount of work a reader has to do to complete your call to action. You’ll see more engagement because your readers will be happier about acting on your content.

Use the right platform for your message and its call to action.

  • If you want more retweets, post to Twitter.
  • If you want to increase your EdgeRank or link clicks, consider posting to Facebook.
  • If you want your content to act as a lead generation tool on your own domain, writing a blog post may be your best bet.

Simplify your call to action.

  • If you’re asking for someone to comment on your blog post, make sure it’s easy. Disable a required log-in or registration.
  • When you’re hosting a contest or gathering information from a post, make your signup form simple. The less information you ask, the more response you will get.

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