I’ve been a micro (and I mean micro) influencer and content creator for the past three years or so, and I’ve gotta tell you, I NEVER expected one of my recent reels to go viral. I mean, it seems like the constant struggle of a content creator, especially microinfluencers, to even get your content seen by people much less to skyrocket your page. I recently posted an Instagram reel that went viral (now over 1 million views!) in the course of a few days, and I’m honestly still kind of in shock! My Instagram following grew, and I’ve gotten more likes and attention on the platform than I ever have before (the kind of attention I’ve been yearning for these past several years but just couldn’t attain!). Sounds peachy, right? Well, like anything, having content go viral sounds pretty appealing, but it also come with its own set of challenges and adjustments to think about! If you’re a small content creator who is wondering what to do if your content goes viral, here’s my experience and content strategy going forward…
Keep scrolling to see which post on my Insta went viral, too!
Lesson 1- Don’t Try to Go Viral
Sounds a bit counter intuitive, but most viral content happens by random chance. Posting times, hashtags, engagement time: these all factor into how well content performs. Be intentional about your content and post stuff that gives your audience value, but don’t try and change your message or brand to achieve “viral status”. The video I posted that happened to go viral on Instagram was very similar to others I had posted for the brand I was showcasing, and it’s not too much different from other videos I post monthly featuring that brand. In essence, there was no shock value or cutting edge element; in fact, I had decided against the more complicated version of the video I was going to post in favor of the simpler one that ended up going viral. Sometimes, success finds you when you’re least expecting it, so don’t stress or change yourself just to go viral; just be you and be intentional, and it will come!
Lesson 2- Viral Isn’t Everything!
Okay, so your content has gone viral and engagement is taking off, what could possibly be bad about that? Think of it this way, celebrities are famous for everything that makes them great and unique, but that also comes with a LOT of criticism too. (I’m looking at you, tabloid magazines…) This is also the case if you find yourself in the public eye on social media. I’m not saying you should be afraid of going viral or afraid of criticism, but just be aware that keyboard confidence is a very real thing and hurtful comments are bound to arise the more people see your work. Bottom line is, the effect that critics have is up to you; take it with a grain of salt, learn from it if you feel you need to change, but don’t let it get to you. While I think social media is a great and powerful tool to help people connect, make extra income, and share their talents, it’s also where some people get to hide and make nasty comments towards innocent people without having to own up to what they say in person. I know for me, being sensitive by nature, these comments have been a difficult thing to brush off, but they ultimately come from people who don’t know you personally. No matter how amazing and loved someone is, haters are always gonna hate, so just do you! Going viral does not mean your content is worth more or less, so keep creating what you love no matter what.
Lesson 3- Move Forward Authentically
For me, a video of me promoting a lingerie brand went viral. Lingerie modeling is a part of my page, but honestly a pretty small part compared to other areas of fashion, travel, and lifestyle. While I definitely want to keep in mind the popularity of my content that went viral, I don’t see myself becoming all about lingerie all the time because it’s only a part of who I am. I might pay more attention to creating lingerie-focused reels in the future, since it would be kind of silly to just ignore their popularity and potential for growing my page (as any business owner would tell you!), but my page’s message and overall aesthetic is staying the same. My point is, like I said before, viral isn’t everything and it’s not even guaranteed if you post similar content again, but you should pay attention to what your audience wants and explore going in those directions if it makes sense for you. You can even try to work the viral content’s theme into your future work if it fits well! For example, if you’re a shoe brand that had a video of a dog go viral, try working more cute pups into your shoe content in the future! Make sense? I never know, I tend to ramble…lol.
To sum up my little rant, being a content creator and microinfluencer can be a tough game. I’ve struggled a lot and lost sleep over views, likes, engagement, and brand deals, and I’ve prayed for my stuff to just be seen. Going viral can seem like the answer to your prayers, and it’s definitely been that in a lot of ways! Nothing is ever perfect though, and there is a lot of work to do to make sure content stays relevant in the future. All I can really advise is just to stay humble, stay confident, and stay creative! And enjoy every win, whether it be little or large; you deserve it!
If you’re curious, here’s a peek at my viral Instagram reel… 🙂
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