The problem with going viral

Everyone wants to go viral. But is it always good? Could it be that going viral can have the opposite effect than what you are hoping for?

About my content

In 2018 I was into programming. Then as we moved to 2020, I transited into Marketing and product building

Back in 2018, a few posts of mine went "viral". I wrote viral in double-quotes because I got 3-4x the about of impressions I'd usually get. Not exactly viral, but talking relative here.

For each post that went viral, Some people followed me.

Now in 2020 when I post about marketing I don't get as much engagement as I should with the number of people who follow me.

This low engagement with high subscribers/followers gives a signal to the algorithm.

"Their audience is not interested in what they are creating"

The algorithm notices the disparity between your followers and your per post engagement. Your reach and impression go down.

When I went "viral"

Now in this example, I am talking about personal brands. This won't apply to corporate brands.

So you are posting daily. Your engagement is varying, but your audience is growing. That's always a good sign.

Then one day, one of your posts goes viral.

You find yourself in front of 10,000s new users. You notice a higher number of comments, retweets and shares. They like your viral post.

And, some users decide to follow you and subscribe to your channel

And then... the next post is regular post. You are back to the same level of engagement.

This is where things get a tiny bit complicated. Some creators can stick to one type of content. Not all.

We move along. But the audience? They want the same thing all the time.


So it still worth going viral? For brands, sure. Their message is more consistent and well thought out. For personalities? Doubt it.