The logic behind going viral

The logic behind going viral


Going viral on social media is the wet dream of most brands. What normally, in a biological context, is considered a very bad thing as it has to do with viruses, is on social media the best possible outcome for any marketing and communication activity. And nowhere is it so easy to go viral as on TikTok. 


Memes, remember those? Well, it's not like they’re gone. Instead, they’ve evolved into something more advanced and better and with that more popular. As somewhat of the first example of virality consisting of an image and a simple one-liner, memes are nowadays flooding the Internet. And today it’s not like you need memes to go viral. 


The word “viral” basically refers to an image, video, or another piece of information that is being circulated rapidly and widely on the internet. There are even some estimations of the size of exposure needed to be categorized as viral, varying from a minimum of 10.000 hits per hour to more astronomical numbers. You could also say that behind the word viral there’s mathematical logic indicating that every time an individual engages with your website, video, or meme, they on average attract one more person to interact with the same content. So, what can we ascertain from this Einsteinian level of calculus? That you go viral by being shared. 


Let’s take it from the simple start. Imagine yourselves roaming around the world wide web and stumbling over something so funny or interesting that you had to share it on Facebook. The probability tells us that they in turn will attract even more of their friends, connections, or followers to your content and so it starts. The process of becoming viral. And in a way, it sounds like the same process of a contagious virus but hey, what can you do? That cute kitten sure was shareable. 


How do you go viral?


Now that we’ve cracked the mathematical code behind virality it should be simple to go viral and take over the world! Whoa, calm down Dr. Doom. Although we understand the specifics behind being viral it’s not the same as becoming viral. You have to earn it. So, the question is how do you go viral? Some things to think about in general are the following:


  • Use the right platform – for example videos. Music and sound are best suited for TikTok while images are be better on Instagram.


  • Your audience is your friend – consider if the content that you are posting or want to post is a good match for your followers or if you should modify it.


  • What’s your end goal – social media campaigns need a purpose. Do you want to be informative, provocative, or entertaining?


  • Be emotional – and we don’t mean dramatic but don’t be scared of evoking emotions that your audience can relate to. It’s a good way of going viral on social media. 


  • Do you have good timing? – posting and sharing content at the right time is just as important to get those likes and shares.

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