In social media world, viral and social reach are frequently used terms, which are sometimes used interchangeably. Even though both broadly mean popularity of content, there are differences in why they are published and what type of popularity is meant with these terms.
Viral is defined as,
Posts, blogs, pictures or videos that people share instantly after reviewing. This term is usually used when the content becomes an online sensation.
Viral content is generated by anyone whether they are a social media user or not. A social media user will post it on one or multiple social networks. It could be a cat video or a grandma video that gains enormous amount of traction from general social media users. True network effect kicks in once the content gets shared repeatedly.
Is Viral Intentional or Accidental?
Sometimes content goes viral intentionally and sometimes accidentally. For example, Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Boring Videos
became instantly popular with no intention of becoming popular. It can even be a grandma selfie that goes viral. On the other hand, companies produce content that fits their viral strategy. Tesla released a video of their Charger prototype that went viral very quickly. This was done intentionally to bring attention to the new prototype.
Social Reach is defined as
Reaching your target audience through social networks either by paid sponsored ads or by organic reach.
Social reach is a very strategic part of digital marketing. In this case, the content is created by companies and distributed on social networks. There are several ways to increase the social reach including sponsored ads, sponsored campaigns, organic reach and advocate marketing.