If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last few weeks, then you’ve probably seen that picture of pop star Justin Bieber eating a burrito sideways. It went completely viral, getting picked up by reputable news stations and even becoming a Twitter Moment. However, did you know that the viral image was staged by a group of YouTubers?
The guys from Yes Theory completely faked the picture! In the video below, they explain how they hired a model to pose as Bieber and fabricated a story behind it. The staged picture went insanely viral after they posted it on Reddit.
The Yes Theory team was smart to use Reddit as a launching pad for their viral experiment because all kinds of viral memes, stunts, and stories get their start on this social media site. By learning how to navigate Reddit, you can find the best place to share your videos and increase your chances of going viral.
First, spend enough time on Reddit to learn how it works and what kind of content its users like.
Reddit isn’t like most other social media sites. It works kind of like a social news forum. Users can submit links, videos, pictures, etc. Then, other users decide the popularity of those submissions by voting them up or down.
The site is also discussion-heavy, offering users a longer word count than Twitter does. Many users anonymously share personal stories or funny anecdotes as well as their strongly held opinions.
Every social media platform has a slightly different set of unspoken rules. So, before you start sharing your videos on Reddit, you need to familiarize yourself with its community of users as well as the site itself.
Try to find a few different subreddits you enjoy and get to know the users who frequent them. Make a few of your own posts as well. Then, engage with the users who respond.
Next, think outside-of-the-box to find an idea with the potential to go viral.
Most viral videos focus on stunts, such as the YouTuber who hung a picture of himself and his friends in McDonald’s. Their homemade poster went unnoticed by McDonald’s management for months. When the creator behind the prank revealed what he’d done, the internet absolutely loved it.
If you want to make a viral video, think of something no one has tried before. However, it should also be something a wide audience can identify with. For example, instead of trying to pull a prank based on a niche video game, you may pull something based on a stunt from a classic movie.
Put as much planning as you possibly can into your video. Approach the project as if you were directing a documentary about it. Outline every step you’re going to take. Have a team of people to support you. Most importantly, make sure to bring a videographer with you.
Then, share your video link to a few specific subreddits.
Once your video is ready to go, find a few related subreddits to share it on. These should be popular enough to bring attention to your video but specific enough that the people on the forum will find it relevant.
For example, the Yes Theory team shared their staged Justin Bieber picture to the subreddit r/MildlyInfuriating. Because their fake Bieber ate his burrito the “wrong” way, many people in the subreddit were indeed mildly infuriated with the picture.
Finally, keep your eye on your inbox.
Oftentimes, a post or video doesn’t go viral immediately. Check your Reddit DMs often over the next few weeks. To speed things along, recruit a few friends to forward your link to blogs or entertainment news sites that might be interested in picking up the story.
Reddit is the birthplace of so much viral content. Practice navigating the site so your video is the next viral story these users discover.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.