If you are looking for a formula in this post entry, you can be a little bit disappointed. Mentioned in the title, this post displays the most common route of a “common viral content” and discusses the social trends, which might give you an idea about how your next “wanna-be viral” campaign should follow.
To firstly understand about “virality”, we should have a correct mindset about “viral” itself. It is common nowadays that clients ask their agency to “create a viral campaign” for them, which costs little money but high WOM. Holding that mindset of “creating a viral campaign” can be misleading. Why? Because “virality” cannot be created by an agency. The mission of the agency is to ensure an engaging and insightful content for the audience, while the “viral” probability rests on the power of the audience. In fact, it is very very difficult to create a campaign which is both striking and insightful to make people talk and share. (Of course, there are some behind-the-scene techniques to really control the outcome to be viral, but is this considered to be organically viral any more or just a different tactic of paid advertising?)
Okay, now the main question: What is the common route of a campaign/ content that has gone viral? No rocket science, it usually starts from an individual or organization’s doings, such as a Facebook status, a photo or an announcement. Then, PR steps in, followed by celebrities and influencers. On Facebook platform, Facebook fan pages are also very important, especially non-branded popular pages.
Tip: On the Facebook users’ perspectives, one of the most recognizable hints of a viral content/ campaign is the appearance and spread of “troll” photos and parodies. Thus, in addition to claiming that your campaign is viral on PR articles, creating “troll” photos and parodies can cheat the audience into thinking your campaign/ content is going viral.
So, what is the content that can tap into consumers’ mind? What are the young Vietnamese needs and insights? Let’s look at the 3 needs below:
1/ The need to be understood and sympathized
How does successful Fan page win its audience? It speaks to the audience’s insights, making them say “This is so true to me. I also have that feeling. I am so glad other people have it too.” Example of this content type is the trend of making photos “what other people think, what I think and what I really do”. Or some troll photos expressing what the audience really feel and want to say but cannot. Take a tour on the Vietnamese page Tho bay mau, Tuyet Bitch Collection or Vay hoy di nha. Their content is like a visual display of what really goes on people’s head in certain situations.
2/ The need of self-expression and self-fulfillment
In Vietnam, the individualistic trend is on the rise, compared to collectivism. What used to be too flashy or showing-off in the past is considered to be ordinary now, especially among the 8x and 9x generation. Social media allows young people to shout out and brag about their achievements, whether they are games, career, education or life events. Selfie trend is the result of this need. People want to be complimented and viewed as beautiful and good at something.
3/ The need of searching for perfectness and beauty
Photos go viral more quickly and easily than words-only on Facebook (but that doesn’t mean a focus on words cannot make the content viral). On our News feed, it is not hard to see a sharing post of a beautiful photo of a model, singer or actor. The application? Sound mean, but true: Use beautiful models in your photos.
4/ The need of being a part of a social group
Also the very basic need of humans: social need, young Vietnamese still show a strong need to belong to a community. In order to ensure that, they follow trends, use slangs and try things that their Facebook friends do. “Vo Tac Thien”, “Kim Tan” or viral language like “Khong phai dang vua dau” are examples of this viral type.