viral content mistakes businessGoing viral is every business marketers dream. The sheer volume of eyes on a viral piece can solidify a business’ brand better than many other methods. But how do you create a viral marketing piece?

Following the advice of major voices in viral marketing, there seems to be perfunctory methodology for going viral, most of which involves hiring an influencer. Influencers can be individuals, brands, and businesses. Really, any social presence has the ability to become an influencer, whether it’s a celebrity, a cat, or even a fast food franchise, like Wendy’s.

Wendy’s – yep, the hamburger chain – recently went viral for their salty social responses to a few internet trolls. This resulted in millions of views and hundreds-of-thousands of comments, shares, and reposts. More importantly, thousands of followers which can be converted to customers. So what did Wendy’s do right?

The best thing Wendy’s did was to give some freedom to their social writers, who engaged the community with its own voice. What that means is Wendy’s used the diction and tone of the social community. Diction means the specific words they used, and tone is the attitude they displayed.

Instead of some polished copy that came straight from the PR firm, they let the conversation unfold organically. The organic nature of the conversations are what gave Wendy’s the credibility needed to become viral. Many viral pieces are organic, meaning they spring from an everyday event. The harder you try to make something organic, the less organic it becomes. Don’t try and force viral marketing. Remember, authenticity is key for viral ability.

The other major takeaway I learned is don’t hire an influencer based only on the size of their following. Let’s say you sell flowers. You could hire LeBron James with his 37 million Instagram followers to endorse your business, which would definitely earn you some short-term sales. Better yet, you could get Martha Stewart, with a smaller audience of 1.5 million followers. Why is smaller better?

LeBron’s fans are sports fans, not flower fans. Martha’s followers are mostly homemakers who love cooking and decorating. They follow Martha for her specific insight into what they love. This audience is much more likely to engage with Martha on a viral level than LeBron’s, who love basketball, not flowers.

Remember, don’t force your content, let it unfold organically. This will give your content an authentic voice. Also, don’t hire influencers just because they’ve got a huge following. Find

influencers that are niche specific to your business.

Influencer marketing is an evolving model, and we’re sure to see more innovations in the coming future.

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