Viral Images: What’s The Secret?

Viral Images: What's The Secret?

Most people that frequent the Internet will come across images or “memes” that get heavily shared across social media. These are usually ones depicting something interesting, and with a witty or motivational caption underneath. You might think the purpose of sharing such images wouldn’t appeal to someone running a business, but you’d be wrong!

The thing about viral media is that it’s a creative way to get the word out about a brand and its products and/or services. Sometimes, the image has a subtle watermark featuring a brand logo. Or it might have an “action shot” of their product in use with a funny twist, for example!

If you are looking to create a viral image for your brand, what are the secrets to a successful outcome? Well, it turns out there is no magic checklist to follow. People will only share something that appeals to them. So, really, the question should be how to make your potential viral image appeal to your target audience! Here’s what you need to know:

Think of a current event or trend

Often, an image will go viral on social networks like Facebook if it relates to something happening at that time. You should consider using that to your advantage by putting a creative spin on the event or trend. Because of its “freshness”, there’s a higher chance of the media getting shared quicker and in larger volumes. But use this with caution because if the image you create is not appropriate or seen as insensitive it can back fire. The best example of using a current event was Oreo’s you can still dunk in the dark. It was a tweet sent during a blackout during the Super Bowl. Smart and a quick response on Oreo’s part.

You don’t always have to stick with high-quality images

Some websites that give you tips for creating viral images will tell you that you should use high-quality stock or product photos. But, even some of the most shared files online contain nothing more than crude illustrations! In some cases, using a photograph could actually make it LESS likely to go viral, believe it or not!

Use some powerful tools to create your image

You don’t need to be a graphic design expert to create viral media! But, it does help if the tools at your disposal offer plenty of creative design options. Consider using a tool that you could also use to make a poster, for example. Doing so will give you plenty of creative options such as the ability to add cool fonts or draw objects.

Hashtags are your friend

So far, you’ve got some ideas on how to create your image. But, how do you get it spread amongst the masses on the Internet? When posting your viral media, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to use hashtags.

In a nutshell, hashtags are a way of grouping together content by keywords and phrases. It allows people to follow specific topics and ideas. It’s crucial that you select the right ones appropriate to your post. You may wish to consider doing some prior research into the right hashtags to use before you publish your image.

Tag some influencers

Last, but not least, consider tagging in some high-profile social media users to your images. If you manage to capture their attention (i.e. they think your viral image is funny), they’ll share it with their followers. Also make engaging with your followers part of your strategy. They are more likely to share your content if you already have prior relationships.

Good luck!

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons: Gage Skidmore

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