Going viral

After completing the week three readings about being successful online through Social Media, I happened to watch the movie “The Duff” for the first time. A big theme in the movie is how Social Media affects the lives of kids in high schools currently, with a mean video about the lead character going viral. The scene where the video goes viral shows a couple of kids watching the video that was sent to them being like “Send this to everyone!” “Viral?” “Yeah, viral.” Apart from thinking that was super lame and kids don’t say that my instant reacting was to say “That’s not now things go viral” but before I could say it, my brain kicked in and, actually, that probably is how a lot of things go viral.

My marketing mind thinks that things need to be carefully thought out, designed, meticulously planned and follow a course of action to give something like a video the best chance at becoming popular through Social Media. When you think like that in a business capacity I think we forget that actually, that’s not really how videos go viral at all, that’s just us trying to give it the best chance of going viral.

We talk about creating content for the audience that they will want to share with their friends, and in this day and age that’s pretty hard. Once you leave high school social media becomes a whole different zone, especially Facebook. In high school, Facebook is all about having hundreds of friends from all over the place and getting as many ‘likes’ as possible. It’s the perfect breeding ground for a video like the one on The Duff to go viral. Those types of videos would spread so fast if a select few people decided to try make it go viral. For those of us a bit older, we don’t want to be friends with Jimmy from our Year 7 class anymore because we’re sick of seeing him complain about his girl problems, Facebook isn’t the place to air your problems Jimmy. So we keep our friends at a more manageable level, and if we want to share a viral video we make sure it is a really good one that we think people will appreciate because we understand that I friends don’t always want their news feeds filled with crap. This means that making a video go viral to an older generation is a lot harder.

THE DUFF - 2015 FILM STILL - Mae Whitman and Bella Thorne - Photo Credit: Guy D Alema   Lionsgate and CBS Films. © 2014 Granville Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.


3 thoughts on “Going viral

  1. Joey Dorrington

    Great post Blaire,

    The insight about people being less inclined to share a social media post as they know they are being judged by their friends and family about the quality of the content they share. I agree 100%.

    Do you Facebook will change the way you share content so that it can be more anonymous to be more in-line with the new anonymous social networks where sharing is far more common and things go viral? For example, 4chan?

  2. Blaire Post author

    Hey Joey,

    Thanks for the comment!
    I think Facebook is pretty solid in the way they do things and probably wont change. Being anonymous isn’t something I think people use Facebook for, simply because there are so many platforms they can use if they want to be anonymous, such as 4chan as you suggested. I think Facebook is more concentrated around connecting people and not alienating them.

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