Whether it is the “Dancing Queen” one breath challenge or the piano song, this TikTok phenomenon has proven that “going viral” is still alive and well.  

In the past few weeks, the series of “Dancing Queen” challenges going viral on TikTok has demonstrated how content can still own the internet when it’s engaging participants – rather than thinking of followers as an audience. The subtleties of terms surrounding social media engagement can be misleading. The term “viral” addresses the spread of content across large numbers of people, but it cannot be forced. 

To learn how this challenge overcame certain limitations on social media and with content sharing (algorithms can often hinder the spread of content), we address a few ways content can still go viral, regardless of how APIs work to make it more difficult. 

 

Develop Relationships With Those Engaged With Content

If an influencer is looking at their followers as an audience or a target, the audience will often recognize that influencer as inauthentic because there is no real engagement. “Challenge” is a powerful word, and it can immediately establish engagement with audiences because it invites them to play along. 

We see this all of the time with the most influential influencers: 30-day yoga challenges, ice bucket challenges, and dancing challenges are just some of the ways this plays out on social media. Not all challenges make the cut and go viral, but it is more likely if influencers recognize their followers as a part of the larger social media relationship rather than a row of passive faces to entertain. 

 

Build Momentum

Building a relationship with followers is a great first step, but it is also important that influencers know how to curate content that builds to more influential content. No one drives successfully shifting from park into third gear. Content curation is very much the same. 

For example, the TikTok “Dancing Queen” challenge stemmed from earlier content from 2013 where a video went viral of a woman dancing to “Dancing Queen” on the corner of a street while waiting for the bus. Maybe it was easier for that video to go viral because there were fewer restrictions, but current “Dancing Queen” challenges show that it is still possible to obtain viral status if there is a strong relationship between influencer and follower. The content also feeds into that relationship based on trust and reciprocation.  

 

Keep Engaging

Just because something goes viral doesn’t mean an influencer can rest on their laurels and expect it to continue on its own. An influencer who regularly shares how followers are engaging and applauds them for their efforts must perpetuate the content and keep it fresh. 

Influencers who produce “one and done” content often find their content falling flat, and that is because there is a lack of engagement with those who could have been interested in it if efforts were made. This is why micro-influencers are sometimes more effective at engagement than those who have a million followers. It is hard to engage with people when there are too many people crowding the room. 

 

In Closing

There is a skill to the industry of influencer marketing. Influencers indeed have to work harder to achieve viral content, but it has been proven that one doesn’t need to be famous or have millions of followers to have an impact on social media. Real engagement can only happen when one truly is themselves and welcoming to others who want to be a part of their community. If an influencer’s content goes viral, it is because they know how important social platform relationships can be.

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