10 Factors Which Makes Content Goes Viral

What makes content go viral? If we had a definitive answer, we’d all be in charge of our respective PR and marketing departments.

As it stands, however, viral content can feel like a bit of a crapshoot—as in, throw a bunch of random ideas against the wall, see what happens, and then say, “Well, shoot … that stuck.”

There has to be a better method—some identifying characteristics that would show us how and why certain pieces of content go viral while others remain completely anonymous and ignored.

Here are 10 quick offering from the research that are likely to improve the chances of your content actually getting shared:

1. the longer the content, the more shares it gets

If you look at the chart below, the longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares). Not surprisingly, there was a lot more short-form content being written. How much more? There were 16 times more content with less than 1000 words than there were content with 2000+ words.

2. Images increase Facebook shares

Having at least one image in your post leads to more Facebook shares

3. Images increase Twitter shares

Adding images to your content and posts will help it get shared on Twitter as well as Facebook!

4. Invoke awe, laughter, amusement

We analyzed the top 10,000 most shared articles across the web, and mapped each one to an emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, amusement, laughter, etc. Here is how the breakdown of emotions looked like:

The New York Times did a very intensive research study a few years back. They interviewed 2500 people to determine the primary reasons they shared a story online. These were the main reasons:

  • To bring valuable and entertaining content to one another
  • To define themselves to others (give people a better sense of who they are)
  • To grow and nourish relationships (stay connected with others)
  • For self-fulfillment (to feel more involved in the world)
  • To get the word out on causes they care about.

Awe-inspiring and funny content definitely fulfill the first three reasons. Sharing entertaining content brings value to our friends, shows others we have great taste, and spurs conversation and reactions.

5. Share lists and infographics

Here is a chart comparing 6 types of posts

6. Ten is the magic number for lists

10 item lists on average received the most social shares – on average 10,621 social shares.

The runner-ups were 23, 16, and 24.

7. More trust = More shareable

People tend to share content that looks trustworthy

8. Influencers have a multiplying effect

Getting one extra influencer to share your article has a multiplier effect.

9. Repromote old content

Not every people will see your posts on the first time you promote.

10.Tuesday is the best day to share

The best day overall to publish content for social shares is Tuesday



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