The Holy Grail of social media is to produce content that goes viral.
This is the essence of marketing – social or traditional.
Well, the good news is you can labor in obscurity for years, only to achieve sudden viral fame with a single post.
As the saying goes, “I takes 20 years to become an overnight success.”
Yesterday I stumbled upon this epic tweet from a University of Minnesota student named Lizzy Fenton:
I just emailed this powerpoint to my crush Carter do you think it’ll work :// pic.twitter.com/xHN1bYSdL6
— Lizzy Fenton (@LizzyFenton) March 27, 2017
It’s just over two months old now, but worth examining why it went viral:
1) It’s original and funny
Only geeks would even think to design a “why you should date me” PowerPoint deck.
Only super-geeks would include in said slide deck a statistical regression on her projected future breast size as a tongue-in-cheek flirtation attempt.
2) It’s vulnerable
While I personally believe most aspects of romance should be private, it takes a lot of guts to publicly admit a crush and/or risk rejection on a massive stage.
Yeah – it’s not classy to essentially proposition a crush publicly via Twitter (or say…at a baseball game, or other such venue).
But, joke or not, Fenton took the risk – and that, in and of itself, is endearing.
3) It showcases some skill
As PowerPoint decks go, it’s actually decent.
It was even acknowledged as such by Microsoft, which no doubt contributed to the post’s virality:
— Microsoft Office (@Office) March 31, 2017
With this one tweet, Fenton’s Twitter feed exploded from less than 200 followers to more than 13,000 in under three weeks.
More importantly, Twitter granted her the elusive “Verified” status indicated by a blue check next to her name.
This status is reserved for public figures – reporters, politicians, and celebrities.
One of the things I like best about this discovering Fenton’s feed is that it’s worthy of the attention.
While this post gained her viral fame, she’s been nailing the Twitter game for a while, even in obscurity.
FRIEND: wanna hang?
ME: sorry I already made plans w/ my boyfriend pic.twitter.com/loQ38LEPAn
— Lizzy Fenton (@LizzyFenton) July 15, 2015
razor scooter in high school: lame, odious act of social suicide
razor scooter in college: regal and balletic, inexorably seductive
— Lizzy Fenton (@LizzyFenton) October 21, 2015
I have 3 midterms and an essay due the week following homecoming, the biggest party weekend of the year.
— Lizzy Fenton (@LizzyFenton) September 30, 2015
Apparently the deck did not work on her intended.
Her crush responded with this:
Journalists, however, suspect the pair are already a couple, having sleuthed out suspiciously romantic posts between the two that date to last fall.
Whether the PowerPoint deck was heartfelt or merely a clever gag aimed at achieving attention, it’s a worthy case study in virality.
Most importantly, it demonstrates (as I wrote yesterday) the importance of consistencing — of showing up to practice your craft.
Ultimately, quality wins and unique voices break through.
Viral fame can happen with just one good tweet.