“Gangnam Style” by Psy, (aka Park Jae Sung) featuring his “ride the horse” dancing now holds the record for the most liked song ever on YouTube, with over 300 million views and 3 million likes. The question most us are asking, besides what the hell is “Gangnam Style”, is how did a Korean rap singer, singing in Korean make this happen?
The answer is, he didn’t. When asked why the video went viral in an interview with Time, Pys, a onetime Boston University dropout, said; “I think this is all about luck. They say some philosopher said, ‘when effort meets chance, then there is luck.”
The truth is, although we have our theories, most of us don’t really know what will engage audiences and get them to share. After writing a blog for over 6 years, and posts for Forbes for the last two years, I have no idea why certain content gets shared.
That said, I have been able to determine a few common trends for example:
- Mondays – are the best days to post content, 10 a.m. being the peak time for views. Thursday is the most challenging day of the week, with exception of summer months — then it’s Friday.
- Stumble Upon – is the most valuable sharing tool for driving views, followed by Linkedin, with Linkedin having the longest tail.
- Twitter and Facebook – are very difficult to assess in terms of driving views. Social sharing may seem valuable with broad distribution of links, but it doesn’t guarantee views.
Researchers are now beginning to better understand our behavior, and how it drives our social habits. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the connection between our internal body clocks and our online behavior. For example, reading Twitter first thing in the morning (8a.m.-9 a.m.) can start your day on a cheery note because it’s when tweets are the most upbeat.
Other social networking is better done later in the day. According to Dan Zarrella, social-media scientist for HubSpot, if you want your tweets to be re-tweeted, post them between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., “when many people lack energy to share their own tweets and turn to relaying others”.
Mr. Zarrella also found that postings to Facebook at about 8 p.m. tend to get the most “likes” after people have come home from work or finished dinner. At that time of the day, they’re likely to turn to Facebook feeling much less stress.
Given the pressures of todays’ world perhaps it isn’t all that hard to understand why people share. They do it because something makes them smile, or laugh, or want to dance, and they’d like someone else to feel that way, as well.
Asked about the secret to his overnight success Psy commented; “These days people seem so stressed so I just want to make fun by my music. As an artist and an entertainer and a writer, I think that was my job. Anti-stress.”
And that’s definitely worth sharing…