Social Media And Viral Content: Tips From Matt Siltala

March 18th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

If you haven’t heard of Matt Siltala, get your butt to Google right now and start searching. As an online search industry leader and president of Avalaunch Media, Matt came to New Orleans this week to present at Pubcon, a social media and optimization conference and expo featuring multiple days of multiple-track sessions, leading-edge keynotes, and an all-day intensive Pubcon Masters Group training program.

Prior to wowing the crowds at Pubcon, Matt was kind enough to visit Search Influence and give us the skinny on social media, content, and how to make things go viral. His presentation was amazing, informative, humorous, and vastly helpful in terms of SEO. So, I’ve put together some key takeaways businesses can and should focus on in order to promote their brands and make a name for themselves online.


Find Your Target Market By Talking To The Right People

When you’re trying to reach a target market, knowing who to talk to in order to get results within that market is most important. When you talk to someone with power, authority, and a willingness to help, there is a higher probability of getting your brand noticed and increasing awareness among your target market.

Pro Tip: If you know who you want to target, use Followerwonk to compare, analyze, track, and group users. That way, you know exactly who you’re reaching, and what to say in order to entice them.

What Makes Good Content?

Oddly enough, controversy increases viewers and makes for some great content. Think about it. When do people get the most involved in content? During a debate! Any topic people disagree on will get more viewers. This is a theory that withstands the test of time. For example: Republican vs. Democrat, Mac vs. PC, Coke vs. Pepsi, and Matt’s popular Evolution of the Electric Guitar infographic, which includes a Guitar Hero controller, featured below.

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Build Up Your Instagram Following With Deals


With millions of users posting pictures every day, Instagram has exploded in terms of social media marketing and brand promotion. Boutiques, restaurants, and more post photos of products, specials, daily deals, and location information daily, giving viewers a reason to follow them and stay consistently engaged in the brand. By monitoring hashtags and paying attention to channels, businesses will learn whom to target and how to peak people’s interests and gain followers.

Pro Tip: Show products in context to help viewers visualize a final product. Whether that is a meal, an outfit, or a piece of furniture, demonstrating what the product will look like in conjunction with other products peaks interest and makes things easier to relate to.

Processes On Pinterest

More frequently, businesses are turning to Pinterest to gain a customer base. In fact, the “Pin It” action has gained more popularity than the Facebook “Like” and Twitter’s “Retweet.” Checklists, how-tos, recipes, and detailed processes are hugely popular on Pinterest because they get people thinking and and keep their interest longer than a simple image.

Pro Tip: In terms of repinning vs creating new pins, employ 4:1 ratio. Remember that it’s not just about repinning for content, you repin to network. And make sure you get yourself noticed by commenting regularly.

Focus On Visuals On Facebook And Twitter

As with all other forms of social media, building a following and growing your popularity is key to brand success on both Facebook and Twitter. So, what is the key to getting lots of retweets, likes, shares, and comments? Images! Think about it, what is the most retweeted post of all time? Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar Tweet! Only three days after the Oscars the tweet had a record 3.2 million retweets. Now that’s a powerful image.

Pro Tip: Identify influencers relevant to your industry and interact with them as much as possible on social media to grow your online presence and brand popularity.

I could go on and on about the wealth of knowledge Matt dispelled on the Search Influence family, but rather than rambling I’ll leave you with a few of his final tips and tricks:

  1. Pay attention to Linkedin groups. If you get in contact with the owner of a relevant group to your industry they can help you tremendously. Not only can they contact a large group of people easily via email, the group they’re contacting will be the exact target market you need for shares and online visibility.

  2. Sign up for alerts from Help A Reporter Out. You can find experts, get free publicity, and gain tons of helpful contacts.

  3. The gift category in Pinterest is wildly popular. By using a dollar sign ($) in your post description, your post will automatically show up there.

  4. Find a way to repurpose everything. Much like Matt’s wildly successful Social Meowdia Explained infographic (featured below), post, images, content, and more can be repurposed to gain popularity in a variety of forms. For example: an infographic can be turned into a blog, memes, content, etc.


  1. Remember that everything you do contributes to authorship. Every post you write, share, retweet, favorite, etc has your brand name attached to it. Everything you do online grows your authorship, so take advantage of that and be creative in what you post.

For more information on Matt Siltala, check him out at Pubcon or visit his website! And for any questions on the information above, feel free to ask in the comments!