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The viral attraction that is social media

26-March-2016
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The viral attraction that is social media

How are you measuring the value of your content? Chances are, you’re gauging success by clicks, likes and shares. Nothing wrong with that really; that’s how an awful lot of digital media is judged. And click is undoubtedly a good metric to have: it shows how attractive your headlines are, how engaging your social media messaging is, how powerful your advertising is, and how well your Search Engine Optimisation is performing. But that still doesn't answer the initial question. How are you measuring the value of your content? Because a click only tells you how valuable your content seems, not how valuable it actually is.

There is a journey that the consumer makes from awareness to engagement. High awareness can still mean no engagement, which is why virality and likes cannot be the end game.

Social media today acts as a major driver of traffic to websites, startups and established ventures alike. As a result, it is crucial to take into account a lot of parameters, even beyond the ones that are apparent to the business. On this note, it is crucial to weigh the importance of link clicks, likes, shares and comments, in order to increase the audience reach of posts. While link clicks is an important tool to gauge audience engagement with the content being delivered, there are a number of other aspects that may define how a post is received by the public in general. For instance, on an average post everything from the length of a headline, the clarity of a subject in the photograph and the number of words in the post caption can define the performance of a post. Viral content are usually ones that have higher than average clicks and shares that make them go popular across varying audiences. And while all of this may seem to be dependant on chances and timings, social media analysts are actively analysing and tracking down how viral content works, in an attempt to bind all of this within some sort of an abstract formula. Surprisingly, it is easy enough to understand although execution remains a tricky affair. As Vinay Singhal, CEO and Co-founder of Wittyfeed said, “If it is curious, it is clickable. If it's relatable, it becomes shareable.”

Brands often struggle to strive the right balance between curiosity and relatability, alongside actively engaging customer responses. To ensure ample curiosity generation, brands target a crisp short headline that raises a pertinent question related to the story inside. The caption of a post is an able supplement to the headline, encouraging the audience to comment with their opinion. This increases engagement on a particular post, along with organically promoting a post’s reach to further users.

As Singhal puts it, “Seeding of content to the right audience at the right place is the key to viral content.” From all of this, it is evident that social media is a powerful tool to reach out to a massive audience, if only the right strategies are applied in the right context. As for the virality of content, the key is to project the right outlook of a brand  through every post, therby drawing more audiences to the brand itself.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.