What Does Going Viral Really Mean?

You’ve heard it a million times: “going viral.” But do you know what that really means? Of course, you get the sense that it’s a good thing and something you should want to happen. But here’s the scoop on what’s really going on:


What Is It?

When something goes viral, it is viewed by a very high number of people in just a short period of time. This is in contrast to content, say a video or blog post, that is only viewed by a relatively small number of people or viewed by lots of people over months or years. Of course, the number of views it takes to be considered going viral can vary widely. Sometimes, having  thousands of views may be considered going viral.  In some situations, however, you might not hit the mark until you’ve had at least a million viewers.


Why Is It Called Going Viral?

Think about what happens when a virus makes its way into the human body. Over just a short period, many viruses can spread and produce serious health effects in an unlucky person. Likewise,  a computer virus can spread with dreaded rapidity. The word viral is used to indicate the same type of rapid spread in terms of content. In this case, however, it’s a good thing rather than something unfortunate, like a nasty cold.


Why Should I Want to Go Viral?

Going viral typically means lots of exposure and tons of traffic, without costing you any extra effort. Increased exposure for your business can only mean more connections, more sales and more influence over your audience. More links going to your site can translate into better search engine rankings, and going viral helps with building brand awareness. Further, it can open the doors for all kinds of opportunities to get your name and message out there. For example, if your content goes viral, it may attract the attention of influencers in a position to help you or other business people who might be interested in partnerships.


What Can Go Viral?

Just about anything can go viral. Most commonly, articles, blogs, posts, videos, songs, quotes and websites go viral, but even text messages and ideas have this potential. Essentially, if it’s relevant to a high number of people, interesting and sharable, it has potential.
What’s your experience with viral activity? Share your stories, questions and tips with us! And come back soon for tips on encouraging viral activity.


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