If you want to thrive on social media, then you really need to take advantage of the nature of the platform. Social media platforms offer us a huge amount of potential because they allow us to tap into real social networks and connections that exist in the real world. This in turn allows information to spread through that web of connections just as it does offline – and that’s where the concept of something going ‘viral’ comes from.
Viral content is essentially content that enjoys exponential growth. So you post something to your followers and they then respond by sharing it with some of theirs. This then results in their contacts sharing it with their contacts and if this cycle continues you can end up getting thousands – or even millions of views.
But of course in order for this to work, your content needs to be something that people want to share and it needs to be the kind of thing that naturally lends itself to being shared. Let’s look at some things that make this more likely…
The Psychology of Sharing
If your content is going to share as quickly as possible, then you need to understand why it is that people share in the first place.
And the answer to that is that people usually share to communicate and/or to express themselves.
A lot of sharing is basically narcissistic and thus the real reason we post is to tell the people we’re friends with something about ourselves. This makes us very likely to share content that we feel perfectly encapsulates who we are – just like we might hang a poster in our room if we like the message.
The other reason people share is because they think someone else will particularly respond to the content and in that way we are doing them a favor and showing that we’re thinking of them. This way, sharing content becomes a form of communication.
In both situations though, content thrives because it is tailored for a specific person. So think about this when you write your own posts: who is this for? What kind of person will share this?
This will instantly help your content to spread but there are more things to consider as well. One is that very often people share content before they’ve actually read it. Rather, they base their decision to share or not simply on the title and the image.
What does this tell you? You need an eye-catching image and a great title!