The Art of Virality

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Many people make a video or blog post with the hope that it will go viral, being liked and shared by thousands. In reality, very few achieve a fraction of that goal.

To alter the Lord of the Rings quote, one does not simply make a viral post. There is a strategy to the virality.

So… What is it?

Today, I was fortunate enough to learn that strategy. It’s a little thing called social media targeted marketing. In my Social Media class taught by Dr. Karen Freberg at the University of Louisville, we learn about everything from the basics of various social media platforms to the analytics of big data to search engine optimization (SEO).

Dennis Yu, the social media marketing management guru and CEO of BlitzMetrics, skyped into our class today for a guest lecture. Yu showed us why we see what we see on our Facebook newsfeeds.

Facebook ads are created through Anyone who pays a minimal fee can target people to infinite degrees.

Want to advertise your automobile company to people who are interested in cars? Easy.

Want to reach out to the college age generation with your textbook renting business? Done.

Facebook users can be filtered by their gender, age, location, profession, workplace, friends, interests, school, relationship status, and language. How is all this information retrieved? Through Facebook, of course. Everything on your profile page is up for grabs in the marketing world. Facebook is essentially a huge database of the people of the world. Utilizing this data allows you to reach your target audience without wasting time, money, and energy on the portion of the population that doesn’t care.

If you think this sounds too complex, let me inform you that a 13 year old gained 16,000 fans in 96 hours by doing this exact thing. Pretty big stuff.

Yu confided that these sponsored ads can even be used to your own personal advantage. Social media gives a large amount of power to the people. You can write about anything at any time anywhere. With a little boost from sponsored Facebook ads, you can gain national attention within days and get your bad experiences and problems fixed plus some. All you need to know is how to do it. Thus, this blog post.

Bringing this full circle, the secret to internet virality was graciously revealed to me during this lecture. Pay a little, get a lot, given that your content is actually of some value.

Watch out world. I might be coming soon to a computer screen near you.


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