Creating Viral Content for Social Media

Creating Viral Content for Social Media

In any marketing agency you would expect excitement and action, and indeed many of our days at Red Ant Solutions are action packed with client meetings, photo shoots, product sampling, idea creation and a lunch time gym session with a colleague. Last week however got a little bit too exciting when all we could see out of our agency office windows was smoke. We then became suddenly aware of the stench of smoke and sound of alarm bells.

A quick check outside revealed that the chippy opposite was billowing smoke from the front door. Luckily the quick witted chef had managed to douse the flames from a chip pan with frozen chips and Carbon Monoxide but smoke is just as dangerous and there were concerned looks all round.

With the chippy directly opposite the entrance to our business we had a good view of the response from the boys in blue (well a shade ochre). The RAS team snapped and tweeted a few pictures whilst I recorded parts of the response on my iPhone. We quickly edited the content down to something watchable whilst the emergency services did an amazing job of getting the situation under control once they had checked that everyone was accounted for.

Facebook Viral Content

Being a former long term resident of the town many of my Facebook friends are locals and so at the end of the day I pushed the content up to Facebook as a public post and the social marketer in me wondered how many comments and shares I would get. ‘It will go viral’ said one team member. But how many is that for a local bit of news? Well most of my video content has a single figure share count so anything in double figures would be proof that something both topical and dramatic was good for viral content.

Forward wind to later in the evening and I text a colleague to say that the video share count has already hit 16. Pretty good for a few hours I think. ‘Viral!’ I get back as an excited response from my colleague who no doubt is at home watching the latest Matt Cutts video on Google algorithms whilst I am down the pub. Jump forward to the following morning and the count stands at a rather surprising 83 shares with only 2 from people I actually know. Nearly a week later and the count remains the same also demonstrating the short shelf life of Facebook content.

So what did we learn?

1.       Make content exciting and relevant and it will be shared.

2.       If content is topical then get it out there quick before someone else does or it is old news

3.       Content on the Facebook timeline has a short shelf life. Think about reposting or re-using it in some way without boring your audience

4.       Make sure you test your smoke alarm regularly


31 January 2014

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