Getting the word out online takes more than a strong campaign. It means creating something entertaining, catchy, relatable and succinct. Going viral means that a video, a recording, a blog, a hashtag, a facebook group or an image has become so popular online that it enters the everyday conscientiousness of the masses. For example, videos of demonstrators holding flash mobs can go viral and be reported on by news outlets. Not only does a video like that show that a lot of people are active and interested in the issue, it's entertaining. This guide will cover:
Think about which platform would best showcase your campaign. If creating a video to go viral, remember: the shorter, the better. Keeping a video from 15 seconds to a minute makes it easier to post and repost on a variety of platforms (facebook/twitter). Think about the kind of content that you repost.
What makes it worth sharing? We repost because the item is something informative or entertaining. Keep the content light or graphical if its information heavy. Using animation or humour in videos keeps people's attention. Don't push off a viral project. The production quality doesn't have to be high for it to be a success. Infographics are excellent for getting a lot of shocking information to an audience in an easy to understand way.
When starting a facebook group, make sure that it looks active, even if it was just launched. Post pictures, link articles, share resources and post a bunch. Folks are more likely to join a group that looks like it already has some momentum. Viral hits can come from unlikely places. Be creative. Try re-enacting a response from a politician, making a comic comparing wage gaps or create a meme.
Try out the viral hit on a few friends, co-workers or other activists. The general public is the target audience, so get some feedback before posting it.
Going viral depends on whether or not folks online will repost what you've posted. Networking is important. Send your item to popular blogs, tweet it and post it on facebook. Many larger blogs are busy and welcome guest posts. Tweeting your item at people with a lot of followers can send a post into a whole new online audience.
Unfortunately, most things online don't go viral. While it's nice when a blog post is suddenly everywhere and gets millions of hits, that's not the only measure of success. Whether content online takes off or not, it should continue to add information, hype and interest to a campaign's online presence. Sometimes it's through building this reputation that others begin to repost certain items, that get the chance to go viral. Sometimes, it's just luck!
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.