Like most marketers, I'm sure that Maria Kang didn't "intend" to create a viral post when she posted this picture of she and her children, but she sure did.
She struck quite a nerve too. Over 759 shares, several hundred comments and over 2,500 LIKES. The comments range from "Where are your stretch marks b*t**!" to "wtg!" (Way to go) So why does one thing go viral and another doesn't? Can we "produce" virality? I really don't think so, but Maria's challenge has many of the DNA markers of a viral post.
- An engaging image - regardless of how you feel about the image, it's message or the response it's received, by most standards she's an attractive woman (not dressed provocatively, thank you Maria), the kids are cute...there is much about this image that's appealing
- It challenges your emotions - regardless of whether you were pissed at the audacious nature of her challenge or fired-up ready for a work out; your emotions were likely engaged.
- It engages your curiosity - Let's face it, we are voyeuristic by nature. It's what keeps us glued to the train wreck. That's sort of what happens in this case. We will LIKE the page, COMMENT on a post, just so we can FOLLOW the adventure of someone else.
The greatest take away in this is Maria had an opinion, she had a passionate opinion that galvanizes those around her. You can be "fer 'er" or "agin 'er" (for my friends from the NE - that would be FOR or AGAINST her) but she rouses the emotions and that what brings out comments; comments begat other comments which begat LIKES which begats SHARES!
So have an opinion. You don't have to stir things up on purpose, just share your passions and allow people to congregate around and cheer/jeer you! What do you think, should we have opinions in business?