To suggest that ‘social media’ is a science (for which you have to pay top dollar) is like claiming you can predict the weather.
Yesterday our copy of the New Yorker arrived. I did what I usually do. I flicked through and looked at all of the cartoons. They are always brilliant and yesterday there was one that I especially loved.
I took a pic of it and tweeted it (with a credit for the source).
Over the course of the day it was retweeted about 800 times – which is a lot for me.
I added the same cartoon to my Facebook page. (Yes, yes, I know it’s a different type of network without the viral possibilities). It got one ‘like’ in 24 hours.
What’s my point? I have two:
1. Viral is almost entirely an accident of timing and mood. Predicting what will go viral is simply impossible. Anything that you need to know about the ‘best’ time to tweet something is already documented online and is free and is not foolproof.
2. The best chance that something has to ‘go viral’ is if it is interesting, pithy, funny and relevant. That’s the skill of a writer. It has nothing to do with being a ‘social media expert’.
Oh, here’s the cartoon by the way. Good innit?