healthcare healthIT socialmedia marketer medical marketing healthcare marketing

6 Behaviors on Social Media to Help Your Content Go Viral

By Stephen Alberts

Recently, a photo of an egg went viral and became the most-liked post ever on Instagram, replacing Kylie Jenner’s baby announcement as the previous title holder.  The egg has over 45 million likes at the time of publication, versus Jenner’s 18.5 million.

It is hard to create content specifically for the purposes of going viral and even hard to predict what will go viral.  But, there are some key behaviors that increase your chances. We sat down with our resident social media experts to compile a list specific to healthcare marketers.

1.  Spend plenty of time on social media.  Know the culture, the trends, the jokes, and what is popular on which platform within the healthcare community.  Having this base of knowledge is invaluable to understanding content strategy on a deep level. The members of our social media team report spending 4-6 hours a day on social channels, minimum.   

2.  Build a foundational presence.  Particularly in the healthcare industry, posts typically go viral from already-established accounts.  Post quality content frequently and engage with accounts in healthcare and health IT. It can take several months to a year to build a respectable account.

3.  Set up monitoring for your @’s.  We use software like Cision, Meltwater, HubSpot, and Sprout Social, but even using free Google Alerts is helpful.   When your post starts getting traction, you will be notified and can help add fuel to the fire with some well-timed engagement. 

4.  Learn to recognize a viral opportunity.  You’ll have benchmarks established for your posts, so you will know if something is performing in a way that is out of the ordinary.  Likes are telling, but a post is truly viral based on the amount it is shared by people with their own networks.

5.  Execute quickly.  This can be difficult in a highly-regulated industry like health IT.  However, you must have enough flexibility within your company to post on social media without an onerous review process.  You must be able to engage with key opinion leaders, respond to comments in real-time, and keep the ball rolling.

6.  Have fun.  Keep your tone consistent with your brand, but don’t be afraid to get a little cheeky.  Viral posts are a phenomena that are enjoyed by everyone who takes part, and they consistently contain an element of humor, even in a B2B environment.  Strengthen the bonds of camaraderie by making people feel like they are an important part of the “inside joke.”



by Stephen Alberts

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