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3 Things I Learned From Creating a Tweet that Went Viral


I recently read an article by Jason Feifer, Editor-in-Chief at Entrepreneur magazine, called, “The Best Employees Have Side Hustles — Here’s Why.” In this article, Feifer mentions, “An entrepreneur works at 150 percent capacity -- and if they’re on your team and afforded the freedom to thrive, they’ll give you 100 percent and keep 50 for themselves.” This article really spoke to me because I truly love my job! I feel so lucky to come to work every day and be genuinely excited to take on the tasks for the day. I also feel very lucky to have a boss and coworkers who are aware of and support my side hustle: my YouTube channel. When I’m not at work, I’m constantly thinking of new ways to grow my following, new content ideas, etc. I recently made the decision to try to go viral by coming up with a funny tweet about a trending topic. I wanted  to accomplish three things:

  1. Give my “two cents” on a topic I’m interested in

  2. Be seen as funny and relatable

  3. Bring more views to my growing YouTube channel

Well, to say the least, I accomplished my goal. Almost a little too well! I created a tweet that received 10,800 likes, 2,288 retweets, and 43 comments. But wait... there’s more! My tweet was also featured in Buzzfeed, Marie Clarie, USA Today, and Hiphop Wired. I also saw an increase in YouTube subscribers and views across all my videos!

So what did I learn? A few things:

1. It’s okay to be yourself on social media!

My YouTube channel is dedicated to career advice for college students. I share the tips and tricks that helped me get four internships and a full-time job! But I realized that while I dedicate a lot of my social media platforms to sharing short snippets of my videos, marketing insights, and to manage my personal brand/image, it’s okay to share content about my personal interests as well. By doing so it shows that I’m human and have interests outside of work. I genuinely LOVE pop culture news and by sharing that side of myself sometimes I can have genuine interactions with people who have similar interests and promote my YouTube channel at the same time. You might be interested in sports or like to share pictures from your world travels. Of course, stay professional and don’t alienate your followers. As long as you don’t overwhelm your feed with these extra topics, sharing this way can humanize you.

2. You don’t always need a hashtag to go viral

The thing that amazed me the most from this experience, aside from the fact I’m still getting notifications about likes and retweets two days later, is that I used zero hashtags in this post and it still went viral. I noticed the story was going viral but there was no designated hashtag. So I just made sure to include keywords, in this case, all the names of the people involved in the trending story.

3. Talking about trending topics can get you exposure beyond the platform you’ve posted on

My boss Adrian Dayton recently made a video discussing a similar situation that happened to him. He wrote a blog post addressing how Baby Boomers didn’t understand millennials, and his post went on to be featured in tons of other news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. In my case, as mentioned above, my tweet went on to be featured on a couple of different news sites who were doing a write up on the trending story. So my trending tweet got me exposure on Twitter and to the regular readers of these popular news sites. So much so that even my sister contacted me this morning saying, “WHITNEY! YOU’RE ON BUZZFEED, DID YOU KNOW!?!?”  I had not told her about this trending tweet, but she still found out about it in an organic way.

So you may be wondering what the effects of this were? Well, I'm going to give you an inside look at some of my analytics but don't tell any of my competitors!

Once I noticed the tweet taking off, I utilized the "Add Another Tweet" button under my viral tweet to plug my YouTube channel:

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 3.14.11 PM

I did this so that anyone who clicked on the original tweet would see the promo tweet also. By doing this, I saw an increase in subscribers and views on my YouTube channel, and gained some Twitter followers as well. I also can give you a glimpse at the reach my promo tweet received in comparison to the reach my normal tweets get:


Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 3.10.07 PM


Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 3.10.24 PM

As you can see, by plugging my channel I received more than 5X the impressions I normally get and some link clicks. Overall, I deem this a success because it took me all of 50 seconds at most to write that Tweet and I got some major results.  

So, what do you think? Was this a success or a failure? Have you had a trending tweet before? Do you plan to try and have a tweet go viral now? Let me know on Twitter.

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