How do you go viral on social media?
The answer is complicated and always changing. Factors such as the popularity of a topic, the utility of the content, and how many network connections you have can all make or break your post. But there are some general rules to follow for success:
Be entertaining: Post videos, GIFs, memes, and other tips.
Be useful: Give people sound advice or teach them something valuable.
Be interactive: Ask questions to get feedback from followers; encourage them to share their own experiences in the comments section below your posts.
Get fresh content: Don’t rely on old material that’s already proven its worth online.
In the following article, Ayelet Noff and Justin Mares provide an interesting look into why Facebook still has the social power it does. Their basic assumption seems to be that if a topic is “interesting”, you’ll get a lot of people to read your articles. If it’s the “right” audience (in their opinion), you’ll get shares. If you’re in touch with enough influential people, you’ll get even more shares from them. For example, they cite Buzzfeed as an example of how getting popular on Facebook is about getting clicks from a lot of people and not about getting popular for yourself—they’ve made themselves relevant to millennials that way. And, of course, their article ends with some hard-to-believe statistics.