Archive | May 2017

‘Going Viral’ Mysteries revealed

Viral MarketingEveryone would love their message to become an internet ‘star’, and have their words and pictures to be an online darling, but is it possible, or do you have to be a ‘Grumpy Cat’ in order to do it? Is it purely by accident, or is there a formula to “virality”?

There IS a formula, but it takes the assistance if a lot of people that you don’t know, and Google. Some forethought also helps, and setting up a promotional avenue ahead of time just in case it happens, and you need it is also a good set of keywords. To have all of these checklists going at the same time sounds like a lot of work for a hope that something will happen at some time, but the spin-offs could be immense.

Firstly, you need to write for Google, and not your readers. This doesn’t mean keyword stuffing or any of the tired old tricks that ‘The Big G’ has already outlawed, it simply means an understanding of what Google is looking for, and to write your headlines along those lines. The body of your post should also feature its copy laid out in a certain way, so this is another reason to perform random Google searches and read the posts that are the most popular – whether they are from professional journalists, or talented amateurs.

Secondly, you need perfect timing. This is more art than science, but you need to be talking about a subject at the exact same time that a lot of other people are. It’s tough to be ahead of the curve with this, but your posts so far have been (hopefully) different from what is already out there, so you are accustomed to being different, now you have to be the same, but slightly ahead of everyone else. This is simply a case of being aware of what is probably being written and doing something different.

Finally, you need to be part of communities that will voluntarily spread the word on your behalf. This means continually searching the ‘net for groups, communities, and other gatherings that talk about your subject.

A few years ago, a blog I was writing went viral. By that I mean my usual readership of 50 – 60 hits per day suddenly grew to over 5,000 visits in a 24 hour period. Wow! I picked up more friends, +1’s, followers and likes than at any other time. How? Well, luck was involved: I was working in an industry that had millions of fanatical followers across the globe. A famous international incident happened one day before I was due to write a post. Thanks to inside information concerning the industry (Not the incident in question.), and at least part of my mind being on what I was going to write in my next blog post – which was timed for the next day – the proverbial light-bulb went on, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I was working outside of the North American and European markets at the time, so I wrote, edited, and posted it in what was overnight in those geographic areas. Then I forwarded the post to a well-known Message Board Community that printed my writing on an ongoing basis. The next day, I had thirty minutes to spare, so I shared my newest post on all of my social media platforms.

By this time, the message board had posted my blog, and it was a huge hit, because for many people it as the first place they turned to get the information they wanted at the exact morning they wanted it – Message Board members tend to believe each other, rather than news outlets for gigantic news like this. Of course, they shared it with others not in the message board, and then my social posts were shared almost simultaneously by my friends outside of the industry.

I realized later that I had written my headline, and had lines within my copy that exactly mirrored the phrase that millions of other people used for Google searches that day to find more information on this exact subject, so Google thought that – as my use of these keywords were among the first printed on the web on this subject –  it MUST be the most popular place where people got their information, and I became an instant expert. This is what I mean about thinking along the same lines as Google: Think ; “how would people search for this”, and write those words in that order three or four times in your post, and especially in your headline and title tags.

It only lasted one day, but you can imagine that the amount of people that became followers of mine could become life-long followers if you continue to prove that you are an expert. Do you want to do all of this to ‘go viral’? Well, that isn’t the point. Do you want a lot of people to read what you say? Do you want to grow your popularity? Well, be ahead of the curve, lay traps in places where people who want to read your prose are likely to find it, and write it for Google’s bots. You will get lucky occasionally, and that means more people listening to you.