One of the most important metrics to measure in a social media campaign is the number of shares a particular piece of content gets. For some social channels like Facebook, shares can define a post’s reach. In other words, the higher the number of shares, the more exposure you get. Which makes sharing the most valuable interaction your audience can have with your posts, since it increases the likelihood of getting free likes and follows.
Keeping the importance of this metric in mind, we took a look at some content that has performed really well historically, and tried to figure out what made them so viral.
Here’s what we found:
Vital is Viral
In general, when we see posts with information that is essential to everyday living, we feel a sense of urgency to share them with the public. People love sharing advice on how to simplify life, tips for making everyday tasks easier, or wonderful life hacks you thought you couldn’t do. Pretty much anything that would make us feel useful, safe and comfortable.
Humor is Contagious
Human emotions are highly contagious, not only in real-life, but also in a virtual setting. When we see posts we find totally hilarious, most of us feel the need to show them to our friends and share the fun.
It’s obvious why 9gag.com is one of biggest humor pages on Facebook today.
Be they positive or a negative, most of us tend to share posts that touch us emotionally. It’s human nature to pass along whatever we feel would cause others to have a similar experience.
Unbelievable & Controversial
Another element of content which makes us feel an urgency to share is controversy. When the subject of a post is highly controversial, like the one pictured below for example, people are more likely to engage, react, and give their thoughts on the topic.
Library of Most Controversial Files & other Conspiracy pages are doing well making use of this element.
It Makes Us Say “AWWW”
Cats win the Internet. The last, but not the least element of highly shareable content, is things that make us say “AWWW”. In this case, the hook is cuteness. The sweeter and more adorable the better. Again, this makes perfect sense. If something makes us feel good, we want to spread that positive vibe.
The big SubReddit r/awww, weekly trends #caturdays on Google + and Twitter, and a number of popular pages on cute and animal stuff on Facebook prove that things that make us say “AWWW” are social media’s favorite.
Given the elements described above, we also tried to figure out what make users share content online: Here are some of the understandable reasons and their relation to the elements mentioned.
People share awesome posts that they feel will make them look GOOD, SMART, FUNNY, SENSITIVE or CONTROVERSIAL.
1) Smart – Because we love sharing informational, educational, and vital stuff.
2) Funny – Because we believe that humor is contagious.
3) Sensitive – Because we want others to sympathize with us.
4) Controversial – Because we want to intrigue our readers’ minds.
5) Good – Because we want to make people happy.
It is important to keep in mind the elements and the reasons why certain content goes viral, especially when handling brand pages. Knowing these things gives you and your brand a great opportunity to serve your fans and reach your potential fans without lots of extra spending.