First you need to know what viral means. The term referring to content that is quickly and widely spread or popularised especially by means of social media.
So how do certain videos or memes become rapidly popularised? Every aspiring influencer and every business wants to know this answer too. I’m about to give you not one but two methods to become the next viral sensation. As well as recommend which method I believe will be more successful.
A professor and viral marketing expert, Berger asserts that there are principles which make consumers more likely to share content. He identified six principles of contagiousness:
- Social Currency
- Practical Value
By incorporating some or all of these principles into content it has the potential to go viral.
In 2015 there was the dress. An item that divided the internet over the pointless argument whether it was blue and black or white and gold. Beginning as a tumblr colour photo (the original pictured below), within a week it created major buzz with millions of mentions on social media of #TheDress. The dressmakers – Roman Originals certainly benefited, their website received 3, 622, 960 visitors within the first 48 hours and the dress sold out online within 34 minutes of its availability.
However, the dress mainly focuses on the emotion principle of contagiousness, by either highly arousing people with excitement or anger as a trigger to affect sharing. Besides this ploy, the dress doesn’t doesn’t really incorporate any of the other 6 STEPPS.
The dress among other previous viral sensations such as Rebecca Black’s Friday fit under Kevin Allocca’s three requirements to go viral.
Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s Head of Culture and Trends states that to go viral there needs to be three requirements:
- Communities of participation
The dress and the song – Friday both have the unexpected factor. Then a group of tastemakers took a point of view (the colour of the dress and how awful the song is) and shared that with a larger audience. Where finally a community formed for each and started to talk and spread them or even do something new with it, such as people parodying the song for other days of the week.
Allocca’s requirements may be simple, but I believe that it is best method to go viral. Currently, there are so many peers I have that have amassed large followings on social media. Therefore, their are many potential tastemakers that could help accelerate the process of any content I post going viral. I am not in a unique situation though, and it is very likely that you have these connections too! So if you want to go viral, it’s no longer a secret, just start thinking of an idea that’s going to shock everyone into talking about it. Will it be positive or negative? Who knows. But it will probably go viral.
What method do you think would be more successful for going viral? Let me know in the comments below.