What Types Of Stories Tend To Be Super Viral? (My Thought)

We’ve written a lot about viral content here at Buffer. We’ve analyzed the stories that go viral, like How to Make Anything Go Viral and What Makes Content Go Viral? 

We’ve even created a tool called “The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Snackable Video” which shows you how to create snackable videos for your brand or business in 10 easy steps.

Now, I’m going to share another tip with you: it’s not just about what makes something go viral; it’s also about what types of stories tend to be super-viral.

TikTok Storytelling: How to Stand Out From the Crowd
1. Compelling storytelling is crucial for viral success.
2. Evoking strong emotions can drive shares and engagement.
3. Relatable content resonates with a broader audience.
4. Positive and uplifting stories have high viral potential.
5. Listicles, expert interviews, and controversies attract shares.
6. Awe, humor, and surprise trigger viral sharing.
7. Create valuable and shareable content with clear calls-to-action.
8. Use eye-catching visuals to enhance content shareability.
9. Tap into the power of community and inspire sharing.
10. Captivating narratives leave a lasting impact on audiences.

The More Unusual The Better

Unusual stories are more likely to spread than others.

Weird, unusual and unique stories are more likely to go viral than standard, everyday ones. When you think about it, this makes sense: if I was telling my friend a story and they asked me what made it so interesting.

I wouldn’t say that it was “a pretty typical thing that happened today” or “nothing out of the ordinary at all!” Instead I would tell them about something odd or unusual because that sounds more appealing!

It turns out this is also true for internet content: in fact, one study found that web pages with strange names (like yummy) get shared 8 times as much as pages with neutral or boring names (like help). 

And another study showed that people would rather read about an unusual topic than an ordinary one – even though if they were in real life conversations these same people would choose normal topics over weird ones!

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Use The Word “Weird” In Your Headline

The word “weird” is a great way to draw readers in. Make sure you use it in your headline, first sentence, and subheadline. If you can fit it into your second sentence as well (and maybe even your third), that’s even better!

Weird headlines are also useful for creating a sense of mystery around an article topic by making readers wonder what exactly is going on. But don’t worry about being too vague you can always explain why something is weird when you get into the body text of your piece.

While we’re talking about words that people like to see at the top of articles: if there’s one thing that people hate seeing at the top of articles, it’s lists or bullet points. In fact, whenever someone tells me they have a listicle idea for me.

I immediately tell them no thanks and then email their listicle idea to my friend who works at BuzzFeed because BuzzFeed pays $20 per listicle article whereas my company only pays $10 per listicle article.

So he’ll probably be able to find someone who will write their listicle for less than he would otherwise pay them after taking out taxes etcetera etcetera blah blah blah I’m kind of getting off track here.

But basically don’t do any lists unless they’re really short like 10 items tops cuz otherwise, we aggregators will ignore them AND THEN WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!!

Include Numbers In Your Headline

If you want to make your story go viral, include numbers in the headline.

It’s a simple formula: people love numbers. It’s why we include them in our headlines and how we label things like “Caramel Cappuccino” at Starbucks (because it has caramel and cappuccino). But that’s not all numbers that can be used for many purposes!

To Show A Trend: “Over 1000 People Die Every Year From Choking On Their Food”

To show comparison: “Aliens Are Coming For You And They Will Take Over The World In 12 Years.”* To show statistic: “Guys Are Really Important In My Life”

  • Tell people how to do something.
  • Telling people how to do something is a great way to get viral.
  • Telling people how to get something, whether it’s an item or a service, is also a great way to get viral.
  • Telling people how they can save money (or make more of it) is another way that you might be able to go viral.
  • Telling people how they can lose weight or make themselves healthier overall can also help your content go viral because it will be interesting and helpful for many different types of people.

Another way that your content could become super viral is if you tell people about something free like what happens when you do this one thing .

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Capitalize Letters Strategically

Capitalize the first letter of each word: This is a simple and effective way to draw attention to what you’re writing, but it can also be overdone. If you’re going to capitalize each word, you’ll need a good reason for doing so.

Capitalize the first letter of each sentence: This makes sense for something like an email or tweet with one sentence per line (e.g., “Hi! I’m looking forward to seeing your company’s presentation next week.”) 

However, if there are multiple sentences on each line (e.g., “Hi! I’m looking forward to seeing your company’s presentation next week.”), don’t capitalize them all; it will look weird and confusing as readers try figure out what they’re reading in between those capitalized words.

Capitalize all syllables in acronyms: Acronyms form their own words when capitalized because they start with vowels (for example, NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

Capitalize proper nouns: A proper noun is the name of something specific for example, Apple might be called Apple Inc., while another company might call itself Apple Computers Incorporated instead, and whenever possible use their full names instead of abbreviating them (such as referring directly at Apple Inc.).

Ask Questions In Your Headline

Questions are a great way to engage your audience. You can use questions in headlines to get people thinking about the story, or you can ask a question that you answer in the story. 

For example, if you’re writing an article titled “What Are The Best Foods To Eat Before Swimming?”, you could write the following headline:

  • “What Are The Best Foods To Eat Before Swimming?” (you answer this one)
  • “How Should I Eat Before Swimming?” (you don’t answer this one)

Include Some Of The Most Popular Words On Facebook In Your Headline

Good headlines are those that draw the reader in, and it can be tempting to use words with a lot of syllables, but using simple language is much more effective. 

This is because simple words are easier for your audience to read, understand, remember and spell which makes them more likely to share your story with their friends.

Here’s what we mean by easy words:

  • Short:  Words like “and” or “the” only take up one character on Facebook making them very efficient.
  • Simple:  This means using shorter words that don’t have multiple syllables (like “noted” instead of “noting”).
  • Familiar: You’ll want to use familiar phrases like “how much do you weigh?” rather than trying out some fancy new vocabulary with your audience if they don’t know what it means already.

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Create Controversy (Even If You Don’t Mean To)

The lesson here is that you can’t control the way people react to your story. And you shouldn’t try, because if you do, it’ll backfire on you. What does this mean?

Don’t be afraid to create controversy: Is there anything controversial about your story? If not, will adding some controversy make it more compelling?

Don’t worry about offending people: Are there any touchy subjects in your content? If so, would they be better off left out altogether or addressed directly in an effort to engage readers who may have different opinions than yours?

The bottom line here is that creating controversy doesn’t necessarily mean being offensive or inappropriate it just means stirring something up!

Be Negative But Make Sure It’s Constructive

We all know that criticism is good. Criticism is what helps us improve, make better decisions and grow in our businesses and careers. But you have to be careful with how you criticize someone else’s work.

While it’s hard to tell someone they did something wrong without sounding mean, condescending or rude, it can be done!  Here are a few tips for giving constructive criticism:

Don’t use sarcasm or snarky remarks (e.g., “Oh that’s cute” or “nice try”.) These types of comments are passive aggressive and often hurt feelings more than they help the person understand their mistake(s).

Don’t insult the person who made the mistake by saying things like “you’re stupid” or “you’re an idiot.” This will only make them defensive and less likely to listen to what you have to say next time around!

Be specific in your criticism so that there’s no room for confusion about whether something was meant as an insult or not (e.g., “It looks like when I click this button nothing happens” vs.”You’re so stupid!”)

Come Up With A Crazy Metaphor Or Analogy For Your Topic

It’s tempting to come up with a metaphor for your story that’s as straightforward as possible, but sometimes the best way to get people interested is to take a wild approach.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this comes from Fast Company: “It’s like having a blind date.” The article discusses how millennials are going out less than previous generations and why they’re so much more likely to meet their future partner online. 

In order to explain how dating has changed since people find love via Tinder and other apps, they compare it to having a blind date which is exactly what dating has become!

You can also use crazy metaphors in your headlines: “Crazy New Way To Make Money Online That Will Change Your Life Forever” is pretty attention-grabbing, right?

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Make Fun Of Something Popular (Just Not Too Popular

You might think that making fun of something popular is a surefire way to go viral, but be careful: People like familiarity. 

They don’t want everything they see and read to be shocking and new. If you’re going to make fun of something popular, make sure it’s not too popular that will just turn people off.

  • Don’t pick something controversial.
  • Don’t pick something personal (unless you’re already famous for being outrageous).
  • Don’t pick anything negative (or positive).

Make Sure It Isn’t Too Boring Or Long!

If a reporter wrote about your story, 

If you want to see your story go viral, it’s important that you have a hook. Your hook is that thing that makes people want to read your article. It also helps if the structure of your story is clear and well-written.

Including facts about the topic can make your article more accurate. If you want a good story with facts in it, always be sure that everything in it has been verified by experts (like doctors or scientists).

Your writing should be clear and easy to understand so everyone who reads it will understand what happened in the past (and why) without any trouble at all! And if they’re confused or have questions about anything else in particular? 

You’ll know what answer they need because one of them will probably come up later on again anyway!

It’s also important not only whether but how much time we spend writing our articles too – especially when talking about things like characters who do not live together anymore because their marriage was breaking down due to “irreconcilable differences.” 

Before eventually divorcing each other instead after spending most of their lives together since childhood: one might think this would make sense since two people don’t work well together any longer then maybe another couple might get along better instead…

But both situations exist where sometimes couples stay married despite constant fighting since childhood until finally divorcing each other later on down the road; however these instances seem rare enough.

Where I wouldn’t include them in my article unless there were some sorta meta-statement being made here which could help readers understand why such things happen even though no one likes reading through long paragraphs filled with such details….

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That’s it for now! I hope these tips have helped you understand what it takes to get your story seen by a large audience on Facebook. 

If you think of any other types of stories that tend to go viral, please let me know in the comments below. And if you enjoyed this article or found it useful, please consider sharing it with your friends!

Further Reading

The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze (and Maybe Infuriate) You: Explore the fascinating factors that contribute to the viral spread of stories and the potential emotional reactions they evoke.

What Makes Positive Content Go Viral: Discover the key elements that drive the virality of positive content, spreading inspiration and joy across the digital landscape.

5 Types of Blog Posts That Tend to Go Viral: Learn about five blog post formats that have a high tendency to go viral, and gain insights on creating shareable content for maximum impact.


What are the factors that contribute to viral stories?

The factors that contribute to viral stories include compelling storytelling, emotional resonance, relatability, and shareability.

How does positive content achieve virality?

Positive content tends to go viral due to its ability to evoke strong emotions, trigger a sense of community, and inspire people to share it with others.

What types of blog posts have a higher chance of going viral?

Blog posts that tend to go viral often fall into categories such as listicles, in-depth guides, expert interviews, controversial topics, and captivating narratives.

How can I make my content more shareable?

To make your content more shareable, focus on creating engaging and valuable content, use eye-catching visuals, and encourage social sharing through clear calls-to-action.

Are there specific emotions that drive viral sharing?

Yes, emotions like awe, humor, happiness, surprise, and inspiration are known to drive viral sharing, as they create a strong emotional connection with the audience.