5 Tips for making it big on social media

“Going viral”: the holy grail of geeks everywhere. The process is deceptively simple and organic reshares and reposts take many forms depending on the platform. A good way to think of the process is as if social media behaves like an amplifier for content created by other media, then chains of retweets by many users lead to observed trends that can then be monitored and capitalised on.

So what are the drivers and mechanics behind self-replicating content? Here are five suggestions that can help improve content self replication properties.

1. The First 48

The vast majority of retweets happen within the first hour of the original tweet being posted, so in a similar way to kidnapping cases that have no leads within the “first 48 hours”, the likelihood of the criminals being caught after that is very slim. So basically if you aren’t retweeted/reshared/reblogged in the first hour of your post, chances are you are not going to be at all. So take full advantage of that brief window of opportunity by synchronizing all faces of your online presence to fire on all cylinders during that crucial 1st hour before it is lost in the ocean of other messages.

2. Quid-pro-quo

There is a saying in the jungle that if you scratch my back I will scratch yours. Cultivate a community of reciprocal relationships with respectable and like-minded online identities. When your time comes they will give your communication the initial kick-start that will provide that crucial impetus. Retweeting enhances relationships, because it is public recognition and appreciation of the value of the original tweet or post. As the well-known sentiment goes; “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” People all have a desire to be recognized. We want our thoughts and messages to be considered worth repeating, so a retweet can serve as the glue that tightens networks. So give a little and get a lot!

3. Keep your audience in mind

Trending Topics go through a series of complex computerized formulations to determine both the persistence of tweets and the decay of trends. Research shows that the number of followers and frequency of posting don’t create trends. Relevance to the audience does. Some things to keep in mind when considering your audience: current events, timing of communication and geographic location.

4. Personalisation & Parody

A successful strategy for increasing the sharablity of content is to allow users to personalise it and then pass on. You can even “piggy back” off other already trending topics through parody or poking fun at it. Consider the popular hashtag for the South Africa’s “braaiday” which worked around #braaidaylyrics (E.G “how can we sleep while our beds are burning? #braaidaylyrics”)

5. Be authentic

Create something new. Jim Carrey is quoted as saying. “Before I do anything, I think, well what hasn’t been seen? Sometimes, that turns out to be something ghastly and not fit for society. And sometimes that inspiration becomes something that’s really worthwhile.” So while I am not advocating being reckless with your online identity I am saying be experimental and have fun. In such a big pond it pays to be unique not to try fit in.

It goes without saying that you can’t force content to be shared but hopefully these five suggestions will aid in organic Diaspora of your brand or personal online engagement!

If that fails just jam your content with any combination of the following:

  • Babies
  • LOL cats
  • Rage Comics
  • Apple product references
  • Erotic NSFW images of any kind
  • Imaginative celebrity death hoaxs



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