Master the Art of Virality: Unlock the Secret Sauce to Explosive Content ?? – Lyons International

Master the Art of Virality: Unlock the Secret Sauce to Explosive Content ??



Here's the thing about content that goes viral: It's not just about having a great idea. It's about presenting that idea in a way that makes people want to share it. In today's crowded digital landscape, we're all flooded with content. For your posts to stand out and actually get shared, they need to trigger certain psychological responses in your audience’s brains. That's where the STEPPS model comes in.

STEPPS Model Breakdown

STEPPS stands for:

  • Social Currency
  • Triggers
  • Emotion
  • Public
  • Practical Value
  • Stories

By incorporating these 6 elements into your social media strategy, you significantly boost the shareability of your content. Let's use a real-world example to illustrate this—remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? This campaign hit multiple STEPPS. It gave people:

  • Social Currency (being part of a trend)
  • Had a clear Trigger (the ice bucket)
  • Evoked Emotion (excitement and empathy)
  • Was very Public (video challenges)
  • Had Practical Value (raising awareness and funds)
  • Told a Story (of people coming together for a cause)

Now, let's break down each step and explore how you can apply it to your own content.

Social Currency: Make Your Audience Look Good

We all want to seem smart, cool, and in-the-know. Social currency is about creating content that makes people feel like insiders when they share it.


How to use it:

  • Share exclusive tips or "insider secrets" in your industry.
  • Be the first to spot and share emerging trends.
  • Create content that makes people look good when they share it.

A Real Estate Agent could share "5 Little-Known Tips To Sell Your House Faster", giving their audience insider knowledge to impress their neighbours and friends.

Triggers: Plant Reminders in the Environment

Triggers are cues in the environment that remind people of your content, making them more likely to think about and share it.

How to use it:

  • Link your content to common daily activities or current events.
  • Use catchy, memorable phrases or hashtags.
  • Create content tied to specific days of the week (e.g., #MotivationMonday).

A real estate pro could create a series of "Monday Market Tips" - short, interest facts people are triggered to talk about every time they start thier Monday.

Emotion: Make People Feel Something

Content that evokes strong emotions - whether it's awe, amusement, or inspiration - is more likely to be shared.

How to use it:

  • Tell stories that tug at the heartstrings.
  • Use humor to lighten up serious topics.
  • Create content that inspires or motivates.

A mortgage professional could share a rags-to-riches story of how they paid off $100K in debt, evoking both inspiration and hope.

Public: Make Your Ideas Visible

The more visible something is, the more likely people are to talk about and share it.

How to use it:

  • Create visually striking content (infographics, quote cards).
  • Encourage user-generated content and reshares.
  • Use eye-catching headlines and thumbnails.

A insurance agent could start a hashtag challenge encouraging followers to share their best savings tip, making participation visible and fun.

Practical Value: Give People Useful Information

People love to share content that's helpful or solves a problem. Provide practical value, and watch your shares soar.

How to use it:

  • Create how-to guides and tutorials.
  • Share time-saving hacks or money-saving tips.
  • Curate lists of helpful resources.

A accountant could create a "5-Minute Guide to Securing Your Online Accounts" - quick, actionable advice people will eagerly share with friends and family.

Stories: Wrap Your Message in a Narrative

Humans are hardwired for storytelling. Package your ideas into compelling narratives that people want to retell.

How to use it:

  • Share personal anecdotes that illustrate your points.
  • Use case studies to bring your advice to life.
  • Create "before and after" narratives showcasing transformation.

A career coach could share the story of a client who went from a soul-crushing cubicle job to a dream career in 90 days, weaving practical job search tips throughout the narrative.

Putting It All Together: An Example Tweet

To illustrate how these elements come together, here's a tweet that nails all 6 steps:

"The 'Two-Tab Rule' changed my online life: Close all but 2 browser tabs. I went from a scattered mess to a focused beast. Literally tripled my productivity and signed 3 new clients recently because of it. Now imagine how much more you’d accomplish with less digital clutter."

Notice how this tweet makes people look good for sharing it, triggers daily behavior, evokes emotions like excitement, is very public, offers practical value, and tells a mini-story.

Your Secret Weapon: The Contagious Prompt

Ready to engineer your next viral hit? Plug your brand context into this AI prompt and watch the magic happen:

"I want you to generate viral content ideas for my content business. Here's some context about my brand: [INSERT BRIEF CONTEXT] Please help me brainstorm 5 content ideas that incorporate all 6 elements of the STEPPS model:

  • Social Currency: How can I make my audience feel like insiders?
  • Triggers: What environmental cues could I tie my content to?
  • Emotion: What strong emotions could my content evoke?
  • Public: How can I make my idea more visible and shareable?
  • Practical Value: What useful information can I provide?
  • Stories: What compelling narrative could I use to convey my message?"

What You Learned Today

  • The 6 key ingredients that make content irresistibly shareable (STEPPS: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, Stories).
  • How to apply the STEPPS model to your own social media strategy.
  • A powerful AI prompt for generating viral content ideas that hit all 6 STEPPS.

Now it's your turn to put the STEPPS model into action. Next time you're crafting a social media post, run it through the STEPPS checklist. Does it make people feel like insiders? Does it trigger a specific emotion? Is it packaged in a compelling story? The more STEPPS you can incorporate, the higher your chances of creating content that spreads like wildfire. (Pun absolutely intended)

Engage With Me!

But before you go, I’d love to hear your opinion… Which AI use-case would be most helpful for you on your content journey (to save time / increase quality)? Your insights could be the next big thing we explore together!

Ready to conquer the digital world with the perfect blend of art and science in your content? Let’s make it viral! ?

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