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6 Ways to Make Your Articles Go Viral

Wanna go viral? I thought so.

Even if your piece is the most amazing masterpiece to have ever graced our planet, if your mom is the only one who reads it, it will end up slipping through the proverbial cracks of the interwebs. If you want your articles to viral, you're going to have to master the art of social media. Thankfully, it's not that hard. Here are six surefire ways to increase views on your articles. 

1. Get visual.

Source: Facebook Facts 

People love pictures. They will like, share and comment on them more than any other content, so remember that when posting your pieces online. If you couldn't get the copyright for a compelling image that relates to your piece, post it your Facebook and link your article to the picture. More people will see the image; if it's good, more people will follow to your article.

2. Don't be afraid to get a little emotional.

People will share stories that impact them on an emotional level, so don't shy away from taking a stand. Make your position clear. Even if people don't agree, they will comment, which ultimately leads to your post appearing on people's newsfeeds. Posts that are emotionally neutral get less likes and shares, so don't be afraid to show your sensitive side.

3. Forgo a little privacy for more shares.

Social media shouldn't just be a way to keep up with friends. It should become a tool you that you use to brand yourself as a writer.

If you use your Facebook to post crunk party pictures you don't want your mom to see, that's fine. Keep them private. But edit your privacy settings to allow some content to be public. Posts about your articles should always be public so that you are reaching a bigger pool of people. You'll start noticing that your likes, shares and comments will increase because of friends of friends chiming in. Some will also start following you on Facebook.

I've noticed that some PolicyMic users keep their Twitter or Facebook private, and I recommend editing those preferences so that your writing content becomes easily accessible to your readers. Each month, more than 30 billion pieces of content (links, news, posts, photos, etc.) are shared, and people spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Make sure your posts gets viewed by as many of these people as possible.

4. Join the Twitterati. Seriously.

More than 50 million people use Twitter every day, and that number is projected to increase by 60% by the end of the year. If you don't have a Twitter account, you are really missing out on an incredible amount of potential new readers.

 The Internet is a clamorous place and there's so much competing for our attention. Think about it like a noisy schoolyard. If you whisper no one will hear you. If you use a megaphone more people will. Twitter is your megaphone. Use it to reach people who are interested in the topics you write about. Tweet to important actors or organizations that would be interested in your article. Often they'll share your articles with all their followers and that increases your viewership instantly.

Don't forget to use hashtags in ALL your tweets. Always fill up those 140 characters with extra hashtags so that when people are searching them, your article pops up. For a guide to understanding and finding the right hashtags, check this out. 

By the end of the year, Twitter projects an additional 26 million users. Will one of them be you?

5. Don't ignore the power of quotes.

Quotes are the most retweeted content on Twitter, and they are extremely popular on Facebook.

What does this have to do with your article? It means you can use quotes to make your article stand out on social media and it them more sharable. Include a compelling quote from your article when you share it. People will probably like it before they’ve even read it!  

This week, I decided to accompany a Facebook post with a groovy quote I found online. I saw the amount of shares and likes skyrocket because I had chosen a quote that really spoke to people. I like to use quote.it to find awesome quotes, but there are tons of other websites to choose from.

6. Time matters.

We're all complicated individuals, but our patterns of social media use are pretty simple. Most people flip through social media first thing in the morning, quickly again when they sit down at their desk, and again at lunch. Most people will check social networking sites again sometime before they go to bed.

Adapt your social media strategy to these patterns to maximize viewership. Don't post your article at 3 a.m. and sulk because nobody liked it. It's not that people didn't love your piece; it's that they didn't read your piece.

What are your best social media tips? Let me know on Twitter: @feministabulous

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