For individual accounts.
Going viral on Twitter has to do with preparing your account for it. This method is not a quick formula or instant cheatsheet. Instead, it will show you how to position yourself for that.
As for me, I am not interested in going viral. I have no social media intensive business. I guess I’m not that kind of person. But, I have been active on Twitter for over 6 years. I have seen several viral contents over the years. And from it, I noticed some underlying similarities.
Going viral on social media is the new number one business strategy. More businesses now rely on social media for visibility and marketing. Even regular people desire to go viral even if they have nothing to sell. The few minutes of “fame” gives good chills.
Twitter is one of the toughest social media platforms. In May 2019, a social media report (by SocialMediaExaminer) surveyed over 4,500 marketers. The report shows Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the leading platforms. LinkedIn also appears somewhat straightforward for targeting audiences. Twitter appears more difficult to use.
Going viral on Twitter is different from all other social networks. Also, viral content has a wider reach on Twitter. Often times, the viral content gets reposted on Instagram by someone else.
If you want to create viral content on Twitter, there are certain rules that can make it happen for you. But, you must understand that you can’t choose what goes viral. You can only prepare your account in a way that shows it will.
Here is what to do:
1. Get “partially influential” accounts to follow you
I define “partially influential” accounts as accounts that have a few thousand followers and follow a few hundred. And they must be real people, as far as you can judge.
Sometimes those accounts follow you when you follow them. To be precise, you can comment on their post and start a mini conversation. This should result in them following you. If after a good back and forth conversation they still don’t follow you, you can ask politely. If they check your profile and see you are interesting, they would likely follow.
Having between 50 to 100 of these accounts following you is a key to going viral.
2. Understand what your top followers are retweeting
The key to going viral is retweets. You must understand what your “partially influential” followers are retweeting. There must be a kind of content that they love to retweet. You discover this by looking at what they retweet from people (or accounts) they don’t know personally.
There must be something that 70–75% of them retweet in common. If not, then you need to find top retweeting followers who have a common content they usually retweet.
Asking for retweets on your tweets is definitely NOT the way to go viral.
3. Get your timing right
What time of the day are your followers most active? You can know this by creating a list and adding all your followers on that list. Or create a special list adding those “partially influential” accounts. The purpose of this is to get their tweet timing.
It is a general rule that most people surf their social media in the first few hours after work in the evening. But then you have to pay attention to the timezone of your followers. Most especially those “top” followers.
4. Get the viral content right
Once you understand what your top followers retweet and the time they are most active, you are ready. All you need now is to come up with the right content. Now, this is the interesting part.
Viral contents are not things you sit down to craft and create. They are more like in-the-moment kind of things.
What you do is that you watch out for opportunities around you and come up with the content. You don’t need to post immediately if the timing is not right. When the timing is right, you tweet.
Before this, you ought to whet the appetite of your followers ahead of time. You do this by retweeting content like the ones you have in mind. You can use that to gauge reactions ahead of your own content.
Let’s say you have 52 “top” followers. Then you discover that they love retweeting funny cat videos with catchy captions. And then your followers are active from 6 pm to 8 pm. You start retweeting such content (like) once a week, not to bore your followers. Plus, you have to be a real human being too. You should relate to those in your social network.
From then, you stay on the lookout for funny cat moments in your life. When you see such happening in your world, you get your phone and record. Your recording can be long but then you will trim it later. Then you tweet the content at the appropriate time with a catchy and honest caption.
The content might not go viral on your first attempt. But you ought to have a viral content within the 3 months of commitment to this strategy.
Don’t try too hard or spam your followers. Take a break between your attempts.
This is a model for individual accounts. For business or marketing content to go viral, it takes another method. Also, celebrity accounts have different rules about going viral.
Some add their business and marketing as a second tweet to their viral tweet (making it into a thread). That works, but it might not be enough for big businesses and brands.
P.S. If you are interested in learning how people leverage platforms, opportunities, and strategies to create success, subscribe to my newsletter: themillionairepill.substack.com