The Hollywood Reporter just hit 17.1 million worldwide monthly unique visitors, a massive 21 percent rise over its previous record of 14.1 million unique visitors in March 2014. At the same time, Billboard also set a new all-time high for monthly traffic with 13 million uniques, beating out its previous record of 12.7 million unique visitors from May 2014.
What do music and celebrity gossip have in common? Ultimately, the success of these topics boil down to one element: people like to share happy stuff with one another. Whether its celebrity wedding photos or sugary pop hits, social media users love to post, promote, and share topics that make them feel happy, excited, and engaged.
Brands and media coordinators certainly think they’re the experts in figuring out the secret recipe for viral success. “Our insight, authority and ability to deliver news, compelling stories, and lifestyle from the inside of two of the world’s sexiest industries is intoxicating and unrivaled in the digital space,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group. In the end, however, many viral outbreaks are the product of users just doing what they do best: sharing (and sometimes oversharing).
So what exactly makes social users happy, and willing to share again and again? I’ve considered three of the most shared, circulated, and viral-ized topics on social and analyzed them below.
First: Charitable Causes
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took social by storm starting in July of 2014. The premise is simple: dump a bucket of ice over your head, then challenge someone else to do the same. If they refuse or don’t do it within 24 hours, they have to donate $100 to ALS research and support. Participants typically pledge $10 as a sign of goodwill towards the cause.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) August 21, 2014
The real reason for the viral spread of the Ice Bucket Challenge is the good vibes that lie at the movement’s core. Sometimes information from non-profits can be difficult to digest, and positivity and hope can be eclipsed by an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. The Ice Bucket Challenge allowed participants to feel connected to a cause, not just paralyzed in the face of information and statistics. It was an opportunity to share an experience with other people while spreading awareness.
A fun activity for a great cause — what could be more positive (and share-worthy) than that?
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