Utilizing Social Networks to Make Your Posts Viral

    January 4, 2008

This article talks about how social networks can make a post go viral – or spread like crazy.

It focuses specifically on the biggest social networks – MySpace and Facebook. Facebook tends to be a bit more technical – allowing you to utilize apps to spread the word. They also attract different types of people.

Social networks and related sites can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog. Twitter alone has sent a lot of traffic my way and I think it’s the easiest to use. Once you build a network of friends, just craft a compelling headline and link to your post. It takes a bit of dedication (time) but it can build your trust, visibility, and reputation along with links to your blog.

5 Ways to Make your Blog Posts Viral with Social Media.

1. Contribute, don’t Spam.

Warning sign: if you’re pushing your story or product rather than sharing it then you’re stepping over the line. Also, send the post to your network (or friends), not to everyone everywhere (that’s spam). I liked how I heard this explained.

Avoid thinking that because there is a crowd gathered it’s a good time to promote yourself. This is applicable in the offline world too. Once I heard someone announce their store’s grand opening at a church meeting, which was in very poor taste. We can probably all think of our favorite network marketer who manages to weave information about their products into every conversation. Keep it relevant.

Remember this, from Rand Fiskin of SEOmoz:

“…People are more likely to be your friend [when] they believe you are offering them good, trusted content from which they can benefit.”

2. Create your own Facebook Application.

I haven’t heard of this but there is a new Facebook App Creator for Bloggers from BlogFuse. It walks you through the process of creating an app that feeds your blog posts onto your profile. It’s not free though – prices start at $5/month, but it has a free trial.

3. Join Related Networks & Groups.

If your product or blog is regional, make sure your Facebook network is set to the city you want to target.

For example, I know someone who owns a web site for tourists in Wisconsin. Even though he doesn’t live in Wisconsin, his Facebook page could be targeted to Door County. He also found a group of people from Door County so he introduced himself on the group’s wall with a link to his site. This way you can leverage an existing network of like-minded people and it will help expand yours. MySpace also has groups.

4. Create a Profile Page for your Blog.

Then promote the page on your blog or web site. Here’s yours truly – Marketing Pilgrim’s MySpace profile.

5. Create Quality Blog Posts.

Brent Csutoras suggests these ideas for creating posts that everyone loves to share:

  • Top 10 lists
  • How-To tips
  • Current events
  • Offbeat or Extreme content (make it edgy)
  • Humor
  • Tools

Here are more ideas for creating quality posts. If you want even more, download Brent’s slides about creating great blog posts, from the SMX Social Media conference this past November.