A few years ago BuzzFeed proved what everyone has always believed in theory. If you stretch enough rubber bands around a watermelon, it will eventually succumb to the pressure in one glorious Kodak moment.
Not exactly the journalism practiced by Cronkite or Woodward and Bernstein. Still, Seedgate attracted almost a million people who couldn’t resist watching the melon explode on Facebook Live. The video has since generated over 11 million views on Facebook.
While there’s no guaranteed formula to going viral on social media, history shows explosions and cats vying for Academy Awards generate attraction (don’t even think about combining the two).
Which brings me to this latest version of an “everyone-likes-a-good-explosion” story. A hand grenade turned up in a shipment of potatoes from France to a food-processing plant in Hong Kong. Employees reported the suspicious object to the Hong Kong Police who extracted the grenade from the box of potatoes.
Now, the fun starts. The police department concluded the best course of action was to detonate the grenade. Someone had the savvy to suggest videotaping the big event to push through Twitter under the words: “Exclusive! We detonated a German made WW1 hand grenade earlier this afternoon.”
Again, explosions sell (though I personally would have avoided using #emergency as a hashtag).
While not exactly BuzzFeed-like attention, 132,000 views for the Hong Kong PD qualifies as wide-reaching, taking into account that most of its videos don’t tip the 1,000 mark.
No question, explosions captivate people. I’m just not sure how to apply this to our social campaigns on behalf of B2B clients.
Then again, in what amounts to the antithesis of an explosion, a photograph of an egg broke Kylie Jenner’s record for likes on Instagram with over 50 million clicks.
The key to success?
Asking for help, engaging the community and framing the stakes. I could see this working in the B2B social sphere.
But blowing up a semiconductor might be easier.