Going viral

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:

 

Design


Building hype


Starting over

 

Design

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.

 

Building hype

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.

 

Starting over

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!

 

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