Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

3 tips to go viral on social media


The real power of social media marketing is having your message go viral. With a small budget and a small fan base, “going viral” is a big challenge. No one can guarantee that something will go viral but here are 4 tips to help your message explode on the Web.

1. Be unexpected. REALLY unexpected.

Thinking outside the box is great. But going viral goes beyond … to waaaay outside the box. An example — There’s a guy in Utah who makes tongue brushes (yes, tongue brushes). For years he tried selling them through traditional channels without much success (who wants a tongue brush?). Then with a $500 budget, he put a wacky but informative video up on YouTube. So far, 17 million people have watched it. Watch the video. You’ll see real thinking outside the box. And strong selling messages to tell you why you actually need a tongue brush. Sales exploded, by the way.

2. Include pictures with each Facebook post.

Viral doesn’t necessarily mean getting millions of views. For most marketers, what we want is to just grow our audience outside of our usual group. Just include pictures with every post you make. Research shows that Facebook posts with images are much more likely to be shared. And our history has shown that weird and surprising, or funny and wacky (see tip#1) work even better.

3. Communicate with an infographic

Creative Company infographicProbably the most consistent way to create a viral message is with an infographic. These are eye-catching diagrams or illustrations designed to quickly share complex data or summarize facts and details. We’ve designed a few (an example on the left) – they’re great for visual impact. Creating them is part science and part art. The information needs to be compressed, highly organized and fun to read. But what a great way to present an often boring list of facts and statistics!

4. Cat videos, meow

There are thousands of examples of cat videos that have gone viral. Why is that? Why cats? The answer is that people like cats. Some people REALLY like cats. The people in that second category are on some level, self-conscious about their love of felines. The crazy videos provide them a way to share their interest without coming off as being too nuts. Sure, it’s a stretch to market something that’s not cat-related with a cat video, but you have to admit, some of them are pretty darned funny. And those kittens are really adorable.

Learned a bit?

The lesson for marketers is two-fold. First, you need your message to be found. People troll the Internet and social media looking for items that appeal to their niche interests. Second, appeal to their obsession with humor. We all like a good grin. Your goal is to create a way for them to share their obsession in a socially-acceptable, self-deprecating, get-the-grin-on way.

No one can promise that your message will go viral. With our 30+ years of experience though, we understand which messages will be read and how to reach the right audiences. Drop us an Email, or give us a call toll-free 866.363.4433 and let’s talk social. It may be the right channel for you to reach a whole new audience!

Like us on Facebook for a 5th tip!

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

Another blog post by Jennifer Larsen Morrow.

View Jennifer Larsen Morrow's profile on LinkedIn

Visit Author’s Website


  1. Steve,
    Really good post especially tip #3 about infographics. I create maps that I post on Mindjet’s Maps For That! that convey information in interesting ways. One example is my map illustrating how people and companies can use LinkedIn more effectively:

  2. I think the most important aspect of social media is that you need to benchmark, test and verify the results. Most people probably don’t know how good social media can be for their business, and many don’t realize how effective social media is.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.