Radio: Can You Go Viral On Social Media? Yep. 8 Ways To Start!

Posted on February 11, 2013


going viral

How do you go viral in your market, or in general, with social media? Let’s take a look at how to set conditions to have your content spread like wildfire across the important groups of cheerleaders or passionate listeners and social media participators who will and can blow you up!

1. Of course, you’ve heard content is king. This is true in 2013 just as it was in 1985 or 1963. You must raise your standards on the individual words, style of posts, and rich level of creative content. Without regular high levels of content, it is unlikely you can “start a fire” with content because you may not have a passionate base that truly values your content to begin with.

2. Be visual and focus on your “entry visual” to make sure it truly is eye-catching.

3. People like to share content in social media that makes them look smart, clever, caring, or funny. Does at least some of your social media content rise to this standard? If not, this needs to be an area of focus for how you approach social media.

4. Make your content positive. Why is there no hate button on Facebook? Here is the reason: It’s because Facebook became and continues to be successful by avoiding negativity and being interesting and positive. Your content should rise to this standard as well. People will always engage positive much faster than they will negative.

5. Be prepared and commit to creating high-quality content that evokes emotion as it is received. Emotion is a critical fire starter in social media (as it is on the radio or television or other platforms – old and new – that seek to spread content and develop a passionate audience).

6. If you want to generate engagement and especially comments in social media, slide right along with something that creates controversy. This is high ground for generating opinion that people want to share. Always keep in mind how your radio station wants to be perceived. Be careful not to break the trust of the listeners you want the most just to generate comments and engagement with controversy.

7. The great songwriters will tell you that the simple songs often are the most popular and spread the fastest. So your social media posts, pictures, and videos should communicate simply. This is the key to fast spreading content.

8. Highlight local, local, local content that rises to some or all of the standards above to hit a home run viral hit in your market. Don’t just go for the easy stuff. Focus on the audience you most want to impact.

These eight items can help you (along with having a strategic plan for social media) to generate emotion, engagement, fun, energy (yes, energy), and real results for your radio station you can measure in terms of being effective for your brand in your market. This isn’t about having a bunch of likes on Facebook. This is about really getting people to share you, your brand, and the essence of what makes your brand a great local choice for listeners.

When you are ready, gear up by setting a social media strategy, getting your “team” together and on the same page, and pushing content and engagement that is really about the end user and not your radio station. This will make conditions very good to set the stage for some of your content opportunities to go “viral.”

Loyd Ford

*Content originally appeared @ For more content on radio, go to Look for my column on social media and radio on the left-hand side of the homepage behind my picture and the word “Engagement.”

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Loyd Ford is the Direct Marketing, Ratings & Social Media Strategist for Americalist Direct Marketing. He works with media brands all across the country to improve ratings and participation with custom contest strategy, telemarketing, strategic direct mail and social media for radio clients.

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