by Michael L. Mandell, Managing Partner at Mandell Law
Viral marketing might be the most potent way for small businesses to build an audience. As social media integrates into all aspects of business marketing, creators and social media managers will take on more prominent roles, potentially at the C-Suite level, even outside tech companies.
When I set out to market my law practice, Mandell Law, I had no expectation I would succeed in the way that I did. In fact, I’ve learned that if “going viral” is your only marketing goal, you’re likely setting yourself up to fail. Instead, I focused on reaching a new, wider audience and simultaneously offering them tools that would allow regular people to understand the law. Producing consistent and authentic content led to viral-level engagement organically.
While there is no foolproof formula for taking a business viral, there are specific actions a small business can take to increase those chances and derive varying benefits.
Organic and Authentic Content
Social media users are savvy, and they don’t want to feel like they’re being sold something or watching a commercial. Instead of relying on direct pitches, marketing content should happen naturally. For example, engagement will be more successful when marketing a product if there’s a non-promotional purpose for the influencer or business owner to mention the product in their posts.
Always assume that you’ll be spotted if you try “too hard” and attempt to “go viral” in an inauthentic way. “Just be yourself” is oft-repeated advice, but it will take you far when creating social media content.
Have a Story, Find Your Niche
With creators producing so much content across various platforms, unique stories are necessary to stand out. When you have a specific narrative that sets your business apart, people will take notice. If your story resonates with a target market, engagement will increase.
Likewise, establishing a presence within a niche allows small businesses to connect with their target audience. For example, I am far from the only lawyer on social media. However, I believe my success arose from my focus points. I share law-related information in a way that is easy to understand and fun to watch. Much of my content is timely, and people interested in true crime, legal issues, or celebrity legal woes gravitate towards that content in droves.
Short Form Content Wins Big
With the popularity of TikTok rising, along with Instagram Reels and Stories, short-form videos are one of the best ways to create viral content. While there is still a place in social media marketing for long-form YouTube videos, content people can quickly absorb and easily share is more likely to hit viral status.
Platforms continue to add and improve on short-form content tools. According to Hubspot, short videos produce the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy. People also share video content more than any other content.
Because consumers and followers value authenticity and transparency, businesses may wonder how to convey those attributes briskly. Consider a short, behind-the-scenes vignette. Businesses can feature the making of their product or its use. Companies that provide a service can highlight the processes involved or employees’ expertise. Social media users like to see the faces behind the brand, and short-form videos offer an affordable and appealing medium.
Time Your Posts Well
With all social media platforms, an algorithm is at work. Timing your posts for when engagement is at its peak is a way to use the algorithms to your advantage, no matter how complicated they may be.
With most social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, posting in the evening leads to greater engagement than any other time. People are more apt to be active on social media after average working hours.
Posting often and during times when engagement spikes increases the chances of your content going viral.
Vying for eyeballs on social media has become a competitive space, and sometimes a post’s success comes down to luck. However, companies that concentrate on creating authentic, timely content and posting consistently during peak hours can better their chances of going viral and becoming the next big thing.
As seen in Newsweek and Distractify, Michael L. Mandell is the #1 lawyer on social media with over 8 million followers due to the popularity of his legal tips and entertaining posts. In addition to his successful following, Mandell practices in various legal areas, specifically in personal injury and criminal law. Michael and his team at Mandell Law rely on a bespoke, people-first approach to maximize award outcome success and client satisfaction.