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What Makes Content Shareable? 7 Secrets to Going Viral

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We’ve all seen a creator go viral after posting something: The content gets shared and reposted hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of times, other creators imitate it, and the creator is well on their way to success. What exactly makes a piece of content go viral, though?

1. The Topic Is Currently Trending

Creators should make a habit of checking the trending sections on all social networks, every day. From hashtags to current viral videos, news articles, and more, content is more likely to be considered shareable if the topic is currently on everyone’s minds.

Here’s where to find the current trending topics for each Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter

  • Instagram: The Explore tab allows you to see trending users, photos, and hashtags. Set follow notifications for popular hashtags in your content vertical.
  • YouTube: The Trending tab shows you the current viral videos, sortable by different categories. YouTube will show you overall trending content, plus suggestions based on videos you’ve watched before.
  • Twitter: The search page has Worldwide Trends below the search bar, and you can also search trending hashtags when you log in.

2. Community Engagement

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Engage with your fans. Read the comments, comment back, and like/comment on fans’ content on their own pages, as well as other influencers in your content niche. You can get lots of content ideas from your fans, if you’re willing to listen.

3. Does the Content Fill One of These Primal Functions?

According to a study by researchers at UCLA, shareable content actually resonates more with specific areas of the brain: Areas related to cognitive function. The main 3 content functions they found perform best are:

  • Inspiration: Something that stimulates our creativity or curiosity, or makes us ponder a deeper question, is something we automatically want to share.
  • Entertainment: If a piece makes you laugh or feel all warm & fuzzy, you want others to share the happiness with you.
  • Utility: Life hacks, how-tos, etc. These get shared because people want to help others function better and have an easier life.

4. Listicles Are Awesome

Readers love lists, in both video and blog/caption format, because they’re easily skimmable and digestible. List posts are shared nearly twice as much as some other content types. Instagram Stories are a great way to do lists: Spread out 1 list item per Story, and add a swipe up to shop link + graphic on the last one, so people will become intrigued & keep clicking through your stories.

5. Share Buttons

Take the time to make sure you’ve added social share buttons to the banner on your YouTube channel, @ mentions of your other channel names on your IG bio, and social share buttons on your blog + all blog posts. Making sharing as easy as tapping a button results in more shares.

6. Images. Lots Of Them.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Posts with images receive a 3x higher engagement rate, according to Hubspot. Humans are visual creatures, and photos + videos

7. Is the Content Awesome In and Of Itself?

There are 5 billion “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” quizzes – not that they’re not fun! (We’re totally Jon Snow, FYI) Taking the time to craft original, quality content that engages and entertains will always result in something infinitely more shareable.

*cover image courtesy of DigiWireX

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