How to Use Social Data to Create Viral Content for Your Blog

Instagram is one of the hottest marketing channels in 2021, and it will remain that way in 2022.

According to WeekHack, 1 billion people actively use Instagram every day.

Because this platform offers such an incredible outreach, more and more businesses are expected to become active on Instagram. Next year, according to Hootsuite, 75.3% of U.S.-based businesses will use Instagram and will have the potential to reach a minimum of 849.3 million users with their ads.

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Besides being one of the most active social media platforms, Instagram is also one of the best platforms to use if you want to go viral.

The easy-to-perceive content format that Instagram offers allows a user to create a message that can go viral in a matter of hours. Just like Selena Gomez’s viral ad campaign with Coca Cola back in 2016 that got her almost 8 million likes in several hours and crowned her the queen of Instagram:

viral content - selena gomez

There is a common misconception, however, that any type of content can go viral. There are certain qualities to viral content that make it spread fast in a matter of hours. Let’s take a look at them.

Characteristics of Viral Content

Commonly, viral content:

  • Provokes strong emotions. They may be positive or negative. Negative content goes viral as well. We all know viral Instagram videos where kids open and lick ice cream in the store, not buying it afterward.

Although some might perceive it funny, the majority of people experience stronger emotions like hate and disgust. But this is not the type of content you should be making if you want to build a positive reputation of your brand.

  • Is accessible. It is common that viral content does not appeal to a small niche audience. Viral content usually appeals to wider audiences with different demographics.
  • Easy to share. Viral content should be shareable for people to spread the message as quickly as possible.

Until recently, Instagram wasn’t the best platform to post viral content since it didn’t have an option to share posts via a user’s page. Now you can easily share viral content in different formats

Following these characteristics to create viral content is not the only prerequisite to make this content successful on Instagram. There’s also a lot of analysis involving social data that you need to keep up with.

What is Social Data?

Social data includes information that social media users share publicly, including:

  • demographic data
  • biographic data
  • language and location
  • feedback (likes, shares, ranks, etc.)
  • shared links and other data.

Shortly, social data is all you can extract from social media that can be useful for marketing purposes.

Instagram is a goldmine of social data. People not only share their demographic and biographic data but they also actively leave feedback, making it easy for you to determine the type of content that can potentially go viral.

But even though Instagram is a very active social platform, social data extracted from Instagram still has limitations. Some users may feel reluctant to publicly share some information, thus giving you an incomplete picture of who your audience is and what they prefer.

Nevertheless, the information that social data provides still carries a lot of value, especially if you’re using it to create viral content.

So, how exactly do you use social data to create viral content for your Instagram blog?

Let’s take a look.

Important information. Before we start our discussion of how social data can help create viral content, the reader should be aware of a recent Instagram policy to hide likes. You will still be able to see the results via Instagram Insights, however, the total amount of likes might not be visible to other users. This can have a certain effect on the ability of your content to go viral since likes are social data that directly projects the popularity of content.

1. Understanding Your Audience Better

First of all, take a look at your existing audience on Instagram. Who are they? How active are they?

Go to Instagram Insights to see the demographics of your audience:

Knowing the demographics of your audience is important because they will be the first receivers of your content that you expect to go viral. Knowing their behavior will give you valuable insights on when your content should go live for them to see it and share it right away.

Thus, the most valuable statistics in the Audience tab in Instagram Insights is user activity time:

create viral content

By browsing this section, you can get social data on when your users are the most active in terms of days and hours.

Information on where your audience is located can also serve you well and help you schedule the time when your content goes live, especially if your most active audiences are in different time zones.

2. Using Social Data to Find the Perfect Content

From Instagram Insights, you can also extract social data on the performance of each of your posts to find out, which content your audience prefers the best. This information will be your guide to choosing the type of content that will go viral.

Instagram Insights shares social data that indicates:

  • post reach
  • number of impressions
  • sources, where impressions come from
  • how many people save this post
  • how many people liked and commented on this post

viral trends

Image credit:

General statistics show that Instagram content with the highest potential to go viral is Stories. “Our study shows that Instagram Stories are 50% more likely to be shared”, says Martin Parker, a researcher at Flatfy.

Why is that so?

Making Instagram stories was the platform’s smartest move as of yet for a variety of reasons:

  • They have higher engagement than average posts. Even though Instagram Stories are short-lived (24 hours), users still tend to watch Stories more than scroll through regular Instagram posts.
  • Instagram stories are more ‘fun’ to watch. The abundance of stickers, face filters, and stickers make this format easy to perceive, and thus, go viral.
  • This format is the best way to show behind-the-scenes of your brand – content that often goes viral.

viral image

Victoria’s Secret behind-the-scenes Stories

before the launch of a new product

Image credit:

You can also use Instagram stories to launch a survey and ask your audience directly, which content they think would go viral. This social data in addition to the data from Instagram Insights can help you make a well-informed decision, increase Instagram engagement and credit your audience for user-generated suggestions.

3. Hopping on Board of Viral Trends

Last but not least, don’t forget about the social data that you can extract from hashtags.

A hashtag is the fastest route between a user and content, and the better the performance of a hashtag, the higher will be the chances that more people will see your content.

How do you check the performance of a hashtag?

First of all, by checking the list of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. This list is updated regularly, and you should keep up with it to make sure that a certain hashtag that you want to use is still trending.

You can also check the performance of a certain hashtag and see its engagement rate and popularity:


Image credit:

You can also check out related hashtags by correlation and popularity to include in the captions of your viral posts:

Image credit:

You can also check the language variations of a certain hashtag if you want to increase your outreach to the audiences overseas:

viral hashtags

Image credit:

All this information is extracted from social data extracted from a hashtag. Hashtags are indicators of Instagram trends, so keeping up with them is essential for brands who want to create viral content.

Are You Keeping Up with Your Social Data?

Going viral on Instagram may seem easy, but the reality is very different.

To go viral, you should be well aware of who your audience is, how active they are, what content they prefer. Moreover, you should also be quite savvy in terms of Instagram content trends to know, what will grab the attention of your wider audiences and prompt them to share your content.

Want to get the hashtag strategy that brings me 11,000 impressions per post?

Get The Ultimate Instagram Hashtags Cheatsheet

Download now!
50% Complete

Get The Ultimate Instagram Hashtags Cheatsheet

Attract the right people to your profile using Hashtags on Instagram

100% Privacy. We will never spam you.

100% Privacy. We will never spam you.

Hence, without social data analytics, you cannot create viral content for your blog. Doing preliminary social data analysis can help you answer the most important questions and create guidelines that will help you create viral content for your Instagram blog.

Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist at He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.


  1. Blessing Akajiaku

    I guess social media works better for people in urban areas and in certain business niches.
    For example, how much benefit can social media marketing be to a music entrepreneur, not a musician?

    1. Matt Calik

      I’d say it all depends on the creativity. You surely can come up with some solution in most of the business profiles. Music entrepreneurs can, for example, use social media as a promotion channel and, at the same time engage with musicians directly via e.g. Instagram. Then, automatically the whole business speeds up, because of the cooperation with influencers and so on. So, I really think it all depends on how you adjust a social media marketing strategy.

      1. Jan Orsula

        Thanks for your input, Matt! As you said, creativity is a huge factor.

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