Let me clarify from the start what I mean by “viral” in this blog post. After all, it’s a bit of a subjective term. I’m not talking selfie-at-the-Oscars viral. I simply mean to say that this particular tweet of mine has garnered more retweets and favorites than anything I’ve ever tweeted from any account I’ve managed.
It so happens that this tweet was sent from my personal account, and it was in response to the news that the TV show Agents of Shield had been picked up for another season. Kathy and I both really like the show, so I tweeted a simple acknowledgement to the announcement.
Excited to see @AgentsofSHIELD come back for a third season. Season 2 has been excellent.
— Andrew Ledwith (@jaledwith) May 8, 2015
It’s a rather measured response, really. It’s not like I used 42 praise hand emojis and 30 exclamation marks.
You’ll note that I mentioned the official Agents of Shield Twitter account in my tweet. Well, whoever manages that account saw my tweet and decided to retweet it to their followers. All 585,000 of them.
And then my phone exploded. I have it set to alert me when someone retweets or favorites one of my tweets, which usually isn’t too often. As I write this post my tweet has been favorited 266 times and retweeted 68 times, most of which occurred in the first two hours after I first posted it. My Twitter ads dashboard tells me that this tweet has had 50,546 “impressions” (meaning it’s been seen that many times by other users) and 679 “engagements” (indicating how often someone interacted with that tweet in some way).
In the eight years I’ve been using Twitter none of my clever quips, my self-promotional links, or my endorsements of others ever boomed like this, including the ones I spent considerable time crafting until they were just right. It serves as a reminder to me that no matter how much strategy and planning you put into a social media presence sometimes it’s just dumb luck that leads to a moment of success.