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How to boost your brand with virality

How to boost your brand with virality

As marketers, we’re obsessed with virality. We read so many how-to blogs with hopes of understanding the science behind viral marketing, yet it remains one of marketing’s biggest mysteries. Every brand wants it, but not many brands have the time, budget or management to power it.

So I, Community Manager here at Talkwalker (aka ‘Milz’), offer you an alternative trick to get in on the action, without having to start from scratch and kick-start a viral campaign all by yourself!

Discover Viral Trends with Quick Search

Virality definition

When something “goes viral” online, it spreads from an original source to another, able to travel far through the social landscape, attracting lots of attention, creating ever more impact as it gains traction. Now it’s great when it happens, but that’s if it happens and it very much depends on your chosen channel’s algorithm.

Alongside all the tricks, tips and tools out there, I want to offer you an alternative, easier and more sustainable way of getting your brand’s viral skates going. One that doesn’t require you to come up with a brand new initiative or campaign, but instead provides a way to fuel virality.

By monitoring, locating, and tapping into an online community that has launched a hashtag campaign already, your brand will become a part of the viral campaign, as a contributor to its cause. Boosting your brand awareness and sentiment off the charts as a result. Still not clear? I’ll show you how -

How Talkwalker tapped into the “save our show” trend

It was during the hot summer months here at Talkwalker HQ, when our social meters suddenly spiked, as we found ourselves caught up in 4 …(yes, 4) viral Twitter hashtag campaigns! And before you ask: no it wasn’t because of a social scandal, bad brand move, or a politician's poor choice of words (thank goodness). It was all driven by fans … superfans who kicked off hashtag campaigns in order to have their voices heard. Two of them to resurrect canceled TV shows, and another two to wish someone a viral..sorry, very Happy Birthday…(#HBDJanaSenaniPawanKalyan - this is a thing now!)

The virality of Talkwalker's engagement over summer

Our engagement on Twitter spiked four times during the summer months.

Hot topic tracking - ignite & unite!

What has this got to do with Talkwalker you wonder? Well, to our delight, these social media hashtag campaigns were being tracked and monitored by these superfans using our Free Social Search tool! Dedicated fans, even celebrities joined in and fueled the viral campaign by tweeting and retweeting insights and graphics from our very own tool!

Examples of virality on Twitter

Data from our tools started showing up on social media.

As you may know, and perhaps be devastated to know, popular TV shows Lucifer and Shadowhunters were both dropped by their networks this year, but thanks to technology, fans now have a new direct and very public channel to “save their show”. Yes, this has become somewhat of a thing on social! Fans wasted no time voicing their dismay and unleashed the #SaveLucifer, #PickupLucifer and #SaveShadowhunters, #PickupShadowhunters hashtag campaigns in an effort to urge the network to reconsider the cancelation and even to reach out to other outlets such as Netflix or Hulu to pick up the show.

Map displaying virality growth of #SaveLucifer & #PickUpLucifer

#SaveLucifer & #PickUpLucifer campaigns quickly became a global phenomenon.

Tracking viral growth

Using my nifty Command Center and Quick Search tool, it was awesome to watch how quickly these hashtags reached virality. Within 4 weeks with #SaveLucifer and #PickupLucifer reached a total of 10M mentions, while #SaveShadowhunters and #PickupShadowhunters was not far behind with 4.6M mentions. As fans encouraged and invited their friends to join the hashtag campaigns, the sheer noise and reach they were able to generate was immense. As they were using our tool, I saw the opportunity for Talkwalker to jump in, contribute, and fuel their campaign.

Contributing to the #SaveLucifer and #SaveShadowhunters campaign by tracking viral growth.

The power of virality - Lucifer is saved!

The power of the hashtag campaigns’ virality made a massive impact that didn’t go unnoticed. Thanks to the wave of #LuciFan’s support, encouraged by celebrities and picked up by the news, the viral hashtag campaign has succeeded in its mission. Lucifer has now officially been picked up by Netflix!

The main influencers that led virality growth for #SaveLucifer

The viral growth of #SaveLucifer was so huge that celebrities & major news broadcasters joined in on the conversation.

“Thank you thank you THANK YOU to all the #Lucifer fans. You brought us back. YOU did this. So relax, take a breath, put some ice on those fingers that have been hashtagging up a storm… and get ready for more deviltime.”

Lucifer series co-showrunner Joe Henderson.

Even Lucifer himself (Tom Ellis) thanked his fans…

#SaveShadowhunters is still going strong, and cases such as #SaveLucifer are motivating their cause. Fans are becoming even more innovative, extending the campaign beyond the social realm - to the streets of London, the skies in LA and the subway in Seoul - will be exciting to see what impact they can make and achieve - I for sure will keep tracking :)

June 22 2018 - A plane flew over Netflix’s LA headquarters with a giant #SaveShadowhunters banner trailing behind it.

What can we learn from this?

As marketing professionals, there are two things we can learn from this:

  • 1. The obvious: never underestimate the power of virality.
  • 2. The not-so-obvious: never underestimate the power and potential of tapping into online communities - it isn’t always about your brand being the center of attention.


  • Listen out for, monitor and track what viral loops are circulating your social space and consider how your brand might attach itself to it.
  • Choose those that would be best to align with your brand and start establishing valuable bonds with online communities you may not have considered before. Boosting your brand awareness and getting fans to advocate on your behalf.
  • You don’t have to start from scratch with a campaign - instead, find one that’s already viral and contribute to it, become the glue and the fuel that fosters interaction and keep that campaign going! Support its virality, but don’t hijack it!

How? It’s simple!

Talkwalker analytics Command Center and Quick Search act as your social radar letting you monitor, listen and locate any viral activity that holds potential for your brand. Harness the virality of online communities & campaigns, take what’s already out there, and become a part of it!

Start searching social for your viral calling! Contact us today and get your free Quick Search demo! Find out what potential your brand might be missing out on! =>

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