While Twitter has become highly addictive for some, most users find the app a good source of information, as they can check status updates from their friends, celebrities, and the brands they love right on their mobile phones.
Most of your tweets probably just live for a short time; some of them die a natural death —unnoticed and un-retweeted. Some tweets, if you’re lucky, will live and prosper for several lifetimes.
How do I know when my tweet has gone viral?
There are no guidelines set in stone that tell you exactly when your tweets have qualified as ‘viral –‘going viral’ is subjective after all. But if your tweet has been retweeted 300 times, and the most you’ve done in the past was six retweets, then it’s safe to say you’ve gone viral by your own standards.
Take Rihanna’s tweet for example. Getting 88,000 retweets is something she can’t really brag about considering she has a huge Twitter following – around 70 million strong. Again, it’s subjective. What you consider viral may just be a normal day for some Twitter users, especially if you’re Rihanna. Or Beyoncé. Imagine their phones’ never-ending notification alerts!
Things That Make Tweets Go Viral
Find the right timing
This has been on my timeline for days after it was originally sent out. Numerous friends and mutual followers have been sharing it nonstop since. Why? Because it IS funny in the sense that it can only be understood by people who watch Game of Thrones.
But more than the humor and the inside joke, notice how the tweet was made a day after the episode was aired. I’m not sure how long he’s been sitting on this gold, but sending it a day after the episode gave enough time for many people to see the show. And in turn, many people got the punchline.
Appeal to their emotions (and exploit them)
By understanding what emotions go viral the fastest, you can then start appealing to them and exploiting them for a few retweets, or, if you’re lucky, some hundred thousands of them.
Tweets that make people angry, happy, excited, sad, etc. are often retweeted as an involuntary reaction. Users want their followers to feel the same way or at least know how they would react.
Researchers from Beihang University in China concluded that some online emotions move faster than others. Happiness goes viral faster than disgust or sadness, but nothing moves faster than anger and rage. Tweets that elicit emotions are mostly relatable, giving your tweets a higher chance of getting retweeted.
Smart Use Of Attachment
Tweets with images, if not more powerful, can be just as viral as those with pure text. Always remember to use attachments that many people can and will relate to. In this case, this tweet cleverly uses such photo knowing that most people cannot resist two cute dogs sitting in a grocery cart.
Being Really, Really Funny And Relatable
The Twitter account @sosadtoday is a personal favorite because of its dry and dark humor. I even turned on my mobile notifications so, whenever the account tweets something, I can instantly read it on my phone whether I am in the bathroom or in a client meeting. Sometimes you just don’t have the right words for your feelings and then some anonymous Twitter user speaks it with so much eloquence and all you can do is retweet it.
** About the Author: Kristoffer Canimo is a Content Manager and an avid Twitter user whose tweet making fun of a local celebrity went viral in 2016. When he’s not writing or finding new ways to earn money from home, he spends his time playing League of Legends. He’s currently based in Manila, Philippines, and loves huskies, midnight walks, and Raymond Carver.