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Make It Go Viral!

What do The Ice Bucket Challenge, Alex From Target, and “The Double Rainbow Guy” all have  in common? They were all part of a viral social media post/campaign. You’ve probably heard the phrase “go viral” as it relates to sharing information online. But just in case you haven’t, it means to “become very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet.”

But how do you create something that will go viral on social media? Some might tell you that there are tips and tricks to make something go viral, but the truth is that you never know when something will hit a nerve with people. You can’t necessarily predict what will motivate them share something, causing it to spread across the country or even around the world!

Sometimes it’s not even something you posted from your company’s profile. It might turn out to be a post to your company’s page that’s suddenly a big hit! Just ask Schulte’s Fresh Foods in Jefferson City, Mo. A customer posted on the store’s Facebook page about something she saw in the checkout line at their store. Soon it was getting thousands of likes, and hundreds of comments and shares!

Schulte's Fresh Foods Post to business page timeline with high organic engagement

It didn’t stop there. The page likes for Schulte’s Fresh Foods increased by almost 300 a week after the this was posted. The page is at 1,400+ page likes as of today.

Schulte's Insights Page Likes Increase During Timeline of Viral Post

While these numbers aren’t necessarily high enough for it to be considered a “viral” post, they’re still very impressive for a small business! And it was all because a customer wanted to share something positive about a kind-hearted cashier at her local grocery store.

But you can’t sit around waiting for something like that to happen on your store’s Facebook or Twitter page. So what can you do to get more social media engagement? Like I said earlier, there is no perfect formula that will guarantee something goes viral online. What you can do is create content that fits with your brand’s voice, is unique and fun, but also is sincere.

Sadly, I can’t give you step-by-step instructions about how to make content that will be shared by millions, but I can give you a few tips that will help you stand out on social media.

  • Keep it simple
    Don’t give a big sales pitch in a Facebook post. You may remember from one of our early blog posts that this shouldn’t be the main focus of your social media content anyway. Keep the overall content simple and the written copy short and conversational. It shouldn’t sound like a brochure or an ad, but rather a conversation with a friend.
  • Have fun
    Social media is just that: social. Even though you’re a business and you want to portray yourself as professionals, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at the same time!

Larson's Piggly Wiggly Post

  • Take risks
    This doesn’t mean you should try to be controversial. But you also don’t have to do what everybody else is doing on social media either. Find what works best for your store, your employees and your customers. It might take some trial and error, but eventually you’ll find your voice and your style.
  • Don’t try so hard
    You don’t have to figure out what “on fleek” means to promote your store on social media. In fact, you should probably avoid using trendy slang terms. Otherwise you might end up being the butt of a joke! Again, find your authentic brand voice and figure out what works for you.

You might think you can’t compete with big brands on social media, but with a little creativity and fun, your store’s social media pages can become a big influence on your current and potential customer base.

Need help making your social media dreams a reality? At AWG, we can help you create a social media strategy that will have your customers engaged and interested in what you have to say!

Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie