6 Qualities of Content That Gets Socially Shared and Goes Viral

Who doesn’t like shares and retweets? They’re addictive, they spread the word about your brand or website and they’re free promotion. But unfortunately, they aren’t very easy to get, especially given how crowded and noisy the web has become.

Even as you read this, hundreds of posts are being published and thousands of updates are being posted on your favorite social media channels and you are probably going to miss out on most of them (that doesn’t mean you should close this and go back to your social streams).

The point I am trying to make is that getting your content promoted on social media has gotten tougher, especially the free aspect of it. Gone are the days when you could put up something interesting and you’d get tons of engagement on it. Now you really need to invest time and effort into making a return.

But all is still not lost, which is why we’re going to look at 6 qualities of content that gets socially shared and goes viral.

Different, if not better

‘Better’ is a very subjective term. It’s hard to define your content as better or assess it in comparison with someone else’s. However, different is fairly easy to judge, which means readers will quickly notice when something stands out, and that’s exactly what you need to be aiming for.

Even if you can’t compete with the big guys in terms of resources you can do things differently, take a unique approach, use custom-made visuals, personalize your presentation – do anything to stand apart and you’ll considerably increase the chances of getting your content shared.

Visually appealing

This point has been covered to death by everyone. There is no doubt that high quality visuals are the way to go. As a matter of fact, visuals have always been effective, but with time, access to tools which allow for easy creation of visual content has meant that you’ll be left behind if you don’t use them to your benefit.

Very soon it won’t be about getting an edge using visuals but about staying in the playing field at all. The content landscape is constantly evolving and you need to keep up with it to remain effective.

However, visuals alone won’t get the job done, which brings us to the next point.

Exceedingly Informative

Information isn’t enough either. There is more information on social media than people can digest. So what do you do? You give them even more information…

Loading your posts with more information than anyone else is a surefire way to get shares (this doesn’t mean you focus on words and length unnecessarily).

Let’s be honest, you don’t read everything on your social streams, yet you share so much. What does that show us? Perceived value is actually very effective. When people go through your status or tweet and see that it promises a lot, they instinctively share it because they perceive it to be useful.

The same goes for content you publish on your website or blog. Every other blog has the same material, the same information the same regurgitated content. Depth is what’s missing most of the time and if you are willing to invest a little more time and put up something actually informative, people are bound to bookmark and share it.

Current & up-to-date

Everyone loves new. ‘Latest’ is a strong word and shows us how people are attracted to everything which is up-to-date. The same applies to content. We’re not saying evergreen content is out, it’s just that people are typically more interested in changes and developments. They want to stay ahead of the curve and share content other’s might not have read or seen as yet.

The urge to be among the first to share something new is what you can take advantage of by making sure your content addresses current issues or comments on them.


How many memes, funny gifs and video clips are shared everyday? Well, a lot…

Entertaining content has the best shot at being shared and going viral. Everyone loves a good laugh and an unbelievable video, but how do you make your actual content entertaining? If you’re writing a post, you could try taking an informal tone, being casual, make a few jokes, use a few puns – make your content interesting.

Similarly, you could supplement your content with entertaining visuals like funny but appropriate gifs or give your images amusing captions. Inserting a little humor into your content never hurts.


Credibility is a major consideration, but a tricky one. While people are much more likely to share content from reputed sources, we’ve all seen instances where content from ordinary people goes viral overnight. They don’t have, or at least had, any credibility before they got overnight fame, so how did it work out for them?

If you’ve ever created landing pages, you’d know how effective testimonials can be. That’s because people tend to trust other ordinary people like them more than they trust parties with vested interests. And in this sense, testimonials are given more credibility than the actual manufacturer, vendor or service provider.

The point here is that you need to build credibility with your content, and that’s only possible if you don’t push people for sales or appear to have a hidden agenda. Keep your content neutral in this regard and let people assess it purely on merit. Once they feel you deserve their acknowledgement, you’ll automatically start seeing much more shares and every subsequent post will get a better response.

Got it, what’s next?

You should also focus on your headlines because they make the first impression. If readers are pulled in by your title, they are much more likely to share your content as well. You should check out our guide on headlines here, and writing great blog posts here.

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About the Author Hunain Naseer

Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, Mentor, Chief Editor, WordPresser, Creative Writer, Lawyer, Gamer, Graphic Designer, Left-Handed, Meat Eater, Almost Human. You can contact Hunain on Twitter, FB or via Email.

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