Creating content that seems new or fills in missing information can make your brain release dopamine. Additionally, content that taps into specific emotions like excitement, surprise, or nostalgia has the potential to spread like wildfire on the internet. While the idea of your content becoming a sensation on social media is exciting, it's essential to remember that creating content serves a purpose beyond just going viral.

Before we dive into that, let's clear up the concept of "going viral."

Understanding "Going Viral" on Social Media

On social media, anything—be it a picture, quote, article, speech, song, video clip, game, or news—that's funny, informative, clever, shocking, or so surprising that people instantly share it with all their friends is considered to 'go viral.'

A viral post is something that gets shared, copied, and spread across all social platforms. Specifically on Facebook, going viral means a post has grabbed a lot of attention with a high number of likes, shares, and comments.

Attention Span and the Social Media Buzz

Now, let's talk about attention span. Have you heard about that study from Microsoft claiming humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish? Our attention is in high demand. Beyond ads, TV, family, work, and cute animal videos, everyone is vying for it.

Getting 'viral' on the internet means a piece of news, an image, or a video becomes incredibly popular in just hours or days by being shared by thousands, sometimes millions, of people on social media.

Why Short Videos Work on Social Media

Viral videos, especially, interrupt your usual scroll on social media. You don't search for them on YouTube or Google; they pop up in your feed, vying for attention in the midst of other posts. This is why short videos are so effective. Taking a minute to watch a friend's inspiring story is easy to justify. However, the longer the video, the tougher it is to convince yourself it's worth the diversion from work!

Many social media users aspire to "go viral." It's understandable - going viral means your content spreads widely across the Internet. However, it's not a sustainable strategy for many businesses in the long run.

Some social media users mistakenly believe that the main aim of social media is to make their content 'go viral.'

Now that you understand what it entails, it's clear why you'd desire your content to go viral. But is that the right objective?

Achieving a viral campaign involves various factors in your chosen content type, most of which are beyond your control.

Your Audience Holds the Power

On social media, it's the people watching, not you, who decide if your content becomes popular. The fate of your content, whether it's a hit or a miss, rests solely with your audience. Each social media platform has its own characteristics, so what goes viral on one may not do well on another.

The Pitfalls of Chasing Virality

Chasing virality is not a smart, long-lasting plan. Most viral things fade away quickly, just like Pokemon Go did. While it was a big hit initially, the excitement dwindled over time. Also, not everything you create will go viral, making it a potentially disheartening goal.

Setting Realistic Social Media Goals

Rather than aiming for viral fame, focus on understanding your specific audience. Viral content is rare, even for major platforms. To create content that resonates, you need to know your target audience well.

The True Purpose of Social Media Content

The goal of your social media content isn't just to go viral; it's to spark conversations about your brand. Aim for a good return on investment (ROI) by creating content that engages your audience.

Understanding Your Audience for Great Content

To make awesome content, first, get to know your audience. Your content rocks only when it really connects with people, making them want to share it.

If you run a business, craft at least one marketing persona before diving into social media. A persona is like a snapshot of your ideal customer, covering stuff like age, interests, and how they hang out online.

Make a marketing persona by chatting with your current and potential customers. Learn what matters to them when they're thinking of buying or spreading the word about your content. Armed with this info, creating share-worthy content becomes a breeze.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform

When it comes to social media, each platform has its own unique vibe. Your content needs to match the platform's personality. So, before you start creating, pick a platform to focus on. For many business folks, Facebook is a great place to kick off their social media marketing journey. The key is to choose based on the info you gather while figuring out your marketing persona.

Put your energy into making content that's fun, helpful, educational, and easy to share. Get the hang of making content regularly. Social media platforms use fancy math (algorithms) to decide how popular your stuff is. They check if people will likely interact with it. Usually, content that's expected to get a lot of attention (like viral stuff) goes to the top. Less exciting content ends up lower.

These algorithms are like friendly robots – they boost popular content for more people to see. On the flip side, they hide content that doesn't get much love. It might sound tricky, but the trick is to focus on creating content that people love to engage with. When your content gets a lot of likes and shares, it gets a bigger audience. So, aim for high engagement to have your content shared by loads of people.

Timing Matters for Content Visibility

To get the most eyes on your content, you need to choose the right time to share it. Identify the ideal timing by considering when your audience is most active on the specific social media platform you're using.

Understanding that social media algorithms rank content based on the likelihood of user engagement, it's crucial to schedule your content publication strategically. This way, you enhance the chances of your content performing well.


Instead of aiming for content to go viral, focus on making really good content—stuff that clicks with your intended audience. Use your content to display how you can help build a community around your brand. Make your brand seem human like it has its own personality.

If your content is unique, smart, and useful, and by chance, it goes viral, great! If not, that's okay too. Just keep churning out top-notch content regularly.

So, don't end up like the couple we talked about earlier, risking their lives for viral videos.

You don't have to put your life at stake or drain your bank account to create awesome content. Do your best with what you've got, right where you are.