What does it mean to go viral?

Viral Marketing

“Going viral isn’t random, magic, or luck. It’s a science.

– Jonah Berger

Have you seen the popular shimmying baby meme or a cat meme doing innumerable rounds anywhere and everywhere you see? You see, these memes or videos have received millions of views and hence, reached millions of people. This is when we know content has gone viral. 

It isn’t always necessary that the viral content is created by big media houses or made to specifically go viral. Sometimes the content is so good and touches people in a way that it becomes worth being shared over and over again.

Oxford defines virality as “the tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another; the quality or fact of being viral.”

Virality happens when something leaves its mark on you, it may be just for a day, for a month, or maybe life-long; it all depends on how the content connects with its audience. 

What does it mean to go viral on social media?

Now, how do you agree on what has gone viral or not? As a concept, virality is quite simple to understand. However, when we think about the technical aspect, there are no defined parameters of virality. The data often recorded to understand the reach of the content is several likes, views, shares, saves, downloads, length of life, unique consumers, and much more. Each and every factor makes it even trickier to assess the virality of a piece of content. 

Not only is it complicated to assess the virality in general, but it also becomes even more uncertain with the variety of social media channels and differences in the type of content they promote. YouTube, Rizzle, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc., all these apps have different parameters of virality. 

The assessment of virality is relative. Hence, it is pretty ok to assume that if there is something that everyone is aware of, then that particular content piece can be considered to have gone viral. 

How can you achieve virality?

Even though virality is relative and not an exact science, we still have found exciting and successful ways for you to go viral.

Virality is not just a stroke of luck every time. Sometimes it also takes considerable planning and persistence to be successful. So here are a few tips that may help you go big on social media:

1. Originality and Authenticity

Originality and authenticity play a vital role in the virality of content. Be who you are. Do not pretend. Elicit emotions and connect with the audience. They are as human as you are and experiencing almost all the same feelings; you are just at different timelines. 

2. Story-telling

Storytelling has always interested us. Since we were kids, we would listen to our grandmothers or mothers narrate stories about mythological wars, moral lessons, and much more. The child inside of us still connects to a story as easily. So, tell people the story around yourself or your brand, the products, and leave it to them to connect with you. 

3. Follow the influencers

Follow the influencers of your niche. Following the leaders of your industry will help you learn and understand what actually works in the market. You can also thoroughly analyze what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and make your content better and increase its chance to go viral. 

These tips cover almost all the essential ideas which can make you go viral. However, it all depends on how well you follow through on them and how you approach social media. Treat your followers like your family and friends. Tell them what’s going on with you and encourage them to share their stories with you. Create an interaction rather than being selfish and only talking about yourself. 

Virality is not only for the creators but it has become the most sought-after area for marketing. The creators have a stronghold on their followers which has given brands and companies a sure-shot way to promote themselves and their products online at comparatively lower prices than other modes of advertising. Viral marketing is one of the ways brands are promoting their products and reaching a wider audience at lower prices. Let’s discuss a little more about viral marketing. 

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing generates interest in a brand or product (and therefore potential sales) through messages that spread quickly from person to person. The idea is that the users themselves choose to share the content. ( Source: cyberclick.com) 

Basically, when content is planned to promote a product or a brand, and a campaign is designed so that it will surely go viral, it is known as viral marketing.

With their unlimited reach, social networks are one of the best channels for marketing. Their speed of sharing is lightning fast. The best part is that every channel allows you to share your created content across almost every social media channel, making it easier to reach the masses. 

Social media virality, however, is a double-edged sword. The success and interpretation of your campaign are primarily in the hands of your audience. If the message is misinterpreted, you can bury your campaign six feet under. 

Most viral campaigns of 2020-2021

We all know that 2020-2021 has been two years which feels like a long, never-ending nightmare. However, irrespective of all the pain and the heartache, these years have also shown us how hard can we fight in the face of adversity and how strong we standstill. The lockdowns forced the world to level up and go digital more so than ever. 

As a result, we have had some beautiful viral campaigns in these two years. Let’s talk about a few: 

1. Vivo: #switchoff your phone for a day. 

It is a heartwarming campaign focusing on how even in close quarters with our family, we are far away from them due to work from homes blurring the boundaries between personal and professional lives. 

2. Facebook: More Together | Pooja Didi

A beautiful story of humanity. Story of pooja who supports the out-of-job people even though it creates problems for her and how social media helps her reach a wider consumer base. 

3. Dove – Ogily: Stop the beauty test

Dove as a brand has always focused on equality and once again questions the societal standards of beauty. This time, with Ogilvy, Dove has made people realize that every person is beautiful regardless of what society says. This is a touching campaign that focuses on a better tomorrow. 

4. Weaves of India: Benaras 

This short film created waves by shining light on the faceless artisans from the streets of Banaras. Banarsi saris are considered royal, but the artisans who spend hours and days slaving have not received the recognition and financial growth they deserve. Weaves of India, with this campaign, aim to bring them justice and prestige. 

There have been countless campaigns like these, which have touched the hearts of their intended audience. Tell us about any such campaigns that you may have come across that touched your heart in the comment section. 


Apps like Instagram, Rizzle, and Netflix’s short laughs are constantly evolving and bringing to you more and more features to create even better content and help increase your chances of going viral. However, content creation and sharing are two different things. Youtube shots, Instagram allows you to create and share videos with basic editing skills but Rizzle provides you with in-built tools to create mind-blowing content. Try it now!

You can download the app here to check out Rizzle’s latest features. We have talked about virality and its role in marketing. However, virality is still a broad topic, and one blog cannot do justice to it. Hope this at least helps pique your interest and puts you on the learning path. 

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.