If you are an entrepreneur, you might be thinking that social media is not really necessary for your business. However, I continue to be amazed at how much social media has impacted my real estate business. My company sold over 200 turnkey rentals using Instagram, and we've raised millions of dollars in investment using Instagram and Facebook. I also have a web presence and quite a few connections in my LinkedIn network, but when we compare levels of engagement, nothing can compete with Instagram and Facebook.
To leverage the strength of social media for your business, it is not enough to simply have a social presence. You need to engage regularly with the community and share your experience. For example, people follow my company on Instagram and Facebook to see before-and-after photos of real estate projects and touring properties at various stages of development. People want to see how you are running your business and how you help customers.
If you're a social media user, you've probably wondered how you can get a post of yours to go viral. Oftentimes, it might seem like there's no rhyme or reason to what makes content go viral. In such a saturated digital market, creating viral content is more challenging than ever. Despite these challenges, with a bit of strategic planning, consistency, and engagement, you can create viral content more than once. Plenty of people and companies are creating viral content on the regular by following specific tactics and strategies. One of them is Brian Breach, a Ted Talk speaker and social media magnet, and I asked for his advice to help me and other entrepreneurs who want to go big on social media.
1. Leave Easter eggs in your videos.
If you're not sure what a digital Easter egg is, we've got you covered. The term was actually coined by a programmer who hid his signature inside a secret room within the Atari 2600 video game Adventure (Wayback Machine). Decades later, Easter eggs have become a recurring theme not just in gaming, but also in social media.
As its name suggests, an Easter egg is something that you leave hidden inside of a video or post that will get a reaction and spark comments by the users who pick up on them. Add something funny, odd, or misplaced to create a discussion in the comments. Digital easter eggs are tips, tricks, or anything useful or interesting that you hide inside of a social media post. This is a strategy that not everyone is familiar with but is practically guaranteed to get you more views and likes, no matter what social media app you're using.
2. Connect with large accounts.
One of the coolest things about social media is that the majority of the population has an account on at least one platform. That includes celebrities, athletes, investors, etc., which means that these people are much more accessible than they were before social media existed. Some of them may even be your clients, suppliers or distributors. It's a good idea to connect with larger, successful pages that will repost or share your video, drastically increasing your chances of going viral. There's no specific way to make this happen, but the most important thing to do is follow these larger accounts.
For instance, as a real estate expert, I reach and follow verified influencers with large followings who discuss real estate or are real estate investors themselves, such as Grant Cardone, Austin Zaback and author Michael Zuber. Search for influencers in your niche, follow them, and become familiar with their content.
After you follow them, it's important to engage. Comment on their pictures and videos, share their posts on your stories, and send them a message saying you love their content. It may not happen overnight, but if you're consistent, this is a way to build these relationships. However, there's a fine line between engaging and harassing. Be sure not to bombard these pages with hundreds of messages or comments. Embrace the fact that it will take time, but if you are genuine and continue to interact with these pages, there's a good chance you'll be noticed.
3. Use questions in your captions.
When you're crafting captions for your posts, one of the best ways to interact with your audience and get people to notice your post is to write something that prompts people to leave comments. One of the best ways to do this is by asking your followers a question. Asking a question as opposed to making a statement will give your post more activity and engagement. Every time you post, think of it as a conversation with your audience. I know it feels strange to record yourself and share the recording, but imagine you are speaking to your audience, and little by little they will let you know they have been listening all along.
4. Share your video on all platforms.
One of the most important things to do when you are posting content is to post the same content – or similar versions of it – on all of your social media platforms. This will give your content a lot more momentum and get more eyes on it.
If you're trying to get as many views as possible on one specific platform, that's OK. Just be sure to post it on that platform and then use that specific link to post on your other networks so you can direct all traffic to one place. The more you share your content, the higher its chances of going viral. Because different social media platforms cater to different audiences, you're likely to notice engagement from a wider array of people than you would've gotten if you'd simply posted on one platform.
Most of my content starts as an article. After publishing that article, I often create a video and post the audio on various podcast platforms. I also break the video down into clips, which I continue to post over many weeks after the video has been published. I squeeze as much juice as I can from that content. Breach even suggests taking it one step further by sending your videos to news outlets and major Facebook outlets. If one of your videos is accepted, you'll get thousands of views you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
There's no specific formula to going viral. However, if you use the tactics mentioned above, you're sure to notice an increase in engagement and followers. Then, if you stay consistent and post valuable content, you just might go viral.