Thousands of retweets, countless likes and shares by prominent people. It is the dream of many users in social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to create a content that goes viral. Last week, I tried the same. I wanted to share my opinion with the whole world.
In reaction to the gift attack in Syria for which dictator Bashar al-Assad presumably is responsible, US-President Donald Trump commanded his military forces to attack a Syrian air base. I cannot really understand why the US should intervene in a conflict with dozens of groups fighting each other. I know the arguments for this intervention, but I believe that it was wrong. At this point, after six years of war, every additional party extends the war, which leads to more civil victims.
To share this opinion with as many people as possible, I created a meme. I took a photo of Donald Trump and wrote a few words on the bottom. “There are still people alive in Syria? I’m gonna bomb the shit out of them!”
To make this meme go viral, I posted it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But I knew that I had to do more. I used a lot of different hashtags to make it visible for many people. Because I guessed, that this would not be enough, I wrote to many of my friends and followers that I needed their help. I begged for their support. They should like it, comment it and retweet it to make my meme a viral meme.
And the result? Almost nothing. The Facebook post became zero likes and zero shares. Only four comments gave me some hope because they discussed the political topic. But the discussion ended fast and my meme did not get much attention. Also on Instagram, it was not more. Seven likes and zero comments. Stats of viral contents are better.
On Twitter, I got 491 impressions, four retweets and 3 likes which is normal for my tweets, but almost nothing if you want to go viral. Especially when you take it into account, that I begged my friends to share this content. It is hard to say, but most of them were not helpful at all.
But at least some of them tried to help me. A few likes are better than nothing. And even if my content did not go viral, I learned something. One of the people I asked for help, told me that Twitter users cannot easily see my tweets if I begin them with an addressing “@”. In that case, only the person I address, can see it without clicking on my profile. To make it more visible, I should write at least one letter or punctuation mark before the “@”. Having this information, I tried it again and began the tweet with “.@realDonaldTrump”.
And the result? Nothing. Zero likes, zero shares.