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Monday, January 19, 2015


Definition: go viral. viral. of, pertaining to, or caused by a virus. pertaining to or involving the spreading of information and opinions about a product or service from person to person, especially on the Internet or in e-mails: a clever viral ad.

GOING VIRAL—Media bloggers at Buzzsumo, recently analyzed the social share counts of over 100 million articles over an eight month period.  They tackled the tough question why some online content “goes viral.” To better understand the phenomenon here’s what they asked:

- What types of emotions did the most popular articles invoke?

- What type of posts typically receive a lot of shares? (lists? infographics?)

- Did readers love to share short form or long form content? What’s the ideal length?

- Does trust play a major role on whether someone will share an article?

- What’s the effect of having just one image in a post vs no images?

- What’s the effect of having just one influencer sharing your article vs 0?

- How do we make people share our post days and even weeks after it’s been published?

- What’s the best day of the week to publish an article?

Quoting Buzzsumo: “...Of course, we all know that the primary key to having content that gets shared is to have great content to begin with. There’s no taking shortcuts on that one. But once you’ve written a well-crafted, useful article, they found that there are some additional things you can do to help increase its reach...”

Here are top 10 findings that Buzzsumo says will, “surely, help increase the share-ability of your content...”:

--Long form content gets more social shares than short form content.  What is long?  Answer: 3000 to 10,000 words.

--Minimum of one image in your post creates more facebook shares

--Above axiom works with Twitter as well

--Invoke emotions like, awe, laughter, or amusement.  Appeal to people’s narcissistic side (how I do in quizzes).  Avoid anger and sadness.  Awe wins the day in this research.

--People love to share lists and infographics.  How to’s done well.

--Lists should be 10 items long

--We all share content that looks trustworthy.

--Getting a “star” to share your article helps “going viral.”

--Repromote old content on a regular basis.  After three days, on all social networks, Buzzsumo discovered, the number of shares dropped at least 96% for the next four days.  Facebook dropped the most while G+/Pinterest dropped the least.

--Overall best day to publish content for social shares is

Another blogger’s take on BuzzSumo’s research:

Source: Thank you, Buzzsumo.

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