Going Viral

“Is This Real Life?”

Going viral has become a buzzword and a goal for many people from marketers to the casual person on social media. Many strive to produce stellar content that is easily shareable, entertaining, and possibly informative that will spread all over the internet. Going Viral is how a piece of Internet content, such as a video, a blog post, a picture, etc., is viewed and shared at an exponential rate turning the formerly-unknown uploader and/or creator into an instant Internet celebrity. I’ve written about my attitude towards virality in a previous Daily Download where I previously hoped to write the perfect mixture of content, creativity, and context to go viral. It didn’t happen.

You may be familiar with David After Dentist, a YouTube video, about 7-year-old David DeVore Jr. after he visited the dentist and was still experiencing a side effect of anesthesia. David’s father filmed the boy asking hilarious questions such as “Is this real life?” and “Is this going to to be forever?” while they were still in the car. Seven months passed before David’s father uploaded the video to Facebook. Then after a high demand for people to see the video, it was uploaded to YouTube. In three days the video gained over 3-million views. Immediately, memes, spin-off videos, and even t-shirts were made about David. He went viral.


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The Hard Truth About Viral

Going viral is a dream many have and most will never achieve it. It’s a hard truth but a truth nonetheless. It’s generally accepted in order to go viral, a post has to receive over 5-million views in three to five days. This sounds easy with over 30-million unique visits a day to YouTube. Then take into consideration over 300 hours of video that is uploaded every minute,  according to Fortune Lords. That is a lot of competition for views. Going viral is a short-sighted tactic with the odds against you; however, there is hope of spreading your message.

Correlation Between Content and Congregation

Statistics show there is a correlation between the number of Tweets issued from an account in Twitter and the number of followers of that account. Buffer, a social media management platform, indicated as the average of someone’s tweets increases so does the number of their followers. Twitter accounts with a massive following put in the work. They create and curate content for their audiences.

The Long, Slow Crawl

I argue that the long, slow crawl of putting out daily content is a better way to spread your message and gain a following than going viral. This is the way you get to put out content you are interested in and attract other people who are interested in it as well. When David DeVore’s father uploaded the video, he attracted people from all kinds of niches. Just because you gained 100,000 followers on Twitter or 13-million views on YouTube in a few days it does not mean you have an audience. How many of those people will come back to your content or care about what you have to say after the novelty of your viral post wears off?

Build a Community

You can also establish relationships as you are building your following with curated content. Social media should have two ways of communication with your audience, also known as your customers. If you are building relationships and understanding their needs, then you can more effectively cater to those needs with new content, new products, and new services. People love talking about their problems, but you will not understand your audience after overnight fame. Take the time to understand them. Listen to them. Enjoy the climb.


The question of the day: What’s your favorite viral post? Please comment below or Tweet us.

Until tomorrow.


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