First. Viral content can’t be planned, but some ingredients definitely boost your chances.
In today’s fast pacing world, it is increasingly complex to grab people’s attention. It makes sense. Afterall, we all get bombarded with information and visuals.
So viral posts give us some glimpse of attention.
WWF just managed to get its post about the Twitter rebranding go viral.
Showing that nature ventures can accomplish this too.
So I want to share with you today the hacks they used to do it.
The best news you don’t need an entire expensive marketing team to create viral engagement.
8 hacks to boost the chance to get viral:
1. Refer to a hot topic
WWF jumped on the Twitter brand discussion, which is a current hot topic, to share their perspective.
Viral posts often take up a current hot topic. A few recent examples are Barbie, Oppenheimer, Twitter rebranding, Women Soccer World Championship. The social media feeds are packed with it.
If a broader audience cares about the topic, you have a higher chance of going viral because of the sheer number of people. Hot topics on social media are often new movies, political events, sports events, etc.
The earlier you share your perspective, the higher the chances to go viral because you see a trend emerging before others, so many people like it because they haven’t seen this before.
You must be fast here. The internet moves quickly, so ideally, you post your perspective as soon as you see the trend emerging.
2. Add a new perspective
Now, only showing up on time is not enough. You need to bring a fresh perspective to the social media discussion.
When a hot top is emerging, you quickly see people jumping on it and producing low-quality content and repeating what others have said before.
To go viral, WWF brought a fresh perspective that connects the Twitter rebranding to extinction.
The topic is still relevant and hot, yet people haven’t made that connection before. This feeling of surprise is what you want to go for.
💡 Don’t know where to communicate between Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and so on? Check out our article about how to choose the right social media platform for your nature organization!
3. Reduce the text to a minimum
Unfortunately, people don’t like to read anymore. So they skip your content if it is text-heavy. Social Media companies have adapted to that, so many penalize you if you have too much text on pictures and videos.
There is only a tiny amount of people reading your full texts. Most people skim through content.
You want them to stop and immediately get what your post is about. This leads to a smaller time investment on their side and increases the chance that they share or like.
Much text = a low chance to go viral.
WWF kept it to a strict minimum of text. Only one powerful sentence.
4. Use good copywriting
The WWF created a powerful sentence that matches the visual and actually provides it with power.
Everyone had seen the brand evolution before. But by sharing this powerful sentence, they give this Twitter brand timeline an entirely different meaning.
The best messages are those that only need a few words.
Copy is probably the hardest of all those hacks. Yet, it starts to get easier with all those best practices out there & AI.
Investing in writing good text helps you in internal communication, marketing, sales, keynotes, etc. So upskilling is worth it here.
5. Benefit from humor as your secret weapon
Humor is one of the best ways to go viral because who doesn’t like to laugh? For a moment, we forget about our worries and just enjoy life.
The world seems overwhelming right now, so brightening someone’s day goes a long way.
People also like the feeling of making others laugh, so they are more eager to share your content.
The extinction of wildlife is not funny, but Twitter’s idiotic rebranding is. It is very subtle, but most of the hot debate around the Twitter rebranding is how irrelevant and stupid it is. It became a running gag. So WWF jumped on it.
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6. Make your post easy to share
The picture speaks for itself. No further reading or checking is needed. So the viewer doesn’t need to do much more than click like & repost.
We, humans, have strong narcissistic tendencies. We want to show others that we care. Sharing posts like this signals to others that we care about the extinction crisis.
Viral posts for a better world like #metoo, Black Lives Matter, and George Floyds’ I can’t breathe, have it in common that they make it very easy to share a powerful message within seconds.
Now, sharing a social media post does not change the world immediately, but it increases awareness, and that is an important starting point.
7. Keep it relevant to your brand
What you have to say needs to match your brand. Otherwise, people get confused about why you post it.
WWF protects wildlife, like birds. The Twitter logo is a bird. Voila, you got some overlaps.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but many companies try to jump on trends and hot topics irrelevant to their core business and brand.
WWF possible viral posts they could do right now:
Oppenheimer – Nuclear waste, nuclear bomb test impact on ecosystems.
Barbie – plastic pollution impact of toys on wildlife.
Women’s Soccer Cup – matriarchs examples in the animal kingdom.
8. Design the post for all platforms
The post the WWF did is a square image that can be posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin & etc. Smart choice.
Avoid designing a post just for one specific social format. You did the hardest part of coming up with the creative side. Now choose the format that helps you distribute the visual as far as you can.
E.g., Linkedin A4 documents. Great way for carousels on Linkedin, but useless on Instagram because Instagram only supports squarely carousels.
💡 Pro tip: If you have the resources and can go the extra mile. Consider using the same creative concept and just changing the format. E.g., WWF could make a short video out of this. Creative job was already done, so you “just” have to change the layout. More socials = more eyes.
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Your turn: Let’s increase the probability of your posts going viral
5 actions to start increasing your chances of going viral
- Block yourself 30min next week to reflect on your past social media posts. How many of those hacks did they include?
- Add this checklist of 8 hacks somewhere you see it regularly. Before you post, run briefly through it to see if the post has some viral probability.
- As mentioned, time is of great importance here. Tools like Google Trends https://trends.google.com/home?hl=en-GB help you always to know which topics are currently hot. Create an alert system or save important websites that inspire you. Check them ideally daily for hot topics.
- Learn from the best. Take a look at those that frequently post viral hits and see what you can learn from them. Once a week, take 30 minutes, pick one person you admire online, and check what they do. Write out 3 things that you want to implement.
- Set up a 30-minute free call with me if you want to discover together how to increase your chances of getting viral.
Cheat sheet to learn more about content virality and how to boost it
In a nutshell: Viral posts can never be guaranteed, but some ingredients increase the probability of becoming viral.
Best in video: Ryan Reynolds produced many viral hits because of his speed & humor.
Best in copy: Justin Welsh. Manages well to create powerful & short sentences.
Best viral influencers: Taplio Influencer List
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Viral content is different because it goes through the roof. Yet there are ingredients that they most often have in common.
Your next post might not go viral immediately, but we certainly increase the likelihood of it if you implement the 8 hacks I shared with you today.
See you next week. Have a wild one!
🦧 Whenever you are ready, there are 2 ways we can help you:
- 1-to-1 business consulting. Detailed and personalized consulting to double the impact of your biodiversity organization in the shortest possible time. Not sure how to increase the virality of your posts? Let me take a look.
- Wild Business Mates in Action. Wild Business Mates help you execute in areas you are struggling with. Tech, Marketing, Sales, Communication, etc.