What Goes Viral And Why

‘Gangnam Style,’ ‘the Black-Blue dress,’ or ‘I’m not a cat’, remember any of these? Definitely, you do. And so will billions of people in the future. These viral videos, and many more like them, are the milestones of social media‘s history when we have uncovered its true potential and the extent to which it can affect people.

Social Media agency is made up of these funny, engaging, and controversial bits of content that have spread like wildfire and engulfed everyone in their way.
But what causes these wildfires? What causes a piece of content to go viral?

Various marketing experts have devoted a significant chunk of their professional lives to understanding the nature of viral content and what makes them so popular. And while there is no sure-shot way of predicting the popularity of a piece of content, a few factors increase the chances of a piece of content going viral.

1. They evoke emotions:

In one way or another, the viewers can emotionally connect with the content, be it anger, distress, amazement, joy, or excitement. Remember the recent collective yearning of having a ‘pawri’?

2. They provide useful information:

You might’ve observed that sometimes, even DIY or ‘How to’ videos go incredibly viral. That is because some tutorials have worldwide applications. Surely you would know by now how Dalgona coffee is made!

3. They have social triggers:

They poke or question the social norms in some way or the other. For example, if there is a video of animal cruelty (like The Killing of Harambe), people intensively share those kinds of videos to inform society’s injustice.

Majoritively, the social impact or the reason for viral content will fall under either of these categories. These are some of the most potent stimuli that drive the social media realm.

Social Media agency

Now that we have answered why a piece of content goes viral let’s try and answer the question – What kind of content goes viral?. Here are a few trends that we have observed:

1. Puzzles and Riddles

Do you remember that photograph, titled ‘The Dress,’ which went viral in 2015? One that created an optical illusion where some people saw it as a blue-black dress, while others saw it as a white-golden dress?

That image was tweeted 10 million times in the first week itself! So, why are such puzzling posts so popular? That is because people love to engage in such fun and controversial activities, especially ones that amuse us! They like to involve themselves in such activities which make them forget everything else.

2. Inspirational Content

Inspirational content is like fodder for personal growth. People use such content to form their life’s goal and motivate themselves to strive for it.

On any given social media platform, inspirational content will be one of the top-rated, most shared, and most liked content. Especially those made by famous celebrities. People often find it interesting to see the other side of celebrity life and understand that they also go through the same human experiences and hardships.

3. Infographics

We stumble upon something confusing every now and then, and the first thing we ask ourselves is – ‘Is there a video that explains it?.’

Infographics are colorful and eye-catching representations that break information into bite-size pieces, making them easier to digest. It instantly grabs a viewer’s attention and keeps them hooked till the end. And by the laws of content marketing, that is a sign of success.

4. Personality Quizzes

While Buzzfeed and Scoopwhoop are famous for their entertaining questionnaires like ‘Which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character are you?’ or ‘What city should you live in?’, they are an excellent medium to generate traction.

Apart from being entertaining, such posts cater to the viewer’s long-asked questions, like who I am, my purpose in life, and they often give out positive feedback, making the viewer feel more encouraged and motivated. Moreover, it allows them to humble-brag about themselves, and who doesn’t like to do that? And last, but not least…

5. Memes

Creating, posting, and consuming memes are the most favorite pass-time activity for every social media buff. Today, memes account for the majority share of the total content circulated on all social media platforms. They create a sense of entertainment and happiness which celebrates life and increases community participation. If you want your content to gain instant popularity and reach the most diverse demography, make a meme out of it.

While these five trends have been deemed a sure-shot method for making your content go viral, you might not reap their full rewards if you lack originality. This is because, more than being driven towards originality, people quickly get over a piece of content. If it doesn’t entice them or add to their knowledge, people will not make an effort to share it or like it.
Hence, make sure that your piece of content is original, entertaining, and falling under either of these categories. If you follow this, your piece of content will surely go viral.