Making something go viral isn’t an easy task. In theory it should be simple enough, just get something shared by a lot of people, but in reality it is much harder than that.
For me, I had to really think about what types of things usually go viral, like memes, gifs, etc. All of these things usually deal with some important, relevant topic that becomes trending immediately after an event happens. Since our time constraints were limited, I had to think of something that could and would begin trending at anytime of the day/week/month.
When I thought of things that could become trending that weren’t time or event sensitive, my first thought was to look at doing something for a cause. For example, the ice bucket challenge was something that became a trending topic across multiple platforms because it involved a good cause (fighting ALS) and an action. Then I thought of other topics and hashtags that have gone trending, such as #ForceForDaniel, a hashtag that was trending over the past two weeks in an attempt to let a terminally ill man watch the new Star Wars film early. The social media campaign eventually went viral and proved to be successful but unfortunately, Daniel passed away five days after seeing the movie.
Anyway, all of these things weighed on my mind and since I didn’t have a cause specific cause, like #ForceForDaniel, or an extended period of time to do something like the ice bucket challenge, I had to find some cause that was already trending and relevant.
That led me to my topic of choice, the It’s On Us campaign. The It’s On Us campaign is about stopping sexual assault and is already supported by a large number of people. The campaign has garnered an incredible amount of traction, especially here at Syracuse University, where Vice President Joe Biden will speak about it on this Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Schine Student Center.
Given how popular it already is and the relevance with Biden coming on Thursday, it was a no brainer to attempt to make an image go viral. My next issue was trying to figure out just what kind of image I should use.
My initial thought was that I could just have my roommate take a photo of me holding a sign that says “It’s On Us, Take the Pledge at itsonus.org”. I moved on from that idea because it wasn’t original enough, there is a good chance that some people out there have already done this and posted it on social media platforms (though not with the intent of going viral). What I eventually settled on was making a sort of “composition of photos” where nine photos would be arranged into a 3×3 square. I was able to contact enough of my friends to participate but when I arranged the photos, they were all taken vertically on an iPhone, something that doesn’t’ exactly fit into a perfect square.
I settled on taking the headshots of 8/9 people and arranging them around the exterior of the square while keeping one of the signs in the middle. Through a social media marketing plan, I intend to make this image(see below) go viral.