Viral—a word that once meant the spread of an infectious disease is now something that every marketer and business owner dreams of. It indicates that your content was so successful on social media, that it was shared hundreds of thousands or even millions of times. You could become rich off of the traffic generated from a single viral piece of content.
Going viral is one of the best ways to grow your Instagram quickly. But like many dreams, it’s often difficult to turn it into a tangible reality. You know where you want to be but getting there is another story.
Well, going viral isn’t an exact science. There’s a lot of current factors that you can’t always plan for like trends ebbing and flowing and competitor content. However, there are a few tried and true tricks that many businesses have used with success to contribute to their viral content.
Buy Followers For Social Proof
Although this might seem like a cheater method, it’s actually something that creators of viral content often do to spur the success of their content. Buying real followers who will like, comment on, and share content can move a piece faster so that it can make its way to hundreds of thousands of shares.
If you’re going to buy followers, get real followers from a high-quality company like Plixi. You should realize this is mainly for social proof, though. If you’re not a big fan of buying followers, there’s an assortment of Instagram automation platforms you can use to boost your following as well.
You can improve the impact that your purchased followers have on your content by tagging people in each post to get the ball rolling. Just make sure it’s relevant to these people or else you’ll generate annoyance rather than enjoyment.
Improve Your Hashtags
You’ll never get anywhere without a good hashtag strategy. “Hashtags are the motor of your Instagram post – they’re the only way it’s going to go anywhere,” says Michael Catford of The Social Savior. “By using hashtags you’re allowing people to search for and find your post.”
He specifically recommends veering away from comedic or ironic hashtags, which can add style to your content in traditional settings. However, when you’re trying to go viral, you use hashtags that people search for often.
Most importantly, focus on trending hashtags. “You can see what hashtags are trending on the Instagram app, or alternatively, you can relate your post to some sort of current event that has Instagram talking,” he says. “Geotagging your posts will do the same for searchability.”
Align unique content with trending hashtags. You might take a comedic spin on a popular topic. That way, you can piggyback off of the existing heavy traffic to try to send your content reeling.
Boost Engagement To Get On the Explore Page
According to blogger and Instagrammer Brie Kirbyson, who has published many viral Instagram posts in the past, one of the best things you can do to generate viral content is to get on Instagram’s Explore Page. “It’s the best place on Instagram to get your content exposed to an even larger audience than the one you already have,” she says.
“You need high engagement to land a post on the Explore Page,” she continues. “Once there, more people will see your content, resulting in more likes, comments and follows. This, in turn, causes even more people to see your content, which results in more likes, comments, and followers.”
In order to get this “snowball effect” engagement, as she calls it, you must post content at the right times, use a good hashtag strategy, and post a CTA in the caption to get audiences more involved.
She also says it doesn’t hurt to buy followers or use engagement groups. Instagram is a social network, after all, so why not use these groups that are committed to boosting each other’s content across the platform?
Focus On Niches
The highest-performing content will always be written to appeal to a specific niche. In business, you won’t do well if you can’t define your niche, and it’s the same for Instagram.
“Studying your niche is key to getting an idea of what content themes are working, and what type of posts could potentially go viral,” says Len Gordon of Medium. “The theory here is piggy-backing—see who’s doing what, and what is going viral in your niche, then repost it to join the viral club.”
If you don’t know your niche well, now is as good a time as any to dive in. Consider your target audience, their demographics, likes, dislikes, and problems that need to be solved. Consider competitors and trending topics in your niche as well. The more you explore this area, the closer your content will be to going viral.
Post At The Right Times
Perhaps one of the most important things any Instagrammer can do is to post when your followers are online. Every post will get the best engagement it will ever see within the first few hours of its publication. After about 48 hours, engagement tends to fall off significantly.
In general, the best times to post are on weekdays in the afternoon. Avoid weekends, as fewer people are online during that time. However, your audience might be unique. Use analytics and insights to help you determine the ideal time to post for the most engagement.
Use The Power Of Influencers
Sometimes, creating a viral post is as simple as spurring its success with the help of someone who already has a lot of followers. Use an influencer endorsement to promote your content in some way, and it’s more likely that people will see it.
A great example is when Coca-Cola took a stunning photo of Selena Gomez drinking a personalized Coke earlier this year. To date, this photo has garnered 7 million likes thanks to the authenticity and famous name behind the photo.
“Of course, while the art direction is impeccable and Gomez looks… like Gomez, those factors pale into insignificance next to the value of leveraging a savvy celebrity endorsement in the first place,” explains Nick Carson of CreativeBloq. “Sure, Selena Gomez may be a little out of reach for the average brand campaign, but the lesson here is to find an influencer who resonates with your target market.”
As you can see, viral Instagram content isn’t out of your reach. It simply requires the right strategy and a thorough understanding of your market. The more you explore and curate your content to meet the interests of targeted consumers, the more successful your brand will be.
If you are interested in even more social media-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.