How to Create a Viral Challenge on Social Media
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s challenge season again.
This year it was all about the #bottlecapchallenge, as thousands of Insta-fans around the world attempted to “kick” off the lid of a plastic bottle with the precision of a kung-fu fighter – something that is practically impossible unless you’re professionally trained in martial arts (and have already, to a certain degree, loosened the cap.)
So... what actually goes into the makings of these social media challenges? What can you do to make your challenge idea stick out and go viral on Instagram?
We've rounded up five things you need to consider, when attempting to create your own viral social media challenge.
Choose Your Challenge Topic Carefully
At the end of the day your challenge should be fun, easy to do and accessible. It should be simple enough for anyone to do, but give participants the option to put their own spin on it. It shouldn’t take participants more than 30 minutes from start to finish to shoot or film, or require a lot of props.
The #bottlecapchallenge has been a success, because all you need is a plastic bottle (with a cap), a smartphone and the space to do it.
The #kikichallenge was successful, as fans could perform a simple dance to a popular song (but could still put their own spin on the challenge if they wanted to, like performing it next to a moving vehicle.)
Consider The Name and Tag of The Challenge
The name of your challenge should be fun and something people can easily remember. Avoid too many characters or multiple words within the hashtag, as users may misspell it when uploading a caption alongside their version of your (soon-to-be viral) challenge.
While it can be tempting to name the challenge after yourself or call it something that’s out of the box, it’s better to keep it simple, memorable and reflective of the actions being performed.
Perform and Upload Your “Challenge” to Social Media
This goes without saying, but you’ll need to actually create content where someone completes your challenge and post it to a relevant social media platform. Make sure your content is high quality (i.e. have someone help you film it, try to have good lighting and actually attempt it more than once) and don’t forget your viral challenge hashtag.
Tag Other People
Once you’ve uploaded your challenge, encourage your friends to participate in it by tagging them and other users. This is what can really help the challenge go viral, especially if you have content creator friends with large audiences who are willing to go it a go and tag the challenge hashtag.
You can also try tagging celebrities or superstar content creators – they might just give it a go themselves.
Cross-Promote Your Viral Challenge
While viral challenges tend to take off on Instagram, it’s still worth sharing your content across a variety of social media platforms. TikTok is loving short-form video content, and Twitter can be a great place to initiate a discussion related to your viral challenge.
Wondering how the #bottlecapchallenge took off? Here's the story!
Social media fans were pulling out all the stops in order to complete the challenge originally created by Kazakhstani Taekwondo fighter Farabi Davletchin (@farakicks).
The challenge, however, didn’t go viral until celebrities like John Mayer (@johnmayer)...
...and Jason Statham (@jasonstatham) decided to try it for themselves.
Naturally, content creators around the world had to jump in and put their own spin on it.
Like Ahmed Al Nasheet (a.k.a. @DVLZGame), for example...
...and Lana Rose (@lanarose786).
You know MoVlogs (@movlogs) had to put his spin on it too!
At the end of the day, the challenge is just unscrewing the lid off a bottle cap. The #kikichallenge was just dancing to Drake’s song “In My Feelings,” and the #zoomchallenge was pulling someone across the floor.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Instagram.