How to Go Viral on Social Media

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Going viral is any marketer’s dream. Everyone wants to go viral once you create content: you just put it out there, and somehow that content gets distributed to millions of people, making you essentially become famous – a rock star.

Nowadays, most social media algorithms don’t push organic posts like they used to. Obviously, there are some exceptions – such as TikTok  – but overall, for the majority of platforms, going viral is a big part of actually engineering successful content.

If you look on Facebook or Instagram, most people going viral are those who are already popular. And that’s very interesting, because it means that they became famous on the platform because they figured out the formula that allowed them to go viral in a consistent way. 

In this video, Brendan Kane, Marketer and Author of the bestselling book One Million Followers, will talk about how to apply this formula to guarantee that your next contents will be viral and you will grow your audience on social media.

Check out the video to understand how he has achieved this, so you can too.

If you would like to learn more about going viral and other marketing topics from 50 of the best marketers in the world, you can do it by joining the SCALE Series. Find more information below!

Transcript of the video

We live in a three second world. And when I say a three second world, I don’t. It doesn’t mean that we cannot hold attention for long periods of time, because when you look at podcasts, you look at somebody like Joe Rogan, he can capture people’s attention and hold it for two hours. You have Netflix, where people will binge watch a show and spend 10 hours watching over one weekend.

So it’s not to say that you cannot hold attention. You can if you have the right story, the right communication channel, the right communication structure. 

I just walked you through pre-social media, a million content creators in the planet, now 3.96 billion content creators in the planet. That barrier has been broken down.

Does that mean every single one of these creatros are creating content everyday?

No. But there’s still 100 billion messages sent in the world every day. So it makes it really difficult to stand out. Because there’s so much noise, there’s so much content.

And we’re no longer living in a world where you’re just competing against your direct competition, you’re competing against all of those content creators, to get your message and get your point across.

Now, what we have found, especially if we talk about social media, is there’s a thing called the algorithms.

Now, no matter what you’ve heard, I’m going to break it down to a very simplistic definition of what are the algorithms. They have one job and one job only.

And that’s to keep people on these platforms longer. Why? 

Because that’s how these platforms make money. They make money because when people spend time on the platform, they can see ads, and the longer people spend, the more ads that they reveal to you.

So the algorithms have a very difficult job, but a simple job. It is to keep people on the platform longer. Now, it’s a difficult job, because of all the content that’s being published every single day.

So if anywhere, any one of us were to open up any of the social apps, there’d probably be over 1000 pieces of content. It could be shown to us, based on the people we follow or the content we’ve engaged with.

So obviously, the algorithms can’t show the 1000 pieces of content to you as soon as you open up the app. It has to prioritize. They have to determine what the top 15 pieces of content they will prioritize, that they believe is going to keep this individual on the platform the longest.

This means 985 of those 1000 posts are getting de-prioritized. And this is what happens when you see people not growing. They’re not going viral, they’re not grabbing attention, or they’re not generating followers.

And it’s not generating reach and engagement. It’s because the algorithms have deemed that their content or account is not holding attention. That’s why like retention graphs are so important.

So let’s break it down into two simple principles. One, we have to grab attention. One of the key metrics that all these apps look for is that you stop the scroll. With TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, even LinkedIn, they’re looking at that.

Essentially, view to reach ratio is how many views are generated based on the reach that you get because views today are counted at the three second mark, not the one second mark.

Now, YouTube’s a little bit different, because most of the traffic comes from the suggested videos. They’re looking at the click through percentage or the click through rate on that thumbnail and headline. That’s grabbing the attention.

If you don’t stop the scroll or earn that click, that is the first signal to the algorithm: “we’re not giving any more reach to this content, because it’s a liability to our end goals.”

The second part of that retention graph is now that they’ve stopped scrolling and earned the click, how long are people spending on this content. That’s the second thing that these algorithms are looking for.

Now, if you master those two things, you will go viral, you will generate as many followers as you want. You will survive any algorithm change that happens. So it’s very simple.

All you have to do is grab attention and hold attention.

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