How to Go Viral: Makes Me Want To Dance In My Pajamas

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It is not often that I get an urge to "get up and go" and make a difference in the world at the time that I'm about to lay my pretty little head down to sleep for the night. But, I read a post that does just that. It puts a spring in my step, hope in my eyes, and whispers, "Your viral dreams really COULD come true."

That post is one by Gail Gardner, at, entitled Viral Marketing: Using Viral Social Media to Create Viral Content.

In her article, Ms. Gardner actually talks about ways in which YOU can make a difference and help your video, or post, or picture, or any content, to go viral. She points out real-life YouTube examples and talks about WHY those particular YouTube videos went viral. This gives everyone hope on how they can do it themselves, and also, helps to dispel the idea that it "just happens." Oh, yes, Ms. Gardner talks about that as well.

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How To Go Viral According to YouTube

One of the videos that Ms. Gardner shows is the following YouTube by Kevin Allocca, YouTube's "Trends Manager." Now, working for YouTube, and having access to THAT data, should make you, uh, a little knowledgeable in that area, right? Watch the video, first, then read on (please 😉 ).


Ok, you've finished watching it? Mr. Allocca makes 3 suggestions on how to go viral on YouTube.

    They are:
  • Tastemakers
  • Participation
  • Unexpectedness

Superhero Dog!

The Underdog

Ms. Gardner highlights this well in her post when she gives you an example of two videos by a certain company. One shows "the video" that garnered so much attention, and the second video gives a little background on how they got there. One thing that is really encouraging to me is that the choice of this company was actually the underdog. Yes, choosing the least popular marketing viewpoint garnered them OVER 17 MILLION VIEWS! Doesn't that give you hope? Do you realize that you, too, can go viral and rake in the views, even if you are not a "Big Dog" company. Yes, even the underdog, be it the company or the marketing student with the "underdog opinion," can make it! Want to more about this? Read >> Viral Marketing: Using Viral Social Media to Create Viral Content.

Look, if a cartoon of a cat that looks more like a Pop Tart flying through the air can go viral, don't you think that you can, too?

Disclaimer: The author of this post is perfectly in her right mind. Tired, maybe, but still in that right mind. If the sentence, above, makes no sense, it may mean that you need to watch Kevin Allocca's video, above, to fully comprehend it.

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To find out about Deborah Anderson, visit his SocialWebCafe author profile.

  • Simmeon August 5, 2012, 5:11 am

    A disclaimer? Well that’s a first, it was assuming to read none the less. If we uncover a formula that can be repeated again and again, I’m not sure I would share it. Becoming viral would become the norm and we would need to do something bigger to get the glory.

    • deborah August 5, 2012, 2:32 pm

      I see your point, Simmeon, that a process repeated means you would have to create a different “edge.” However, it depends on your goal or objective. If you want to always come out on top, then probably sharing how you got there is not advantageous to that goal. If you like to share with people and help them, even if it means sacrificing your own “on top” then it works to share the process. And, you become “on top” of the “helping others,” even though, usually that is not the objective for people like that. In YouTube’s case, they were sharing from analytics, because, of course, their objective is to get more people using YouTube, and by sharing their analytics and suggestions, they draw more users and more activity and more advertising dollars. So, one size doesn’t fit all, as it comes down to what the objective is for each and every one of us.

  • richa August 8, 2012, 12:21 am

    Its a great and pretty useful video. Loved your disclaimer:p..

  • Dipa August 8, 2012, 10:09 pm

    Checked out the video-awesome tips. I liked your post too, and have checked out the links provided therein.
    Hope you get some well deserved rest. Thanks for this insightful share!

  • Aayna August 12, 2012, 9:20 am

    A worth seeing video! The post is lovely and says a lot in less of words. The tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Joy August 12, 2012, 8:47 pm

    I loved every minute of the video and I can say that these characteristics are right on! We as audiences have defined the qualities that we want in a video in order for us to take the time to watch it, I’m specifically interested when its title appeals to me or if someone actually recommends it.

  • Joykristine August 13, 2012, 4:51 pm

    I was immensely entertained with the video, I think that more often than not the recommendation of tastemakers or influential figures are echoed throughout the world resulting to videos becoming viral. Good Job!

  • Abhishek August 15, 2012, 10:05 am

    I most definitely enjoyed watching the video and learning a great deal of knowledge on the characteristics most of the viral videos known to us possess. I am one with you when you mentioned that we all have the potential to rake in views as long as we know that the material we have is truly outstanding. Thanks.

    • deborah August 15, 2012, 10:18 pm

      Hi Abhishek.

      That was a really interesting video, wasn’t it? I still am trying to figure out how Nanocat took off, but it really makes sense when you see that people had the opportunity to engage and participate in their own versions.


  • Emilia September 25, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing this insightful video. The first step to going viral is having the ability to define these qualities precisely.

    • deborah September 27, 2012, 8:25 pm

      Thanks Emilia. It is a great video and sticks with you. We still talk about it at the dinner table 🙂

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