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A look at viral content

We have all seen viral videos or posts while scrolling on our phones when we should be working. Viral content is a unifier, it brings us together. It's the silly, interesting, or weird video or post we share and tag our friends in so they can enjoy it with us. Viral content is a feature of every social media platform.

Before we dive into how important viral content is, let’s first learn what it means to go viral.

Going viral, a term first used in 2009, is when content is shared by millions of people on social media, websites, email, and other platforms over a short period of time. Great examples of viral content include

The Dress. This social media post asked users which color they thought the dress was. This viral post tore families apart with many thinking the dress was gold and white while others believed that it was blue and black. The Dress went viral because it encouraged social media users to interact and share with their friends. Most of us who were on social media in 2015 was guilty on some level of taking part in The Dress. Either we shared it to our pages and asked our friends and followers or we commented on others' posts. Some of us went deeper into the trenches and got into a comment war with others about the colors.

The Storm Area 51 Event. Not too long ago millions of people were ready to storm area 51 with the goal of finding out its secrets. The idea was that with so many coming at once that they could break through the tough security of the military base. This went viral because so many Facebook users knew it was a joke. Because of this they responded GOING and shared the event to have a good laugh with their friends. After so long the news picked up the story and from there it only grew. The best part of this event was that it did take place and those who made an appearance seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Gangnam Style. The hit song and dance went viral in 2012 after musician Psy released the video on YouTube. The South Korean artist’s hit has over 4.2 billion views, 23 million likes, and 5 million comments. Gangnam Style became a hit because of the fun and exciting video along with its energetic beat. Here in America, it was popular with so many even though it is in Korean because it does feature some English words. The dance was something that people of all ages could do and enjoy from middle schoolers to those in their 90’s.

Now, how important is viral content to your marketing strategy? It depends. If your goal is to increase your brand awareness and reach then creating viral content is a great and effective way to do that. If your goal is to build a steady and reliable base of loyal customers then it might not be at the top of your to-do list.

Our recommendation on going viral, don’t force it! Too many online creators try to force a video or post on people in an attempt to make it go viral. It actually can have the opposite effect and turn away internet users and more importantly if you’re a business, customers.

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