Grow on social media in 2023 (an audience-building strategy no one shares)
Today, I’m going to teach you how to build an audience very simply. But I thought it would be a really fun idea to, instead of just giving you some typical influencer strategy for 2023, go through and tell you exactly what I would do if I were building an audience this year.
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GOING VIRAL THE RIGHT WAY – START A MOVEMENT
For the last couple of years, there has been a lot of talk about “going viral.” And I think 2022 was really the year where so many people’s goal was to go viral. I want to teach you how to go viral the right way. Because I think too many people were focused on jumping on trends – trend based virality. And what this does is yes, it gives you maybe a lot of exposure, your 15 minutes of fame, but it doesn’t actually build true fans. It doesn’t build long-term sustainable brand recognition.
Going viral or actually building something that spreads is something that can massively help your brand and business long term. But when you think of virality, what you want to do is rather than jumping on a trend, you want to create a trend. Now, this isn’t always going to get you as many views in the beginning. But if you can create an idea or a concept that spreads amongst your community that people actually want to share with their friends, it’s not only going to help you to build your audience, but you really can then create a brand that people think about, even when they’re not scrolling on social media. And the power in that is massive.
1. YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
So the first thing that you want to do to develop your viral concept is that you need to understand your audience. Now I spoke about consumer psychology in this blog post. So definitely go check that out, if you haven’t already. But understanding your audience’s behavior is key to coming up with your viral concept. In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger talked about how ideas spread. And one of the things that he spoke about was social currency. You know, people share social media content, they share ideas, they share experiences with people, when they feel like it is going to make them look good, or it’s going to make them feel like the best version of themselves.
So when you’re thinking about your viral concept, think about your audience’s aspiration. I mean, creating aspirational content is so awesome for your business anyway. But if you can create something that your audience desires to share because it makes them feel like the best version of themselves, you have an awesome viral concept.
So just dig into your audience research. Also, think about yourself. What concepts and ideas are you most likely to share yourself? When you start to think down those lines, then you can go into deeper research with your audience as well.
2. DIG INTO YOUR ANALYTICS
What are people sharing? Go to the analytics on either your YouTube channel or your Instagram, or wherever. And if you can get the analytics of which content of yours people are most likely to share, either on their stories or with their friends, that’s going to help you understand the things that you already speak about that is resonating with people so much that they want to share it with their audience.
So really monitor your shares as an analytic, based on the content that you are already creating.
3. DEVELOPING YOUR VIRAL CONCEPT
Now, a viral concept is generally going to be either a challenge of some thoughts, it is going to be a ritual or a routine of some sort, or an embodiment or a philosophy. So like with me, the BTC pick movement: it is sort of an embodiment, but also a philosophy at the same time. It is a way that people are supposed to feel about themselves.
You really want to ask yourself, is your concept going to be a challenge? Like, are you going to get people to move their bodies? Or are you going to get people to challenge themselves mentally? A really good example of this is the 75 hard. I see people talking about this all the time. It’s a set of guidelines for things that you need to do across 75 days, and if you break it, then you’ve got to start from the beginning. So it’s very mentally and physically challenging.
Another really good example of this is if you’ve seen the Creator Tinx on Tik Tok and Instagram, she’s created what is called a routine or a ritual, which is a way for her to connect with her audience through rich mum walks. So basically, it is just going for a walk, but again, she’s created a unique concept that people resonate with because it makes them feel like the best version of themselves.
So if you can create something that is aspirational, and develop that into a challenge, a routine, a ritual, an embodiment practice, or a concept, that is really the makings of your viral concept.
4. CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONAL RITUAL
You are going to create your own personal ritual around this. One of the most important parts of actually building momentum with your viral concept is that you need to be repeating it so regularly. You cannot talk about it once and expect it to catch on.
The BTC pick movement really did take like a year for people to really start talking about it and sharing it and creating their own content around the concept. It wasn’t like the first time I spoke about it, it just took off immediately. That happens sometimes, but it’s not regularly that that happens.
You need to infuse it into your own daily routine. How can you bring your philosophy, your challenge, your routine, or your movement into your daily routine? Because when you have it as a part of something that you do every single day, you’re gonna give yourself more opportunity to share it with your audience.
Again, it’s not going to catch on by you talking about it once you have to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, in order for people to start actually resonating with it.
5. MAKE IT EASILY DIGESTIBLE
The way that you package your viral concept is really important. Now, this is where you start creating, let’s say, your digital assets. Can you come up with a really cool name, or an acronym, or a hashtag, that is going to be really easy for people to remember and really easy for people to share? It’s a way that you’re going to help people to catch on to your viral concept, and for them to share it with their communities.
6. ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION
The next thing that you’re going to want to do is that you are going to want to encourage participation. You know, it’s not just by you sharing it every single day or as often as you can, that is going to get people to want to participate in the movement themselves, actually encourage participation. Get people to share with you their experience with your viral concept or encourage them to recreate it in their own way. You have to incentivize this, though. You have to tell them why it’s important for them to be able to catch on to this routine, movement, or embodiment practice themselves.
7. IF SOMETHING DOESN’T CATCH ON, IT’S OK
If something doesn’t catch on, it’s okay. It’s not a reflection of you. It doesn’t mean that you’re not popular, or you’re not share-worthy. Some things catch on. And some things don’t.
It just didn’t resonate with your audience. I mean, go back and repeat the steps and get really creative about the way that you share it with your community. But if you’ve done all of these steps, if you’ve tried a bunch of different ways, and it’s still just didn’t catch on, like that’s okay, it’s fine.
Go back to step one and try something else.
Now I want to say that this sort of virality coming up with a viral concept isn’t going to be the make or break of your brand or your audience building. But I will say it is a really creative way to create long-term brand recognition. It’s a really great way to stand out from the crowd, and it obviously is a really great way to use word of mouth in a digital sense to gain more visibility for your business.
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