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5 Secrets to Making Anything Go Viral

Nobody needs to tell you that a viral marketing campaign can increase brand awareness and offer you an unbeatable return on your investment in time and content. You just want to know how to get your own project passed around the Internet by enthusiastic users.

Why does some content take off while other content stalls on the launching pad? The right answer even frustrates serious marketers when they try to analyze the type of content that tends to get followed, shared, and commented upon. However, marketers who master the art and science of creating viral marketing campaigns can use their knowledge to promote almost anything.

5 Tips to Help Your Marketing Campaign Take Off

Viral marketing campaigns seldom happen by accident, and they also share some common traits. These tips may help you understand what you do right and what you could work on a little more.

1. Connect With Your Community

Part of increasing your chance of having a successful campaign relies upon the online platform that you have already constructed. Businesses and personalities that do well on social platforms notice and respond to their communities. They might respond to questions and comments, and sometimes they even mention community members by name to thank them for a contribution. Social media users tend to share content from sources they either love or hate, and you would probably rather be one of the sources that they love.

2. Social Media Users Share Content That Creates an Emotional Response

Take note of celebrities or authors you follow that typically enjoy a lot of sharing and interaction on their social media pages. They don’t just post about themselves or their latest project. In fact, these social media successes know their audiences very well. They post content that amuses, supports, and engages their fans and followers. For example, you might let your fans know that you share a popular view on a social issue or donate money to a worthy charity.

3. Be Original

Your social networking platforms should reflect your brand and image. Passing around other brand’s memes is more likely to help your community remember that other brand than it is yours.

4. Cooperate with Other Brands

You shouldn’t take content from others, but you can enlist their cooperation. This helps a lot for people who still need to build a large social networking platform. If you write romances, find a handful of other romance writers that can help you create content and promote it. If you’d rather not share the spotlight with other writers in your genre, you might seek out authors with books in other categories. You can have a something-for-everybody promotion together. Either way, you are bound to increase your own visibility.

5. Things Take Time

This is the last secret to making anything go viral. You should be testing different types ofcontent and promotional strategies all the time. Creating viral campaigns may be part science and part art, but even masterpieces do not appeal to every critic. Don’t give up, but do keep testing out new content types and promotional strategies on your unique community of potential customers.

Kenneth Gillett is the Principal and Founder of Target Marketing. A full service digital marketing agency in New York City guiding authors, speakers & brands to elevate their influence. Follow @TargetMktng.

Social Media Best Practices for Every New Author

Gaining momentum on social media sites might be tough for new authors without a large following, but it is also a vital part of today’s digital marketing. Authors need to connect with readers to get their books found in the deluge of thousands of new titles published each day. On the other hand, managing a social media presence can take up a lot of time that could be spent writing or engaging in other forms of marketing. But once authors do gain traction, they can enjoy viral marketing and almost automatic branding of their author name and any new published books.

Getting Started with Social Media as a New Author

If you don’t know where to start with social media, you might remember these tips:

  • Focus: You don’t need to establish a social media presence everywhere, but you should try to target sites where you are likely to connect with your readers.
  • It’s not all about you: Make sure you remember your readers when you post content to social networking sites.
  • Keep it up: Post consistently without overwhelming or annoying your readers.
  • Use what you have: Begin with your existing social networks.

Where should you start setting up social media accounts and pages?

There might be a different answer for almost everybody, but most new authors consider Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, and Goodreads. I would not suggest starting with more than three, and you may only select one if that’s all you can handle well. As time passes, your social media presence can grow organically as you gather more fans and more comfort with the new medium.

What social media content engages readers?

Make most of your content about your readers and not about you. If you want readers to care about you, you need to demonstrate that you care about them as more than people with credit cards who might order your new releases. That means you have to take the time to understand your readers and test different types of posts to see what connects with your fans.

You might look at the examples of some queens and kings of Facebook like Ann Rice and George Takei for inspiration. Also, consider connecting with other popular personalities and authors. For example, Ann Rice has been known to give a nod to indies and new authors, and she is always full of inspiration.

How often should you post to social networks?

I think it is important to maintain a consistent presence on any social media sites you really want to conquer. With that said, hourly posts will surely get annoying on sites like Facebook where many readers have busy news feeds. It would be better to show up once a day or a few times a week with powerful content.

That means it might take longer to really test your content, but establishing a brand online may take some time. On the other hand, if you don’t post often enough, you risk getting forgotten. Remember that social media users have a lot of demands on their attention.

Start with What You’ve Got

Finally, leverage the resources that you already have in order to grow your presence naturally. If you set up a new Facebook fan page, don’t be afraid to invite your personal connections to like your page. You’ve got to start somewhere. Also consider connecting with other new authors, editors, and graphic artists to make your social marketing a collaborative effort instead of always making it a competitive one.

Most of your personal connections should be very supportive and even excited about your venture into book writing and publishing. A few might act cool or even jealous, but if you aren’t ready to face that, you will have a tough time when you hear from critics who don’t even know you.

Kenneth Gillett