Toonces Before Tardar Sauce

What makes something go viral? Is there a marketing strategy you can apply, an expert you can hire? Can your friends, family, and colleagues share, re-Tweet, like, and comment you; and your images, videos, or stories into temporary stardom?

Sadly, there is no algorithm to prove what can go viral versus what has no interest online; there is no Social Media guru to help you in your “wanna go viral strategy” – hitting the viral jackpot simply boils down to the luck of the draw.

What gets the Viral go ahead?

We aren’t completely in the dark when it comes to what get’s our fingers sharing and re-Tweeting.  Information such as breaking news, animals, cute kids, and dumb criminals have always had a “Go Viral” leg up.  This can be due in part in how we respond to these situations, and how the imagery and/or situations draw an emotional response.  Knowing this is a key detail when creating engaging viral potential content.

By touching our hearts, creating that “AWWWW” factor, or by inciting anger and frustration, we feel compelled to share the information that passes through our inboxes and newsfeeds. The more something resonates with us as a person, the more we share, and if it tugs at enough heart strings, or engages in enough soapbox commentary, the result can be viral success.

The Cat’s Pyjama’s

Cat’s have been going viral since Toonces the Driving Cat took to the screen back in the late ‘80’s, and people can’t seem to get enough of them.

Back in September, Tardar Sauce, the world’s most adorable grumpy cat, leapt into stardom through an online image post by Bryan Bundesen;  and in one day, this mixed breed kitty shot into Reddit success.

Tard is now an Internet sensation that brings smiles to the faces of even the biggest of negative nellies.

How do we create content that may be destined for Internet greatness?

Since the next great Internet sensation is unknown, the best thing you can do in hopes of going viral is to create compelling and engaging content without expectation. Don’t dress your dog up in a tutu and follow him around for a week until he does something and think he’s the next big thing, because for all you know – a young and funny actor with an affinity for sloths will appear on an awesome daytime television show and ruin your pups chance at greatness.  The Internet is a fickle place, and what may be funny to you, may not be funny to others, so limit your expectations when hoping for viral content.

Build your online presence, and community, and let growth take its natural course. And like everything else in social media and web content building, if you’re trying to go viral:

  • Have a well planned out vision
  • Make sure your content can be found
  • Keep it quirky
  • Keep it cute
  • Make it positive
  • Content is key

What was your favourite viral moment of 2012?

Michelle Murray

Event Coordinator & Fund Development Officer– SHARE Family & Community Services

Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Michelle has spent the last 13 years living in Banff and British Columbia. She has always had a desire to market, promote, and share through music, community, and social awareness.

Michelle spends her days working for SHARE Family & Community Services, a non- profit, independent, and community based organization providing leadership and programs in response to the social needs of the residents of the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra), New Westminster and adjacent communities.

Michelle starting blogging back in the “MySpace” days, and she always shot from the hip and wrote from the heart. She thinks of herself as extremely funny, but only her dad and best friend laugh at her jokes. foodie and home cook; Michelle auditioned for MasterChef Canada this summer, and while her dish got rave reviews, she did not make it onto the show. While bummed at not being able to participate in any Mystery Box Challenges on the show, Michelle continues to shop farmers markets and make all her food from scratch.

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