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The Dangers of Going Viral

Some companies hold onto the hope of having the content they put out go viral and then ¡BAM! That’s the breakthrough, now they are going to sell out and get that attention they so deserve, right? It could happen, however, it’s not always the case; in fact, it could completely backfire.

You see, to go viral many things need to be taken into consideration, a huge one being the platform. For example TikTok, the app is relatively new and people are constantly looking for the formula needed to go viral. Their algorithm is constantly changing many agree going viral has to do with watch time and engagement, which is typically how it works for most platforms; many just view it as luck. However, there are two things the app loves to push out and those are:

  • Clickbait
  • Controversy

Those are two very dangerous things; clickbait has been around for quite some time and many still have not learned the dangers. Clickbait is used to grab someone’s attention like a hook, but not exactly as it tends to use exaggeration and lying, which are big NOs. Controversy can either entail you, yourself creating something controversial or adding to someone else’s controversy. A good way to look at it is “does this controversy involve something my company or I value?” If it doesn’t look the other way.

Going viral using either of those tactics has the potential to attract the wrong audience and in extreme cases ruin any chance of success your business may have. Although the example mentions TikTok, this could happen on any platform building an audience based on lies and controversial behavior is never good. Some might see instant results by doing this, but it is only a matter of time until it comes back to bite.

If your company’s sole focus is going viral and that is your one key to success you are looking for failure, to grow the correct audience, one must be patient and focus on the message you are trying to push out. Once this is achieved your audience will slowly be found leading to an increase in watch time and engagement, then creating success and possibly the opportunity to go viral.

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