Organic vs Viral – what’s the difference?

If you run a page (or pages) in Facebook you will have seen messages about a posts virality.

viral-v-organic
I frequently get asked “what is virality?”

The Facebook definition whilst completely accurate doesn’t usually help the questioner understand the concept.


Facebook defines virality as :

Virality is the number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it.

Here is the link to the Facebook definition: [Click me]

Whereas what most people want to know is a combination of:

  • What makes a post potentially viral?
  • How can I produce a viral post?
  • What extra exposure can I get when something goes viral?

When most people think of virality they think of the Gangham style successes where the tune has produced over 1.4 billion hits as of today and many offshoots.

That’s the absolute pinnacle of what can be achieved but it’s unlikely for a business to achieve the same level of success over a product even with sound advice, a large budget and a decent level of existing connections.

The extremely well thought through Three #DancePonyDance video with a cracking Fleetwood Mac soundtrack ([original song here]) and television exposure has managed 5.8 Million views as of today.

So for the smaller business what should your aspirations be?

Producing viral content takes time, effort, a little psychology and a dollop of luck.

If you want to know more about the Psychology of Social media:[Click me]

Two factors are thought to help:

  • Getting outside feedback on what you are good at and what is likely to appeal customers.
  • Realising this is a gamble and working for organic growth as well as attempting viral posts.

Organic growth#1 helps because it works like buying multiple lottery tickets. The more followers who engage with your posts the better the chance it will get shared and the better the number of shares the bigger the number of re-shares given an equal probability#2.

Remember if you are going to try to design viral content for your post you need to somehow work in a call to action that encourages viewers to forward your objectives be they increasing the range of your social advertising, developing brand awareness or a call to buy for a particular product.



#1collecting new followers – note this doesn’t equate to page “likes”.
#2There is a variation in probability dependant on the material and the audience. A good marketing consultant can help you determine this.

This piece is a discussion document and not intended to be taken as verbatim advice to your business. If you want specific advice contact me.

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