Going viral once means nothing
Last week I went viral with this tweet and got nothing out of it:
Listen, I was sad that Denali had been sashayed away, and when I found that video I was like, yeah, this is me. I posted it because I found it really funny. I just wanted to share my enjoyment with the world.
It was already late in the evening so I prepared to go to sleep and I checked my phone before getting into bed. Guess what? Denali herself had liked the video!
I gasped because I love her and then I happily went to sleep.
When I woke up, more than 100 people had liked the video. There were some RTs and some quoted tweets saying “we are all this Irish dad.”
I was truly surprised. Nothing had ever gotten that much attention in my account! I found it really funny because even though I love Drag Race, I never post anything about it.
During the day, I kept getting notifications!
Like, like, quote tweet, RT, RT, like, RT, quote tweet.
All. Day. Long.
I couldn’t believe it haha.
Another day passed by with fewer notifications and by the third day, everybody had forgotten about the video. These are the final numbers:
I think the tweet went viral for 4 reasons:
- The video is funny and unexpected and we all love funny and unexpected, this dad gives me life every
- Denali’s elimination was very controversial so a lot of people felt the same way as the Irish dad and me, it was RELATABLE
- Denali liked it, which was like hitting the jackpot because she has 124k followers so even if 1% of her followers saw that she liked that tweet, that’s already A LOT, maaaan
- I was not asking anything from anyone
Basically, it went viral for all the right reasons.
And now what you really, really want to know. Did I get something out of this serendipitous moment?
The short answer is no.
I got 5 new followers that will unfollow me at some point, I’m sure. I didn’t get any traffic to my blog. I didn’t get anything. Mainly because I also didn’t want to get anything out of it.
I just enjoyed having this collective experience full of snarky Irish remarks and post-sashay-away-sadness.
The longer answer is yes, I got something out of it because now I’m writing about it!
Also, it was a boost to my ego to have so many likes and RTs, I definitely got the endorphin boost I was looking for. I enjoyed being viral, I won’t deny it.
But here’s the problem.
Going viral once does nothing.
Like I said, I can’t deny I enjoyed getting that kind of attention but, will I be able to repeat it? Probably not.
It was a stroke of luck.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go viral. It’s ok if you want to get attention, to get followers, to post that funny meme everyone will be talking about.
It’s also possible. I mean, I did it without planning it thoroughly.
The problem is that it’s not sustainable.
Especially talking about smaller accounts, going viral for the right reasons is pretty complicated and uncommon.
You can’t build a strategy hoping you’ll get viral.
Building an audience takes time and effort. Going viral once, as much as it can bring you attention doesn’t bring you attention in the long run. Look at my tweet, it had interactions for only 2 days. After that, I went back to being an anonymous lurker.
So next time you want to make something viral or aim to go viral with anything you post, think that to get the engagement and attention you want, you’ll have to work for it first.
You’ll have to be consistent and show up every single day.
You’ll have to be thoughtful about what you post.
You’ll have to be interested in your community.
There are no shortcuts.
Unless Denali Fox likes your tweet every time, in that case, you’ll always be successful!