<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5065582&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">
Allyson Kapin 3 min read

What Makes A Campaign Go Viral?

"Viralness" in online campaigning is something everybody wants, yet nobody really knows the secret formula.

In the end, when “viralness” happens -- whether it's a video, a petition or just a text piece that everyone keeps forwarding to friends and families -- we often aren't sure exactly why this particular piece of content went viral.

Planning for something to go viral is therefore about as unreliable a strategy as planning to win the lottery on command. “It's wiser instead to use time-tested, tried and true strategies, such as old fashioned guerilla promotion of your campaigns, or even (gasp) paid promotion -- monitoring your ROI closely of course -- while also doing whatever we can to make sure we are "open" to the possibility of that “viralness,” to strike,” says Clint O’Brien, Vice President of Nonprofit Services at Care2.

Yesterday over on Twitter (@care2frogloop) we asked our followers what was their personal definition of “viral?” Here’s what non-profit influentials like Katrin Verclas of MobileActive and Matt Stempeck of Americans for Campaign Reform had to say in less then 140 characters.

@mstem: Viral is something you want to share with friends even without being told to. MoveOn's video fit that bill. – Matt Stempeck, Americans for Campaign Reform

@annedougherty: Viral=something people pass on of their own accord; it's content+timing+luck; marketing helps but push too hard+thud! – Anne Dougherty, Clean Water Action

@escapetochengdu: Viral = spreads on its own without any help from its creator. – Jessica Kutch, SEIU

@Katrinskaya: Viral content = Stuff that gets forwarded. – Katrin Verclas, MobileActive

Do you have a different definition of “viral?” Post your comments!

Never miss a post by subscribing to frogloop's RSS feed.


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.