How I Made a Post go Locally Viral

Working in social media I am always asked by clients to:

CREATE A POST THAT WILL GO VIRAL

The fact of the matter is, that virality is an extremely hard process that involves hitting the right influencers at the right times. This calls for a readily available social media strategy and understanding within that: analytics, influencers, and audience.

I am lucky enough to work with Van Otis Chocolates and run their blog, Chocolate Covered. While working with them, I came to know that they have been wanting more people to come into their actual store front as they just remodeled the entire store! As I am mainly used to get more internet sales, I was happy to have a new take on social media for a client!

Research Phase

It was a week or so before Halloween and since their yearly party was cancelled, I needed to find a new blog idea. Knowing that they wanted more people to come into their actual store, I wanted to create an idea to help encourage customers to see the re-molded store. This is when I started to conduct more research about the candy industry and searched my brain for ideas that would be enticing for customers.

My first few ideas had to do with getting sales instead of getting people to see the store. I know that is the ultimate goal for businesses but I had to start thinking about the customer lifecycle:

The-customer-lifecycle-journey-as-looked-upon-by-Oracle-source

Of course they wanted Hallowen sales but they are about to get into their busy season with the Holidays coming up. So instead of pushing sales, I thought of their customer and their values. This is when I logged into Facebook to look at trending topics and I saw a post about veterans. This is when the lightbulb went off! Let’s give back to those that are giving so much to us, let’s collect leftover Halloween candy (because we all know we shouldn’t be eating all of it!) and send it to our troops overseas.

I told the idea to the company and they were interested but had some reservation because none of us knew about the logistics of doing this. I was asked to do more research on it to see if we should move forward or move to a new idea.

This is when I started researching the topic and noticed that we could collect the candy and send it to a non-profit called Operation Gratitude who will send the candy in a care package to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Caregivers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

After voicing this information with the business they were so excited to get started!

Creating Content

Blogging

Once we confirmed that was going to be the post,  I needed to start writing the blog post. I started expressing in the post that they would be collecting candy until Veterans Day, where to drop off the candy, and that we would be sending this to Operation Gratitude.

I also needed to add information about Operation Gratitude. This was to ensure anyone interested in donating their candy that it was actually going to go to our troops.

I always write out my blog post and then I look at keywords to use not only within the content but as tags. I also use these keywords within the social media posts.

Other social media

When creating the posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; I always take content from the blog post.

 

Now, you’re thinking “those don’t look like they went viral”. You’re right! Those ones did not, it was Facebook that hit the sweet spot when it comes to influencers! The day after Halloween, our Facebook post made it in front of a local journalist for WMUR, our local news station. 

 

We had about seven or so shares and a few likes on the post before Jean Mackin shared this post to her public page. After, I saw the analytics sky rocket and the shares are up to 38. WMUR even called the company for an interview.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 3.39.03 PM

Now, this isn’t going to make it onto national television and it won’t cause the frenzy that “The Dress” created. However, this company is a locally owned and managed establishment with their core target audience located in the New Hampshire area. Having the largest local news agency interviewing them is a great source of free publicity.

So all in all, creating a viral post, locally or internationally, doesn’t actually happen overnight as it seems. I had originally posted this ten days before it reached our influencer and I had been working on that content for days before that.

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