Go viral, it’s so infectious

I’m hooked on the new addiction of the information age, a craving to go viral. It started with share buttons and has moved on to #hashtags and hyperlinks. The lure of the “express press” button and where it might take me is just too great to resist.

I know I’m not the only tragic out there. Whether we know it or not, we’re all being seduced by those tactile-looking icons with come-hither designs that beckon the action to pin, press, share, select or click.

I’m now a collector of badges on my own website. During its build the excitement one felt at every discovery of yet another free button must have surely created this craving to cross-link.

Next came hyperlinks. If there was no official download badge available, the only way to satiate one’s enslavement to express press was to link text. Of course, I had to make sure the hyperlink opened in a new window so that I could return to the original source that fed my fixation.

There’s nothing more gratifying than hovering your cursor over a cute #hashtag, pausing momentarily to question what might be discovered if only you cave and select … will it open a Pandora’s box that takes you off on a useless tangent, or will it provide some quick rich source of information, something you never expected and were delighted to learn.

Obsession to press

Yes, it surely is an obsession and I liken this need to that of cracking the key word code that unlocks SEO. Once you go down that path, you can’t stop!

I believe this urge to express press is driven by a primal need to confirm that what you’re doing is validated by the masses. If one can only uncover the secrets of going viral the pay-off [attention] further feeds one’s longing for feedback. It’s a Catch-22 but one we all need to become addicted to in the new media age.

But is going viral easier than we all think?

My experience building a website and investigating marketing trends reveals that at the very base level it’s all about those key words and links. Of course once those words have been mastered next is to ensure there’s substance within a message for others to share it around. And their in lies the rub. Not all messages resonate. So when you’re just starting out how can you buck that trend and get a piece of the click-through action?

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!  Audrey Hepburn

There’s only one way. We need to help it along. That takes time and effort so strap yourself in and get ready to tick off the following 10 steps to potential viral success.

  1. When you set up a blog, consider whether you need to pay for that blog profile, especially if you have a product to sell. If you want to attract advertising, you’ll need an online account that “allows” it.
  2. Just like unlocking the key to search engine optimization, SEO, your approach needs to be integrated across as many social media channels as you can physically manage. After setting up a blog profile, immediately set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
  3. Next, hit up family and friends to follow, befriend and like your posts across all mediums, just to get some “runs on the board” as you get started.
  4. After that order business cards under your blog/website moniker and take advantage of free access to their “reseller” profiles that will get you seen by up to a quarter million people. This works well for those selling a product/idea.
  5. On your website, be it Go Daddy or WiX, once you publish you’ll receive freebies through Google and Bing and Facebook ads, etc… set a modest budget and take advantage of them all. Once you’ve used up their freebie coupon, for example, $50, $75 or $100, close down your coupon account. Even if you only picked up one person, it’s one more than you had and it probably got others talking.
  6. Hand out those business cards to anyone who’ll take it and then start your integrated campaign in earnest. Twitter twice a day, depending on your message, update Facebook daily, pin, Instagram as many times as you please… and if you’re a techno-guru hyperlink those videos.
  7. If you read my previous post SEO tricks that stick, it highlighted the need to repurpose your message across all social media channels. This is key. As long as the message is consistent, it will optimize your chances as SEO bots see quantity as popularity.
  8. It’s also important to share those message across all mediums SIMULTANEOUSLY. That’s easy given most blog sites and websites allow express press social media share buttons. Caution, this is addictive!
  9. Next value-ad to your blog via hyperlinks to sites. There are so many others writing great stuff so share their words of wisdom, too. And follow those that choose to follow you. Take the time to check out their blogs and sign up.
  10. Finally, if you can allow guest bloggers on your site because it adds variety, and let’s cut to the chase … it attracts followers.

Want more on this topic…

The Etsy Blog’s discussion on 4 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Increase Your Traffic provides some great words of wisdom that not only apply to understanding SEO but also about upping your chances of going viral.

Thanks go to @JonP9 for luring me to select #Authors and @freelancejoe‘s bio. People are doing great stuff and creating ways for others to express press themselves.

Judy Wilkinson is a freelance journalist who for the past 10 months has been buried in the build of her own website while developing an app. Next blog: just when you think you’re about to realise a dream, Apple hackers stymie one’s efforts! Not to be defeated, it allows more time to look at what others are doing 🙂

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