There are a couple of commonalities among great pieces of viral content. One, they engage our emotions and elicit an emotional response, ranging from laughter to tears. Two, they play to humanity’s love of surprise and delight. Jennifer Lawrence does both of these things, and does them repeatedly -- making her persona not only viral in nature, but also making it a meme.
Think I’m crazy? Let’s consider two instances of the JL1 virus, and why I believe she is a secret genius social media savant of the first grade.
1. The Oscar Trips: Meme Bait
Last year, JLaw famously tripped over her gazillions of yards of pink Dior on the way up to claim her statuette. Accident? Perhaps. The action of someone who knows what makes a good meme? Probable. The Lawrence Fall meme even got an update this year, when she went down again, this time on the red carpet. Whether on purpose or by the gods, repetition and humor do a piece of viral content make.
2. Her Adorable, Shocking Interviews
Her starstruck, banter-ridden encounter with Jack Nicholson at the 2013 Oscars is now the stuff of Hollywood legends -- the evidence being the 8 million views the video has amassed on YouTube. Likewise, her interview with Conan O’Brien in which she reveals that she had “copious amounts of butt plugs” in her hotel room discovered by a maid, which has 2 million views on YouTube. Both pieces of content went viral because we don’t expect an Academy Award-winning starlet to keep up with Jack Nicholson, or to talk about sex toys in a pretty frank way. That’s the element of surprise at work.
In other words: I’d hire JLaw as a community manager in a second. Girl’s got social media game, and she doesn’t even know it.
Or does she?
Either way, we social marketers can learn a thing or two from Ms. Lawrence in terms of how to make viral content: appeal to an emotion, show some personality, delight and surprise the people, and when it succeeds -- repeat it.
Lauren Mangiaforte is a social media manager at Obviously Social. Follow her on Twitter: @lbmforte.