Elements of a Viral Social Media Campaign


Social media has become the world’s most popular digital platforms over the past few years. With billions of registered users in all platforms combined, this has helped create an interconnected world in which communication, interaction, and promotion has now become much more efficient and accessible.

The rise of social media platforms not only changed the way people communicate, but it also helped various companies and their brands to find new ways to communicate with their audience as well. With digital marketing becoming the new standard in promoting businesses, the use of social media has been a game-changer, as it can help obscure brands become household names in a short period of time.

The increase in popularity of these brands is a result of viral social media campaigns. Becoming “viral” on the internet means that a topic or brand is popular over a certain period of time, being mentioned on multiple websites and social media platforms. Creating a social media campaign that can get viral takes a lot of effort and the right timing, along with key elements that make it all work. With that in mind, here are the crucial elements of a viral social media campaign.

The Right Platform

Getting viral on social media begins by promoting your content on the right platform. Currently, the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is best to know which platform your audience prefers to use regularly and picking the right one would help boost traffic and interactions by a huge amount. For example, when it comes to news and major announcements, Twitter is the best platform to use. As evidenced by this Tweet from Disney announcing an upcoming movie.

Viral Tweet

The right platform makes a big difference, as it would be a starting point in which your content would gain traffic and be shared to other platforms.

Knowing Your Audience

When it comes to any social media marketing strategy, audience targeting will always be the key, as it would help you identify and narrow down their preferences and interests. Various brands and products ensure that they cater to the right audience to be able to achieve the best impression. One example of a successful social media campaign is the Know Your Lemons campaign, which aimed to inform and educate women around the world about breast cancer.

Know Your Lemons

For this case, the target demographic is clear and well-defined, which allowed the campaign to become successful and reach multiple countries across the world. When it comes to establishing campaigns, it is best to know what the audience wants and needs before taking further steps.

Have a Purpose

Things become viral on the internet for many different reasons. Whether it be a fun and creative Super Bowl commercial:

Alexa Super Bowl Commercial

Or a hilarious meme that people can relate to:


The most viral social media campaigns have at least one of these two ingredients: entertaining or informative. An entertaining social media campaign always gets people talking about it for a long time. However, if you are a company that wants to sell through viral marketing, taking the informative approach is the best way to go. These kinds of campaigns make full use of images such as infographics and video marketing to become viral.

A fine example of an infographic that is informative and sells is Home Depot’s “Color Theory”, which informs the audience about how different colors mix and work together, which in turn advertises their paint products.

Color theory

As you can see, infographics not only help sell a product to their audience but also provide useful information that makes it something that is beyond entertaining. Once again, creating helpful content is a great way to sell and promote your brand, and eventually, go viral.

Evoke Emotion

One of the best ways to gain audience interest using social media campaigns is by evoking emotions that they can relate to. Some of the most successful social media campaigns evoke happy and positive emotions, like Norway’s #SheepWithAView campaign, which promoted tourism in the country through the use of sheep that guide people to some wonderful destinations. This is an example of a lighthearted social media campaign done right.

Norway Tourism

An example of a more serious social media campaign is WWF’s #EndangeredEmoji, which promotes awareness of the world’s most endangered species.

WWF Endangered

Emotions help sell the product and keep the audience invested, which prompts them to share it with people they know through social media.

Timing Matters

One of the best ways content can get viral on the internet is by posting and sharing it at the right time. For brands, this can mean many different things. Some viral campaigns take advantage of certain events, like sporting events, where a bulk of viral marketing has happened in the past few years.

Share A Coke

Brands can also take advantage of seasons like Christmas to promote their products, which helps increase your chances of going viral.

Samsung Holiday Ad

As you can see, timing counts, and taking a “Strike while the iron is hot” approach will pay dividends for your social media campaign.

Key Takeaway

Social media campaigns are some of the best ways to sell and promote products and advocacies to today’s audience, which is why getting viral is crucial to make it successful. By having these aforementioned elements, you are bound to have a social media campaign that would help bring success to your brand.

If you have questions about Social Media Marketing or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.