With the popularity of new social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, some businesses may wonder if focusing their efforts on Twitter is a waste of time. However, Twitter is very much alive and kicking. 82% of B2B content marketers use Twitter as a part of their content marketing strategy, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute.
In the past, going viral on Twitter seemed to only happen by chance. Users would tweet their thoughts or relay a story, close the app and go on about their day, only to open it hours later to find thousands of replies, comments, and follows. Today, crafting the perfect viral tweet has almost become an art form. People spend hours working to connect with their audience and finally go viral.
However, with around 6,000 tweets sent per second, about 500 million tweets could go viral daily. So what determines the virality of one tweet over another? In this article, we’ll show you how to make a tweet go viral (or increase your chances, at least) and drive much-needed traffic to your business.
What is a viral tweet?
A viral tweet is a tweet shared, retweeted, or quoted by many people — and quickly. Although there are no set rules for a viral tweet, it’s often one that gets people talking.
It could be a question, the beginning of an entertaining Twitter thread, or even a simple statement highlighting a social issue. Whatever the case, a viral tweet makes Twitter users pay attention.
So how can you make sure your tweets stand out from the crowd? Here are 10 techniques to get your tweets to go viral.
10 simple ways to make a tweet go viral
1. Ask for retweets
One of the easiest ways to make your tweets go viral is to ask for retweets. You can offer your followers giveaway prizes like cash, clothing, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) (thank you, cryptocurrency), and ask for a retweet in return.
Companies and brands often do this to promote their products or drum up excitement about soon-to-be-released products.
This NFT page held a giveaway to draw attention towards their brand and NFTs and was rewarded with a viral tweet in the process.
2. Pose a thought-provoking question
Icebreakers, anyone? Never underestimate the power of a simple question. People love to interact with others and share random stories, memories, or facts about themselves. Take this thread about the most ridiculous name this person has ever heard.
The best part about this tactic is that your questions don’t always need to be in touch with reality. This tweet by David B Freeman gave hundreds the chance to use their imagination and get creative.
3. Be relatable
Another way to increase engagement is to involve your followers by appealing to their emotions. While you don’t want to overshare, writing tweets fueled by personal experiences or common industry occurrences will resonate with your followers.
In this tweet, Freelance writer Ashley Cummings appeals to her audience by sharing an issue among freelance writers that many of her followers (and others) could obviously relate to.
If you want to win over your followers and go viral, tap into something we all have in common: humanity. Show your followers you’re just like them by sharing captivating personal stories. When the world turned to online learning, Stephanie Lucianovic related a story about her 2nd grader that anyone working from home could relate to — and it went viral.
4. Include links in your tweets
Include links in your tweets to useful resources, news items, or online articles your readers will benefit from. Then craft a compelling call-to-action and encourage them to visit the link.
Users who gain knowledge from your resources will be moved to share your link, which earns you more retweets. Your followers gain some knowledge and you get traffic to your site in return. It’s a win-win all around.
Julian Shapiro did this by sharing a link to a guide he wrote to his audience of followers. His quippy introduction and his reputation as an editor likely compelled followers to check out his resource.
You can also use links to draw attention to a new release or brand update. Spotify did this in their tweet to spread the word about Kanye’s latest album.
5. Add a dash of humor
Let’s be real. We’re all on Twitter to get a laugh now and then, so use this to your advantage. Think of a funny personal story, crack a joke with your followers, or use your sense of humor to spin a regular interaction into a hilarious tweet. We’ve seen brands infusing humor into their personal bios, and tweets aren’t far behind.
Here’s a joke that made Twitter user Omri Elisha’s tweet go viral. His observation is funny and also spot-on!
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, think about an ordinary event or task in your life or business that could use some humor.
B2B Content writer Brooklin Nash nails this with his witty tweet on the stereotypical SEO article outline. Industry peers related hard to his example.
While you never want to be crude or inappropriate, the right balance of humor could be just what you need to give your tweets some online traction.
6. Timing is everything
Sometimes, even the perfect tweet can get lost in the Twitter space if posted at the wrong time.
To time your tweets perfectly, you’ll need to consider when your target audience is on Twitter the most.
Tweet timing also involves hopping on the response train before it’s too late. For instance, when Facebook released the news about changing its name to Meta, Wendy’s wasted no time in responding with a tweet that broke the internet.
This tweet by Tracy Badua came at the height of the “sourdough baking epidemic” and went viral with little effort on her part.
7. Follow an already-viral trend
There’s always one trending Twitter meme or another. They can be a simple image from a cartoon or an unfortunate clip of a celebrity. Memes get high levels of engagement on social media platforms.
A recent study by YPulse showed that 75% of users ages 13-36 years old shared memes regularly. If you’re working to connect with a younger audience, it may help to include memes or a viral trend in your tweets to increase your chances of going viral.
Chipotle used the popular “red flags” meme in a few of their tweets to talk about their menu offerings.
You might need to post more than one trend-catching tweet to see what your audience likes better and give yourself a better chance of going viral.
Pop culture contributes largely to memes. This tweet by Nina Parker went viral for referencing a popular clip from a K-drama. It was also perfectly timed as Daylight Savings had recently caused an avalanche of complaints on social media.
8. Write a great headline
With Twitter threads becoming more common, you don’t need to pack all your information into one tweet to go viral. Sometimes, all it takes is one great headline or introduction tweet to kick off a thread’s virality.
Marketer Alex Garcia created a brilliant thread of 50 marketing threads to both captivate and inform his audience while driving traffic back to his Twitter account.
You may not have a thread of threads, but a strong introduction keeps readers interested in your tweet or thread. So, always mention what your thread will deliver and how it benefits your audience — in the very first tweet.
9. Post valuable information
No one wants to follow a page with boring, useless content. Strive to post actionable information that will help your audience. The more your content resonates with them, the more they’ll want to share it — and the higher your chances of going viral will be.
For example, if your main audience is bloggers, why not create a thread about “Top 10 things I Wish I Knew As a Beginner Blogger?” Liz Beechinor does something similar by sharing her father’s marketing experience.
Liz opens her thread with her father’s expertise and the impact of his advice on her business to build interest in her followers.
You could also share lesser-known tips about industry skills like SEO or copywriting. Jeremy Moser’s thread on copywriting included tips for clicks and conversions that thousands found helpful.
Again, he mentions specifically how his thread will help readers. This way, your thread will easily find its target audience.
10. Less is more
Twitter is mainly known for its text-based posts, but photos, drawings, and infographics still have their place on the platform. To get a point across to your followers, you might not need to say anything at all. Take this tweet from Dakota Snow, for example.
The tweet literally says all you need to know. It also resonates because US workers are known for not taking all their paid time off (PTO).
In another relatable social media marketing tweet and attached photo, Chi Thukral expressed the feelings of a job too big for one person.
5 (more) examples of viral tweets to inspire you
In case the example viral tweets in our tips weren’t clear enough, we have five more examples you might learn from.
1. Viral tweet sharing valuable information: Ashley Cummings
Ashley’s thread works because she leads with her value proposition, i.e. what her freelancing lessons have helped her accomplish for her business.
2. Relatable viral tweet: Rosemary Egbo
Rosemary’s tweet clearly hit a few nerves among her target audience, many of whom have likely experienced the same situation. Hence, the high volume of retweets and even more likes.
3. Relatable viral tweet: Adrienne Barnes
Which of us didn’t see a new side to our roommates and partners during the great global lockdown of 2020? Adrienne’s tweet no doubt resonated for this reason.
4. Viral tweet posing a question: Coach Adria
Questions in tweets that go viral must have a special ability to make your followers want to share their stories and bare their souls. Adria got that right.
5. Relatable viral tweet: Vidhika Bansal
Vidhika’s tweet likely had everyone thinking about that one fantastic (or toxic) manager they had.
Write a viral tweet that makes a splash
Social media is an art. You’ll need to put in the work to engage with your Twitter followers and create viral content that gets the right kind of attention. However, when done right, you’re rewarded with viral tweets that result in new customers and increased exposure.
A viral tweet should get people talking while encouraging them to engage with your brand. Jarvis can help you do both of these with ease.
Say goodbye to standard, run-of-the-mill tweets that miss the mark. Instead, use Jarvis AI templates to make your content buzzworthy.
Want to ask your audience thought-provoking questions to start a conversation? Use the Engaging Questions template to get creative questions for any industry. Simply enter your topic, audience, and tone of voice, and get intriguing questions anyone would find interesting.
Ready to create viral tweets? Then sign up for Jarvis and start writing retweet-worthy content now.