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Why Going Viral Is Not a Sign Of Growth

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Granted, seeing stories and videos go viral is exhilarating, but it cannot be a long-term solution.

Social media is a platform for so much more than merely going viral.

The contemporary word “viral” applies to content that has been successfully shared outside its target audience. Most likely sources of viral content make their way through morning news, social media and email spams.

Granted, viewing and sharing viral stories, brands, and videos is exhilarating but going viral cannot be a long-term solution. It also requires brands to analyse the content structure and put careful strategy behind it.

Very rarely does a brand go viral by chance. BTS, there are thorough procedures in place to ensure the content is targeting the right audience followed by devoting time to deeply understand that particular audience. Going viral takes effort, and requires content to be planned months in advance.

A viral post or story may be a great way to draw attention, but what happens after?

‘Can you deliberately make something go viral?’

Simply put, no. Social media strategists cannot possibly “make” a content piece go viral. Not without meticulous planning paired with a long-term strategy.

Requesting “can you deliberately make this go viral” is a major cringe to social media strategist. They recognize growing engagement and followers is way more complicated than getting one content piece viral.

While brands can strategically go viral, people are more probable to go viral than companies. It’s basically the “social” in social media. People subscribe to social media for human connection and enjoy viewing content that does not aim to sell products or attract possible clients. The internet chooses what goes viral.

Going viral means a brand has to take risks in order to stand out. For example, fast-food chain Wendy’s is famous for its Twitter presence because it took an unorthodox approach to content marketing: being mean. And Twitteratis loved it.

Strategic growth > going viral

One of the main challenges for people who have had viral success is creating that next best piece of content. It adds overwhelming pressure on a person or marketing team to conquer the “sophomore slump.” Knowing this, a key downside of going viral is that people drop off fast. People are expecting the next best thing from the account, and if the user isn’t delivering, people will become disinterested and begin to engage less or simply unfollow.

To avoid a big drop, focus on structuring your social media strategy and goals around consistent engagement over going viral. Fortunately, long-term success and viral success have one thing in common: good content. The key difference is that with a strategy, there is less pressure to out-perform. Instead, you can focus or improve and build on your content skills over a period of time, creating natural growth instead of placing all your eggs in one little content basket.

Consistent engagement between a user and a brand builds a strong relationships and trust over time. It’s difficult to focus on every comment on a viral post. With a long-term content strategy in place, you can easily tend to engagements, making individual subscribers feel seen and heard. The resulting give/receive in the form of likes and comments feels personal to the user. These interactions nurture loyal followers, who in turn tell their friends about their positive social media experience with your brand. Plus, the more loyal followers interacting with your posts, the more the chances of going viral.

Do you need a dedicated social strategist?

Hiring an individual or a team of social media experts can help modernize your strategy and assure your brand is dedicated on strong branding and engaging content that builds trust and connection that keeps users from ultimately unfollowing. Social media experts know branded social media is no longer about promotion and product sales, it’s about generating content that connects with people.

An expert knows how to translate social media analytics into actionable changes that drive and encourage growth. They will analyse trends in posts that perform well. The more these analytics are calculated, the better the brand will understand your audience and how to curate and generate content for them.

Prefer a strategist who will push back. You’re in their world, and they have the skills to get your brand to match your vision. It’s also suggested to look for specific expertise. Every social media strategist offers something different. Some are excellent with creative content, while others are analytics or detailed advertisers. One good way is to compile a small team of nice experts to get desired results in an effective manner. A strategist would definitely ensure one goal: growth.

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