My reel has gone viral! How exciting is that? I mean, viral might mean different things to us. I didn’t get a million views. However, I did get over 15k views. For an account with 400 followers, that’s viral in my book. So, yes, my reel has gone viral and I’m here to tell you what I did to get that. And no, I have no exact idea of how it happened, but I will share everything that came to mind that I believe helped. So, why has my reel gone viral?
I almost didn’t post it, but I did
The main thing I believe in is: if you don’t post it, it will not go viral. Keep posting, and it is bound to happen sooner or later. I have posted 60+ reels to date. One of my reels has gone (what I call) viral before. I had about 100 or 150 followers, and that reel got over 7k views. The reel was about a Canva hack. Anyways, if I thought about both of these reels too much, I would never post them, and they wouldn’t have gone viral. Yesterday I was in such a hurry, and I did it very last minute. I had about 15 minutes to edit the video, write the caption, create the cover image and find hashtags. And I almost didn’t post it, because I thought I would not have time. But I did it, posted it and ran out the door. Can you believe that? No engagement before or after posting. I just posted and left.
I still stuck to my strategy
Yes, I knew what I was going to post today, but didn’t have too much time to create it. So, I knew what the post was going to be. It was a part of my strategy. What I wanted to do is, I wanted to promote the newest freebie I have created. I had the video filmed, but didn’t have time until yesterday to create it. So, I didn’t just blindly post something. I stuck to my content pillars and my strategy. What is also important, I still stuck to my reel creating process, at least most of it. It was just done last minute, and not in advance.
I used all the new features on Instagram
Okay, so, I know this is kind of a myth, but I still want to mention it. I am in no way claiming that this is true. However, I took advantage and checked out everything Instagram put out there lately. I used the reels topics as soon as the feature became available to me. Also, I took the Instagram survey that was on my home page one morning. Posting every day and different types of content didn’t hurt either. Also, I engaged with my audience and my ideal followers for the past few weeks more than before. So, what I believe may have happened is Instagram rewarded my behavior on their app.
I used around 20 hashtags
I normally use 29 hashtags for my posts (read more about hashtags). However, since I was in a rush, I didn’t really have time to look for them (I offer hashtag research as one of my services). So, I decided to go for those that are very relevant to the content of the reel only. I didn’t add any niche ones or any broader ones. Moreover, I tagged Asana who I mentioned in the reel. The freebie I am offering is an Asana board, so that was also relevant to this reel. I am definitely going to test this with my other reels for a while and see if it actually makes a difference.
It was my first dancing reel
I don’t dance on reels. Yes, I love dancing, but dancing on reels feels a bit unnatural for me. However, I danced on this one. And it wasn’t even planned. I loved the audio and thought what to do in it, and dancing just came to me. It felt like something I could do, so I did it. Does that mean I have to dance more often? No. If it comes, I will. But I am definitely not going to push dancing reels from now on.
Content of the reel
The reel that has gone viral is fun, relatable and relevant for my audience and the rest of my content. It’s not something I never talk about. Content ideas is literally my niche, and this reel was about how to store content ideas. It is very relevant to the rest of my content and it is relevant to the people I want to help. It’s helpful content. Why? Because if you want to have content ideas within your reach, you should have a content ideas bank. I firmly believe that my viewers recognized that. They interacted with the reel, commented that that happens to them as well, and liked the reel over 250 times.
I had a strong CTA at the end
I first hooked my audience with a POV. The content of the reel was consistent with the audio I posted, and I had a strong CTA at the end that told my viewers to download a freebie. It was clear how their problem can be solved. I wrote about strong CTAs on my Instagram, so make sure you read that. While I didn’t ask people to share or save my content, they still did it.
Why did they do it? Because it was relatable. They found it useful. So this is your reminder to create content that is useful and that your audience will want to share or save whether you ask them to or not. You can’t really see the shares, because they are not available in the EU (GDPR rules), but I can assure you, people shared it. The more people share it, the more reach you have. And the more interaction (especially saves) a post gets, the more Instagram pushes your content to more people. What I didn’t get is follows, but I will share a bit more about that at the end.
My short reel has gone viral
So the reel that has gone viral is short. When you compare the reach and the plays, you will notice if one person saw it once or more times on average. Since it is very short, my reel was seen between 2 and 3 times by one person on average. That means that Instagram thought it was a good reel, since people spent time on it, and it pushed it out to even more people.
My reel has gone viral: main takeaways
Here are my thoughts on everything. Firstly, as my reel was going viral, I was at work and not looking at my phone. When I got out, I had dozens and dozens of likes. Each time I refreshed my notifications page, I had new likes coming in. But there were no follows (actually, there were 3). Is that a problem? NO! Because I gained 30 new email subscribers. Email subscribers are in it for the long game. They are much more loyal than followers. I offered something valuable, and people saw it. They wanted a piece of it. You can’t expect your viewers to do everything: like, comment, save, share and subscribe to your newsletter. Decide what’s important for that particular piece of content, and push for that with a CTA. I wasn’t looking for followers with this reel. I know that I could have gotten dozens (if not hundreds) of new followers. But would they be the followers I’m looking for? Probably not. I am very okay with 30 email subscribers. So, if you can take away anything from this post take away this.
Let’s recap: My reel has gone viral. How?
- Just post! Don’t think about it. Good enough is good enough.
- Stick to your strategy.
- Take advantage of new features on Instagram.
- Use hashtags and test how many work the best for you.
- If you like to dance, dance. If you don’t, don’t dance. Do what feels natural for you.
- Make sure your content is educational, relevant and fun.
- Have a hook at the beginning and a strong CTA at the end of the reel.
- Make it short (5-15 seconds).
If you want to follow my Instagram journey, you can follow me there. I post a lot of valuable information regarding content marketing! I know you will benefit from that!
If you are stuck with content ideas, take a look at my Content Blueprint Bank membership! It is a great resource for content ideas, because you will get content ideas for each day of the month, and 5 reels audio suggestions a week (plus access to a reels library, filled with all the previous suggestions!). Take a look at the membership user manual to see what it looks like inside the membership.