Let’s face it, finding out you went viral on LinkedIn is exciting. I take that back…it’s super exciting. So imagine my delight as a B2B social media marketer when I found out that through the very same Employee Advocacy program that I manage, a post I scheduled actually did go viral! That, my friends, is a whole new level of thrilling.
But what exactly does going viral even mean?
If you see the same Oktopost post in your newsfeed 10 times, does that mean it went viral? What about if you share a piece of content, does that mean it went viral? Can only videos go viral? And how in the world can you make something go viral?
According to Forbes, most definitions claim a viral post is something that spreads very quickly, and very widely. Usually a piece of news, an image or a video that becomes incredibly popular in just a matter of hours and is shared by thousands (sometimes even millions) of people on social media.
This blog post is dedicated to my post that went viral. For weeks, I had been posting about this. I wanted to understand what causes content to go viral and I was challenging my network to share examples of their viral posts. After everything I have read and researched, I am proud to finally be in the “I have gone viral” camp. Here is my story!
During the lockdown, I was put to the test with re-thinking our entire social media strategy. Recognizing the expectations of our customers to stay in our audience feeds, I needed to think differently to break through the digital noise.
It took some trial and error to make sure the content was applicable for right now and the new posting times matched the work from home lifestyle. It was also starting from scratch in terms of understanding a new posting style, tone and type of content.
Before launching any new ideas, I A/B tested our corporate social profiles and the content that went out. I had a whole campaign dedicated to curated content to see which content topics in the industry may resonate best with our audience.
By posting the same message across different social profiles and networks at the same time, I was able to measure the current state of our social media. I also understood I needed to learn more about the audiences of our advocates.
Know Your Advocate’s Audiences
To help me understand their networks, I ran an audit of program participants.
The assessment helped me to see what type of content they were sharing natively (which sometimes wasn’t even connected to our industry) which I used to spark creative engagement in the program.
By examining the content they liked to share on LinkedIn, I had easy access to grab that content and place it on the Oktopost Employee Advocacy Board for all to share.
If you want to give the audit a try, you can download the Employee Advocacy Audit.
Encourage Employees to Suggest Content
Taking it a step further, I centered our new advocacy approach around the Oktopost Content Suggestion feature. Not only did this help re-spark engagement of the advocates, but from the type of content my colleagues were recommending, I was able to get a pulse check on what their audiences were interested in on their newsfeed.
In short, the rule breaks down as follows:
- Do not just share brand-related content
- 50% of posts should be about your brand
- 25% about the industry
- 25% about what you care about (professionally or personally)
By filling the board with the right mix of content and making a call for employees to suggest content, little did I know that I was one step closer to going viral.
Enjoy Going Viral
Sifting through the newly suggested content, I decided to post a handful of advocate suggestions to the Oktopost Employee Advocacy Board.
One of the pieces of content was about breaking up the monotony of the workweek, suggested by our Managing Director EMEA, Colin Day. While it was not Oktopost content, I was hopeful that at least Colin would share the piece he recommended.
Naturally, being a social enthusiast (I guess a social curmudgeon wouldn’t be running an advocacy program), I went to the board later that morning to share content, as well.
I shared Colin’s suggested content from the Oktopost Employee Advocacy Board. Nobody had shared it yet, so I rewrote the message to fit my personality and this is the post that went viral.
Within a matter of hours, I was at the top of the leaderboard, by a landslide. My post had gone viral with over 1,300 clicks and 10,000 impressions. I was tickled with excitement, I felt on top of the world. Finally, I created a viral post!