How to Build Viral Marketing Campaigns for Your Rural Business
At Rhoonet, we write a lot about how rural communities are left behind in the internet age. Telecoms are slow to, for example, deploy fast, reliable networks in sparsely populated areas.
The internet, and in particular social media, can, however, also catapult rural businesses to success locally, nationally, and globally.
As social media manager for a small, rural midwifery school, I’ve learned it’s more important to focus on establishing a consistent, reliable social media presence than chasing that one rags-to-riches viral post. In general, social media serves the persistent advertising needs of small, rural businesses (even on the small scale) since advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter is both affordable and can be locally targeted.
Viral success is not, however, out of reach for rural businesses any more than urban ones. That’s the great thing about the democracy of social media – when the internet discovers its new favorite spectacle, it doesn’t matter where it came from. If you post consistently, build interesting and visual posts, and think outside the box, fans will respond to your efforts.
While social media is an accessible and intuitive advertising platform – even for the less than tech savvy – here are four things to keep in mind every time you make a post:
- Be consistent. Posting on social media consistently (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – three times a week, Twitter – every day) will steadily grow the fan base you need to launch viral content. It will also help you mature as a social media marketer, since you’ll be able to gauge your fans’ reactions to each post you make.
Large media outlets and other big businesses often use hundreds of organization-controlled accounts to launch viral content.
If your marketing department (aka you) doesn’t have the resources, the money, or the sleaze-factor to do this, you’ll have to build a following naturally over time.
- Cut the fluff. Content is key. Post consistently, but always value quality over quantity. Never post uninteresting, untrue, or repetitive information. It will only alienate your fans. If there is truly nothing exciting happening at your business to post about on social media, focus on engineering exciting business projects in real life before you focus on engineering exciting posts.
- Be visual. Humans are visual beings. Although reliable studies on the issue are difficult to find, most of us find it easier to process, understand, and remember visual data than raw text or numbers. Including photos, illustrations, or data visualizations like infographics in your post will make it easier for your fans to understand, analyze, and respond to the information in your post.
- Think outside the box. It’s an obvious and incredibly ambiguous thing to say, but thinking creatively is more likely to result in viral content than imitating other businesses’ social media strategies. There are certain conventions you should abide by – keeping the post short, linking to your website, using graphics – but constantly trying new things is how you’ll end up stumbling on something spectacular.