Social Media Viral Campaigns: What Truly Makes them Infectious
By Lana Caroleo, Account Executive
Social media is truly inescapable. When one social media app ‘loses steam’, another one instantly pops up and becomes the generous’s next phenomenon – I mean who can even avoid TikTok and its viral dances these days? Though social media is definitely starting to become overly saturated, it’s still one of the most strategic ways to gain instant attraction with Gen Z’s and Millennials. Through the endless social media campaigns I’ve witnessed in the past year, I’ve developed two major takeaways from them and their instant social impacts.
When it comes to campaigns in general, it’s important to have an outlined calendar for when certain events and tactics are going to be released. Though being organized is important, sometimes the most viral and successful campaigns spark from a spontaneous event. And that was exactly the case for Bud Light. From just a 10 second clip of a man at a baseball game refusing to let go of his two beers, Bud Light was able to quickly capitalize from a short viral social media video. Instead of letting time pass, Bud Light jumped on the opportunity to use the “beer guy” moment to their advantage. They quickly identified the man, designed a t-shirt featuring him, and created an entire advertisement in just 48 hours. Not only did it allow Bud Light to be part of the conversation, but it was a viral moment in time that was truly organic.
One of social media’s biggest assets is its sense of community through shareable content. It allows people to express their individuality while also belonging to the community within social media. A campaign that brought social media shareability to the
forefront was Spotify's ‘Wrapped’ campaign. And what better way to bring people together than through their shared love of music?
Spotify Wrapped has been one of Spotify’s largest marketing and social campaigns. Unlike Apple, Spotify is letting people share their top music and artists on social media and popular channels like Instagram Stories. This helps with Spotify marketing to boost the viral publicity for its platform. This campaign became instantly infectious and practically impossible to avoid. Spotify truly knows their audience – they blended their user’s passion for music and individuality with a campaign that encouraged shareability on all social media platforms. It created instant brand recognition and a truly viral social media moment.
I believe that every campaign is a teachable moment in the world of media. Through the campaigns that I’ve analyzed, time and shareability are two takeaways that help a campaign become contagious. Sometimes the best content stems from a single moment in time that can be used to a company’s advantage. And oftentimes, the only way for content to make an impact is for it to be instantly recognizable and seen absolutely everywhere. Though there are so many other factors that contribute to a campaign's success, I’ve found these two to be important ingredients in the secret sauce that is viral social media campaigns.