The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Make a Viral Personal Brand

social media viral decorative heading graphic

Photo By: The Next Web

What does it mean to make a viral personal brand? And why is it important in this day and age? Today the success of a marketing strategy is often determined by the ability to produce content that goes viral. With the vast majority of techniques out there, it is not always easy to predict which strategies will produce viral content. Viral marketing is a strategy that helps to encourage word-of-mouth. According to TechTarget, “Viral Marketing is any marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect.”

Whether you are a writer, starting your own blog, or your own business, the benefits of going viral not only help build up your own personal brand but achieve fast growth at a relatively low cost. In fact some of the biggest viral sensations often occur randomly. But more and more frequently viral marketing is being strategized and precisely engineered. Some viral marketing initiatives that help content become viral include:

1. Getting to Know Your Audience

Understanding what kind of audience that will help your content to go viral is imperative in a successful marketing strategy. Going viral isn’t just about getting your content in front of people, it’s about getting it in front of the right people. Creating content through any business must be relate-able to the target market you are trying to reach. In this way, by getting to know what interests your audience you are able to cater to their needs, and attract a specific demographic through establishing a connection through a message that is appealing to that audience.

When Dove created its Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the brand had a specific demographic it wanted to reach. The Beauty Sketches campaign featured a forensic artist trained by the FBI drawing sketches of real women, not paid actresses or models, based on their descriptions of themselves. The campaign is aimed at women, and touches on a relatable subject: body image issues. By knowing exactly who it wanted to reach, Dove was able to create a viral campaign that resonated with its target demographic, by creating a powerful message geared towards women.

dove body sketch image with young woman from Dove ad

Photo By: Dove

2. Creating An Emotional Connection

The best way to draw in a bigger audience is creating a strong emotional connection. Truthfully, emotions are what helps compel action. And emotions form the basis of our everyday actions, such as crying when your sad, yelling when your mad, or laughing when you are happy. Content that helps to evoke emotion in their audience helps them to better remember the content later. This is because content that triggers a certain emotion, such as striking an emotional cord helps influence consumer behavior.

According to Psychology, there are eight key emotions that impact behavior:

  1. Joy
  2. Trust
  3. Fear
  4. Surprise
  5. Sadness
  6. Anticipation
  7. Anger
  8. Disgust

Creating a campaign that creates an emotional connection with other people proves to be effective because it is more memorable. Integrating these different emotions into your content can help your message resonate more effectively with your audience.

3.  Getting Your Audience to Create User-Generated Content

One of the biggest ways to ensure content goes viral is through active engagement.  User-generated content takes engagement beyond just sharing and makes it interactive. For example, instead of just Tweeting out a link to a graphic that your company made, users are Tweeting content that they made while promoting your campaign at the same time. Once their friends and social media followers start seeing what they’re sharing, they’ll naturally want to participate too. The more people that start sharing user generated content, the wider reach your campaign will have. Putting the power in the hands of your audience, helps to increase the marketing efforts of a company’s brand .

4. Sharing Content At The Right Time

Creating content such as a Tweet or blog post at the right moment and time is a great way to use that momentum to go viral. In order to time your content to go viral, you have to be up to date on all of the latest events and trending topics. Whether it’s pop culture, world news or sports, being active on social media and seeing what’s popular at the moment will give you the fuel you need to craft your next piece of viral content. Once you find something that aligns with your brand, then you can create a piece of content that is related to the topic and memorable.

5. Use Powerful Visuals

Visuals help to bring a brand’s content together. Blog posts, Tweets and Facebook posts with images are more likely to be shared.It is important for any business to make an effort to include high quality images in their  content. When you share links to blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media sites, they’ll grab an image from your post to include.Creating a featured image for your blog posts like the ones you see on our posts helps your content stand out in peoples’ social media streams. Capturing your audience’s attention with unique and creative visuals, increases the likelihood of that content going viral on social media.

"Going Viral" decorative graphic
HASHTAG decorative graphic
Photos By: Think Expand

Photo By: Idea Machine Studio


Jackson, D. (2018, April 20). How to Go Viral: 8 Steps to Reach a Massive Audience. Retrieved July 28, 2019, from

Category: Social Media Marketing 201