In today's internet culture, there are few celebrities more popular than Kylie Jenner in terms social media reach. The internet icon boasts more than 120 million followers on Instagram alone, with an impressive Twitter and Snapchat presence to match.
Yet, that didn't stop the mysterious Instagram account created by Egg Gang (@world_record_egg) from squaring up, and eventually dethroning Jenner this past weekend from being the world record holder for most ever likes on an Instagram post.
The post that now holds the record? An egg--and no, I'm not kidding. The photo currently has more than 39 million likes, and is still gaining momentum by the hour.
While this has definitely been one of the funniest and lighthearted moments in recent social media memory, there are four valuable lessons and insights that every small business owner should learn from the campaign's viral success. If done right, these same principles can be applied to your own business to better position your content for potential virality:
1. You need to be on Instagram.
Plain and simple. This entire exchange was born and bred on Instagram, and the response it's generated -- both in the mainstream media and across social media -- has been unbelievable.
There are very few, if any, brands that couldn't creatively tap into the power of Instagram to potentially pull off a viral stunt -- or at least gain more exposure for your company than you would on other social media networks.
What makes Instagram so powerful? Well, apart from its parent company (Facebook) helping the platform expand its already massive reach to older audiences, Instagram's algorithm -- as it currently stands -- toes the line perfectly between being timely without being too fast-paced.
Unlike Twitter, where content is rises and falls in a flash or Facebook, where you need to break the bank for exposure, Instagram's engaged user base, scroll-friendly design, and Explore tab all make the app a natural hotbed for viral posts.
2. Keep a close eye on internet culture.
If you're looking to go viral or expand your brand awareness through social media, you've got to keep a pulse on internet culture.
It's clear whoever is behind this egg campaign is very much in-tune with the "language of Instagram." They were aware that Kylie Jenner is Instagram's golden girl, and that memes are Instagram's golden standard for viral posts.
By being informed and an active part of the community you're trying to go viral within -- whether that's Reddit, Instagram or somewhere else -- you'll know what the unspoken rules are for the community. This will allow your content to be more natural and avoid being forced, inauthentic, or downright cringe-worthy like so much branded content on the internet.
3. People love humor.
Surprise, right? If it wasn't already clear enough from viral accounts and campaigns like Wendy's Twitter account (which jokingly insults its fans on a regular basis), or the Kickstarter campaign that raised over $50,000 for its creator to make a potato salad, this Kylie vs. egg battle illustrates how consumers are absolutely loving brands that have a good sense of humor.
Gone are the days when stale and unrelatable brands were the gold standard. People want to see the human side of brands, particularly younger audiences like Millennials and Gen Z.
Never be afraid to sprinkle in some humor. Even the most polished, buttoned-up brands could benefit from posting funny content. There's only one rule, and I can't stress this enough: Make sure the joke or gag is actually funny.
4. Have a simple mission to rally behind.
Following the egg's rise to stardom was so much fun because it made anyone who simply double-tapped the image feel as if they were a part of something larger than themselves.
Egg Gang created this Instagram account with a simple, easy-to-understand mission, which made rallying behind it seamless and easy. Adding a simple--yet powerful--mission not directly related to your brand could give you the extra boost you've been looking for.
Who would've thought an egg and Kylie Jenner could teach entrepreneurs a thing or two about social media marketing? Welcome to 2019.
If you're looking to reach a wider audience (or break a world record) in the coming year, applying some of the principles laid out in this article would be a great place to start. Best of luck.